What to make of Syracuse Women’s Lacrosse Start to the Season

Photo Credit: Cuse.com/SU Athletics
Friday, Mar 08, 2024 at 9:06 am by Sports Editor

Rahill Jaiswal | @RahillJaiswal

Six games into the season and Syracuse Women’s lacrosse sits at 3-3. At this point last year the Orange were a perfect 6-0. Now, a slower start to the season was expected for Syracuse. Especially when you lose your two best players Meaghan Tyrrell and Megan Carney. With that said, a 3-3 start is far from ideal.
The main issue with Syracuse is the inability to win games in overtime. Two of its three losses came against ranked opponents in bonus lacrosse. However, both times the Orange had leads in the 4th quarter and couldn’t close the deal. A big reason for this has been the struggles to create consistent offense. Lots of Syracuse’s goals have come from free-position shots. So, what has been the issue? As I mentioned, this team misses the Meaghan-to-Megan connection. When those two were on the field you had two different closers that you could turn to in crunch time. So far this season the Orange have not found that player. Now, SU still has some unbelievably talented players like Emma Ward. But Ward is more of the quarterback of this offense. She can create, but she isn’t going to most likely score.
So, what players have the capability to step up in those moments? To me, the most likely is Emma Tyrrell. The grad student has the talent and experience to stay calm in those big moments. The midfielder started the year slow but has picked it up recently. Over the last two games, Tyrrell has tallied eight goals. Similar to last year, it was around this time that the grad student started to get it going. With her recent form, Tyrrell should have issues stepping up for this SU team.
Another player to watch for is Olivia Adamson. The junior has been Syracuse’s most consistent offensive threat. The attacker leads the team with 17 goals and 28 total points. Coming into the season, Adamson was one of the returning players who flew under the radar. The attacker started the season with a bang. Adamson scored six goals against the defending champions Northwestern and has not looked back. If Syracuse wants to start winning some of these overtime games, it needs to find number one.
So Adamson leads the team in goals and points. So, who has the second most? The answer to that is Natalie Smith. Like Adamson, Smith was one of the returning players who came in the season under the radar. Six games into the year, the junior is primed for the best season of her career. The midfielder was the spark plug in SU’s road win over Notre Dame.
Another area Syracuse needs to improve in is discipline. Both times in overtime the Orange have conceded after getting a card. If you give top teams like Maryland and Stony Brook Women opportunities, they are going to take advantage. If SU doesn’t get those cards, we could be having a different conversation.
SU is back in action on Saturday on the road against Virginia Tech. The opening draw is set for noon.