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Syracuse women’s lacrosse vs. Maryland: Preview and Game Thread

The Orange are back for their second top-5 clash in as many games to begin the season.

It’s week two of women’s lacrosse season and the Syracuse Orange are not turning down the dial on the intensity level one bit.

Kayla Treanor and the Orange are set to welcome the No. 2 Maryland Terrapins to the JMA Dome this afternoon for their second straight top-5 matchup with a Big Ten team.

The game is set for a 3 PM opening draw on ACC Network Extra.

I don’t know if it’s so Maryland can catch an earlier flight home or so the change-over to basketball can get get an earlier start, but why in the world are we playing a game between two of the best teams in the country at 3 PM on a weekday, even if it is a Friday?

We’re coming off a weekend in which SU reached their third-highest ever single game attendance for the Northwestern game, and we’re following that up with a weekday afternoon game? All we’re doing is making it harder for people to watch and/or go in-person to see what should be an incredible game of lacrosse. This team and these athletes deserve more than that.

I digress, but unfortunately first onto some sad news:

Abigail Lagos

Sadly, it only took until the second week of the regular season to get news of a season-ending injury. On Thursday, Kayla announced the terrible news that graduate transfer Abigail Lagos has suffered a torn ACL and will miss the 2023 season.

Abigail came to Syracuse this season as a transfer from Division II University of Indianapolis, where last season she was named the DII Player of the Year after scoring 118 points and led them to a national championship. Without question, she was one of the most intriguing new players on this year’s roster given her collegiate track record.

This was already set to be her seventh year of college lacrosse, so I’m not sure if her future plans include coming back next season for an eighth, or if that’s even possible. She did not announce her intentions in her Instagram post.

Best of luck to Abigail on her road to recovery!


Okay, now it’s time for some actual lacrosse talk.

Let’s start with the draw circle, where it’s absolutely crucial that Kate Mashewske and the wingers do a better job of securing possession for the Orange than they did in the Northwestern game.

‘Cuse was completely overwhelmed on draws last weekend, getting more than doubled up by the Wildcats, 23-11. When I rewatched the game during the week, I counted a 38-28 possession advantage for NW in terms of sustained offensive opportunities, and most of that deficit was due to the significant disadvantage on restarts.

Too many times last weekend, Kate was beaten off the whistle too easily, making for an easy win for the Wildcats. She needs to do a better job of reacting to the whistle and giving her wingers a chance to factor in to grab loose balls.

Now let’s talk about those wingers. Kayla went with Jenny Markey and Natalie Smith as the starters last week, and rotated with some other players throughout the game. It’ll be interesting to see if she stays with that or mixes in some more chances for players like Katie Goodale, Bianca Chevarie, and Maddy Baxter. The biggest X-factor in this regard is, of course, Emma Tyrrell and whether or not Kayla feels ready to insert her back into the draw game as she works her way back from injury. Speaking of which...

The road back from injury

The Northwestern game saw the return of Emma Tyrrell, Emma Ward, and Sierra Cockerille from injuries that ended their 2022 seasons. In that game, all three players were eased back into the rotation by Kayla.

Emma Tyrrell barely played in the first half before coming on more in the second. Emma Ward played more in the first and not much in the second. Sierra played with the second midfield line and didn’t get a ton of run throughout the game. It was clear that Kayla wanted to take it somewhat easy in their first competitive game back from significant injuries.

The question now becomes, will one week (not even) make a difference in how she deploys these three important pieces in the second game? The Orange’s depth does make it more comfortable to ease them back in, but it’ll be interesting to see how their playing time compares with the NW game.

As stated above, I’m especially interesting to see if the younger Tyrrell will be utilized in the draw circle at all or if Kayla is worried that may require too much stopping, starting, and cutting for her just yet.

A matchup for the ages

Finally, let’s take a look at the team matchup that will be key to deciding the outcome of this game: the Syracuse offense versus the Maryland defense.

Both units can realistically stake a claim to being the best in the country at what they do, and their head-to-head clash should be absolutely fascinating.

The Maryland defense is led by perhaps the best goalie in the country, Emily Sterling. Last year named a first-team All-American, Sterling finished the season with a 7.87 GAA and a .531 save percentage. Those numbers are insane. The Orange are going to need near-perfect shot placement to beat her.

The most fascinating part will be to see how Maryland will specifically defend Kayla’s offense. Maryland is known for the strength of their woman-to-woman, so my guess is we won't see them face-guard Meaghan Tyrrell the way NW did. They’re going to have faith that their defense can line up mano a mano and get the job done.

Meaghan will be matched up with either Abby Bosco or Princeton transfer Marge Donovan, two of the best defenders in the country. My money would be on Bosco, whose game is more predicated on speed, a prerequisite tool for trying to guard against Meaghan’s dodging ability. This will be Meaghan’s biggest individual test of the season, and if Bosco can keep Meaghan in front of her one-on-one, then the Orange offense will need to find other ways to break down the stoutest defense in the nation.

Donovan is a bigger defender known for her reach, meaning she probably makes more sense to be guarding Emma Ward, Meg Carney or Olivia Adamson.

Whatever the individual matchups, this titanic battle of offense vs. defense will go a long way in deciding the outcome of this top-5 game.

And I can’t wait to watch some Friday afternoon lacrosse! Let’s go Orange!