Everything you need to know for Syracuse’s matchup with Virginia

CARY, NC - MAY 26: Jordan Deblasio #4 and Emma Ward #44 of the Syracuse Orange celebrate during the game against the Boston College Eagles during the Division I Womens Lacrosse Semifinals held at WakeMed Soccer Park on May 26, 2023 in Cary, North Carolina. (Photo by John Joyner/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
Friday, Apr 26, 2024 at 4:57 pm by Sports Editor

Rahill Jaiswal | @RahillJaiswal 

After its comfortable win against Louisville in the ACC tournament quarterfinals. Syracuse Women’s Lacrosse gears up for a much tougher matchup against Virginia. Here is everything you need to know about the showdown.

Both squads did meet during the regular season in Virginia. That contest was one of the best games of the season. The Cavaliers took an early 5-1 lead. But, the Orange tied it early in the second quarter. From that point on, it was constant back-and-forth action. Neither team would ever have a lead bigger than two goals for the rest of the contest. With the game tied at 14, grad student Emma Tyrrell found the back of the net with five minutes to play to give the Orange a 15-14 win. Throughout that contest, two people stood out. Maddy Baxter and Kate Mashewske. Baxter poured in a career-high five goals while Mashewske won 18 draw controls. 

So, what must Syracuse do in the rematch to beat UVA again? To start, Kate Mashewske must have another big day at the draw circle. Virginia is one of the few teams that can shut down Syracuse’s offense. Wherever you go up against a defense like that, you must get as many possessions as possible. That all starts with Mashewske. If the grad student has another big day at the draw circle. Syracuse has a great chance of advancing to the ACC championship. The Orange also need to be strong on defense. Virginia attack women Morgan Schwab and Katie Carnevale played at an elite level this season. Schwab leads Virginia with 67 total points. The senior has been one of the best passers this year. The New York native tallied 51 assists, which ranks 6th in the nation. While Schwab is the passer, Carnevale is the goal scorer. The grad student had a team-high 47 goals this season. That was the 9th most in the ACC. Schwab and Carnevale are the engine that runs this UVA offense. Now, Syracuse has done a great job at shutting down some of the best players in the country this season. The Orange just held the ACC’s leading scorer Kokoro Nakazawa to just one goal. If Syracuse can do something similar against Virginia, it can walk away from this contest with the victory.

On the defensive side, UVA has a standout player in the cage. Mel Josephson averaged over 10 saves a game this season. The sophomore was a midseason all-American honorable mention a couple of months back. Josephson had 11 saves in Virginia’s win over North Carolina on Wednesday. No save was bigger than the final one. With the clock winding down, the sophomore stood tall and made the game-winning save. She has the capital to make things difficult for Syracuse. However, if the Orange moves the ball and plays team offense, it could have another successful offensive showing.

Opening draw is set for 5 pm. Make sure to follow my Twitter @RahillJaiswal for all live updates throughout the contest.