Stepping Up and Having Fun: WLAX Midseason Recap and Preview

Monday, Mar 27, 2023 at 11:58 am by Sports Editor

Adam Avin | @_adamavin

CitrusTV Women’s Lacrosse Beat Reporter

Well… you’ve heard it from me before (who heard it from Coach Treanor): Lacrosse is a game of runs, anyone can get hot at any moment. And with a little less than a month left before the final regular season game… there isn’t a team in the country on a hotter run than Syracuse right now.

‘Cuse’s start this season has been one for the record books, a legendary one of sorts. The Orange are No. 1 for the first time since 2014 (when Kayla Treanor was a player on the team), are 11-0 (which is the best start in program history and still going), have beaten six ranked opponents (including four straight over the past four games), and have players at the top of each statistical category in the country: Meaghan Tyrrell (3rd in points, 4th in assists), Megan Carney (6th in goals, 28th in points), Emma Ward (3rd in assists), Delaney Sweitzer (3rd in SV%, 7th in GAA).

Meaghan Tyrrell, individually, is having a record-breaking year. Meaghan recorded seven points against Louisville and moved into third place on Syracuse’s all-time points list with 366.  She also took over sole possession of fifth place on the ‘Cuse career goals list (228) and second place in career assists (138). 

Emma Tyrrell, as well, has been a very impactful returner for Syracuse this year. Over the past three games, Emma has scored 11 goals. She has 28 goals on the year to go with her 9 assists, putting her fourth on the team in points (Meaghan Tyrrell, Emma Ward, Megan Carney).

Syracuse leads the ACC this season in goals per game (16.36), points per game (26.10), and ground balls per game (16.91), and leads the NCAA overall in assists per game (9.8). The Orange are also second in overall in the NCAA in both shooting percentage (.531) and scoring margin (8.18). 

The only thing that could possibly hurt this run? Injuries and Availability. 

Last year, when Kayla Treanor took over and acquired this team of superstar talent, making a national championship wasn’t out of the question, especially after making it the year before. Then injuries happened… Emma Ward, was ruled out before the season started… Megan Carney, Sierra Cockerille, Emma Tyrrell, all went down as the season went on… and their chances of winning a championship slowly dwindled.

This year, everyone came into game one healthy and it stayed that way for a while…until game seven. Syracuse was beating No. 12* Notre Dame when Draw Specialist Kate Mashewske, exited with a lower body injury. In Game 10, Syracuse was battling with No. 6* Stony Brook, when one of its top defenders Bianca Chevarie exited the game, and there is no timetable on her return. 

Could the Orange be on a similar path as last year? I think the team might agree with me when they say “hopefully not.”

Even when dealing with injuries in 2022, players stepped up. Freshman Olivia Adamson played a large role in lifting the Orange up after older starters were unavailable. Now a sophomore, Adamson is doing even more. She’s taken on the position of Draw Specialist with Kate Mashewske out, while still performing her normal role as an Attacker. 

When asked about Adamson’s performance in the draw circle, Kayla Treanor said “It’s very new to her, but she’s getting better each time.” Coach is right, it didn’t come easy right away. In fact, the Orange were down in Draw Controls by a large margin after the first two-games of Mashewske’s absence, but since then, things have gotten better. Adamson got a career-high 12 Draw Controls in the win against Stony Brook, and helped Syracuse win the draw battle against Louisville. After Stony Brook, Adamson said “I’ve been being coached a lot, and I’m working hard at it in practice,” and that work has certainly been showing off.

When you win more draws, then you have more opportunities to run down and try to score. Earlier in the year, SU was able to get ahead because of how many quick starts they got on offense, and its no surprise that when Mashewske went out, the pace of the game changed and the team was in more battles than dominant performances (even though thats changed as of late). Olivia Adamson has gotten some help from players like Katie Goodale, who has been a ball hawk for the ‘Cuse, with 28 draw controls herself and is only behind Delaney Sweitzer in ground balls. 

Jenny Markey and Maddy Baxter, who might be the two fastest players on the team, along with starter Sierra Cockerille have also stepped up in Bianca Chevarie’s absence, but are doing much more than defense. They were all on the attack on pretty much every offensive possession against Louisville. They really get the ball moving, sprinting from coast-to-coast, and allowing for more chances for the offense to score. Against Louisville, Cockerille had a goal, three assists, three ground balls, and a caused turnover; and Maddy Baxter had two goals and two caused turnovers.

Coming up, Syracuse plays Cornell at home tomorrow at 6 p.m. The Orange still have to face No. 12^ Virginia, No. 22^ Clemson, No. 3^ North Carolina, and No. 7^ Boston College, on the schedule before postseason play. Arguably what Kayla Treanor calls “the toughest schedule in the country.”

This team has come together, is performing better than any other team in the college lacrosse, and is having fun in the process.

If the team can stay healthy for the remainder of the season, the sky’s the limit.

* = ranking of opponent when they played Syracuse

^ = current ranking