Syracuse Women’s Lacrosse Faces #4 Northwestern Saturday to Kick Off 2023 season
By Adam Avin | @_adamavin
CitrusTV Women’s Lacrosse Beat Reporter
If you follow Syracuse Women’s Lacrosse (and I hope you do), then this season will be a blast. There will be no shortage of scoring and highlights, but what I’m looking forward to the most is the competition. If you want to see the highest possible level of competition, then look no further because SU might have the most difficult and most competitive schedule in the country… and it starts this Saturday against No.4 Northwestern (we’ll talk about that soon)!
In a new poll last week from ILWomen, the Orange are ranked fifth, and are one of three ACC teams ranked in the preseason top 5 (No.1 North Carolina, No.3 Boston College). The other two in the top five are No.2 Maryland and Northwestern. The Orange will face each of the top four teams and nine in the top 20, making for what can be an exciting regular season.
The Kayla Treanor era in year 1 was off to a strong start with a 15-6 (6-2 ACC) record and a run to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament. It may have been an earlier exit than the team would have liked, but SU proved doubters wrong after an injury curse struck causing many starters to go down, playing a massive role in the team’s success.
Now, lets talk about Saturday. The team that bumped Syracuse from the Elite Eight in 2022 was the Northwestern Wildcats, who the Orange take on in their 2023 Season opener.
Syracuse and Northwestern is becoming one of the premiere rivalries in college WLAX. Starting in 2003, the Orange and Wildcats have played 17 times, including regular season and playoffs. Syracuse won the first ever matchup 14-3, but since then it’s been a challenge. Northwestern owns the all-time head-to-head record with 10 wins to SU’s seven. But in the last 10 matchups between the two teams… they’re 5-5, as even as it gets.
When Syracuse made their title run in 2021, it was Northwestern who was on the short end of the stick, getting knocked out by the Orange in the NCAA semifinals. The next season, the Wildcats wanted revenge, handing SU one of its six regular season losses and a playoff exit (it wasn’t pretty). It was one of the worst performances by the Orange in recent history, losing the contest 15-4.
The Wildcats dominated that game on all cylinders, but on Saturday, they face a different Syracuse team… a healthy Syracuse team, one that’s looking to end this two-loss streak with a fight. In the postseason, the Orange were missing many starters due to injury. Emma Tyrrell, Sierra Cockerille, and Emma Ward – who missed the full 2022 season – are all expected to be back, bringing plenty of firepower SU needs to compete with a tough program, one they know all too well.
Syracuse looks to start off their season with a bang, and a win against No.4 Northwestern for the first time in two years, would certainly do just that. The Orange have actually had success at home against the Wildcats winning four out of five matchups played in Syracuse, although this will be there first time at the Dome with the JMA sign on top. SU has scored exactly 200 goals against Northwestern, averaging a little over 11 goals per matchup.
The tough road to a national championship starts right here, in Syracuse, this Saturday where the Orange take on No.4 Northwestern at 12 p.m.
Follow @_adamavin on Twitter for live game updates and other SU WLAX news.