Key Players Need to Keep Rolling for ‘Cuse to Take Down #5 UNC

Tuesday, Apr 11, 2023 at 10:17 am by Sports Editor

By Adam Avin | @_adamavin
CitrusTV Women’s Lacrosse Beat Reporter

Over the weekend, No. 1 Syracuse (14-0, 7-0 in ACC) defeated No. 19 Clemson (10-5, 2-5 in ACC) in the first ever meeting between the two programs. Next, the ‘Cuse go on the road for the last time this season, to face a program they know very well: No. 5 North Carolina (10-2, 6-1 in ACC).

The Orange and Tar Heels play this Saturday, April 15th at 12 p.m. Last time SU defeated UNC, you ask? April 15th, 2017, also in Chapel Hill.

Since that last win, it’s been seven-straight losses for Syracuse against one of its toughest ACC rivals. If Syracuse defeats North Carolina, the team would improve to 15-0, tying its longest win streak since 2012, and end its six-year losing streak to the Tar Heels.

When SU welcomed UNC to the Dome in April of ‘22, the ‘Cuse were on a four-game winning streak, and came out strong once again. The Orange out-shot the Tar Heels and won the draw control battle, but thanks to a 4-0 UNC scoring run in the third quarter, SU fell short and lost. Meaghan Tyrrell led the team with six points (four goals, two assists) in that game. Also, Olivia Adamson had multiple goals too.

This year, Meaghan Tyrrell is still leading the team in points and Olivia Adamson has taken on a new role (but not so new anymore) as the draw specialist. With Saturday’s game coming up, Syracuse has been on a stretch of elite level lacrosse play, thanks in part to specifically those two. Against Clemson, Adamson had a career-high seven points and 14 draw controls. Over the past 4 games, Meaghan Tyrrell has scored 29 points, tallying 80 on the year, which ranks second in the nation (Izzy Scane – 85). Tyrrell is just 9 points away from becoming the all-time leading scorer in Syracuse history; she currently has 388, but will get even closer this weekend.

SU came close to topping UNC last year, but were missing a lot of key pieces due to injury, like Emma Ward who was out for all of the 2022 season. Now, ‘Cuse has all their firepower and the junior is back in the mix, playing a major role for the Orange. Ward hit her season-high five goals against Clemson, but has actually made assists a big part of her game in 2023. She has reached seven assists in two games this year, which puts her tied for second most assists in a single-game in program history. Among the rest of D1, Ward ranks second in assists with 46 and is tied for third in points with 73.

Earlier this season, people had predicted Saturday’s contest to be the game of the year. It sure does has that potential, but SU needs all its star power to show up this weekend. Emma Tyrrell was unavailable last game, but Coach Treanor said she expects her to be back in the lineup for UNC. Still no official update on Jenny Markey, who has been out over the past few games, but is not projected to play.

North Carolina, last season, stayed undefeated and won the national championship with a 22-0 record. Currently, Syracuse is undefeated at 14-0 and searching for its first national championship in program history, with a chip on its shoulder.

Follow @_adamavin on Twitter for live updates of the game.