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Syracuse Women's Lacrosse: 2016 Season Preview

After a Final Four appearance last year, what is in store for the Orange this season?

Syracuse Orange attacker Halle Majorana (37) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Maryland Terrapins during the first half at PPL Park
Syracuse Orange attacker Halle Majorana (37) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Maryland Terrapins during the first half at PPL Park
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

There are high expectations for this year's Syracuse women's lacrosse team, and for good reason. The Syracuse Orange is ranked #3 in the nation by Inside Lacrosse's preseason poll, they have four of their top-five points leaders from last year on the team, and they return an astounding 10 starters.

Last year Syracuse lost in the semifinals of the NCAA tourney to eventual champion and #1 overall Maryland. With the team this year, there should be no reason they can not only get back to the Final Four, but win the whole thing.

Syracuse has one more year out of senior and two-time Tewaaraton finalist, Kayla Treanor, so if there is a time the Orange need to capitalize on, it's now. Treanor isn't the only threat this Syracuse team has on attack, senior Halle Majorana is also a huge asset to the Orange. Treanor and Majorana both tallied 91 points last season.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Orange are without goaltender Kelsey Richardson after she graduated last year. In between the pipes, head coach Gary Gait is likely to play Allie Murray, the graduate student who transferred to Syracuse from Notre Dame.

Last year, Syracuse had arguably the hardest schedule in the country and things haven't changed this season. The Orange will face 11 ranked opponents in the regular season. There first game is against #10 Loyola on Sunday.

"Once again this season, we have the toughest schedule in the country," said Gait in a press release. "To be the best, you have to play the best."

There is no shortage of the best teams on Syracuse's schedule. Over half of their regular season games (11/20) are against ranked opponents. There first game of the season is against #10 Loyola on Sunday.

Here is the complete SU women's lacrosse schedule along with my analysis.

But as Gait said, the competition is good for the Orange. It allows them to get a look at the top talent in the country before it comes time for the tourney.

The Orange undoubtedly have the ability to bring the national championship back to the snowy city of Syracuse. They have one of the best players in the game in Kayla Treanor and amazing talent to surround her. After a bitter loss to Maryland in the final four, this team is ready to get back to the tournament and make a run for the title. Can they do it? My money says yes.