ACC Tournament Preview

Friday, Apr 19, 2024 at 11:43 am by Sports Editor

Rahill Jaiswal |@RahillJaiswal

With the regular season behind us, it’s time for Syracuse Women’s Lacrosse to focus on the conference tournament. The Orange have not won the ACC tournament since 2015 when current head coach Kayla Treanor scored the game-winner in the championship. However, Syracuse has the one seed which gives them a slightly easier road to the title.

Like any other conference tournament, the top five teams will get a bye in the first round. Syracuse’s second-round matchup will either be Louisville or Virginia Tech. Regardless of the opponent, that should be an easy win for SU. The Orange beat the Cardinals and Hookies very easily in the regular season. The real test is going to start in the semi-finals. The most likely opponents would either be North Carolina or Virginia. 

Syracuse played North Carolina earlier this season and beat them 20-5. The 15-goal margin was the worst loss in program history for UNC. While this is considered a down year for the Tar Heels, you can never count them out, especially at home. Remember, at one point last year, UNC had a 42-game win streak at home. No matter how North Carolina looks. Beating them in Chapel Hill is difficult. However, Virginia would be the harder opponent for SU. The Cavaliers and Orange played maybe the game of the season back in March. After a back-and-forth game that featured multiple lead changes, grad student Emma Tyrrell scored the game-winning goal with two minutes left. The MVP of that victory was draw control specialist Kate Mashewske. The grad student had a season-high 18 draw controls in the one-goal victory. However, if UVA and SU had a rematch, it would be a toss-up.

Finally, if Syracuse manages to get to the title game, its two likely opponents are Boston College and Notre Dame. The Orange and Irish met earlier in the season in South Bend. So far this season that has been Syracuse’s best win. Notre Dame entered that contest ranked number two in the nation. However, similar to Virginia, ND is more than capable of beating SU in a rematch. Notre Dame presents difficulties on both sides of the ball. The Irish are giving up under nine goals a game. That number is the second-best in the ACC. On offense, attacker Jackie Wolak leads the ACC with 82 total points. With all this being said, Syracuse might rather play Notre Dame because the other likely option is Boston College. Over the last two years, BC has emerged as SU’s worst nightmare. The Orange can’t seem to beat them. Since becoming the head coach at Syracuse, Kayla Treanor is 0-4 against the program she was an assistant. Thursday night’s loss was a great summary of the last few meetings between the schools. A thrilling one-goal game that SU can’t seem to pull out.

It is going to be very interesting to see how this tournament shakes out. However, I think it comes down to Syracuse and Boston College in the final. Unfortunately for SU, I see BC emerging as champions of the ACC tournament for a second straight year.