The newly minted No. 1 Syracuse Orange women’s lacrosse team is getting an immediate test as they welcome the No. 6 Stony Brook Seawolves to the JMA Dome tonight.
It’s a nationally televised late night clash as the opening draw is set for 8 PM on ESPN U.
Everything you need to know for tonight's game.— Syracuse Women's Lacrosse (@CuseWLAX) March 22, 2023
#6 Stony Brook
Live Stats https://t.co/7dO4HqI4a6 pic.twitter.com/vQvvtDXmTC
- All-time series: Syracuse leads, 4-1
- Last meeting: Syracuse W, 12-11 on February 20, 2022
- Stony Brook this year: 5-1, 1-0 CAA
The Seawolves are off to a 5-1 start this season. They began their year with wins over ranked teams in Michigan and Yale. They followed that up with a pair of west coast wins over San Diego State and Stanford, before dropping a 13-8 decision to Northwestern.
Last weekend, they opened their conference season by beating up on Delaware, 19-6.
Scouting Stony Brook
Zone vs. Zone
It’s a battle of two of the best zone defenses in the country in this matchup. The Orange defense is only giving up 8.22 goals per game, while the Seawolves are just a hair above that at 8.33 goals per game.
Both zones are excellent at creating turnovers as ‘Cuse creates 9.67 per game and Stony Brook creates 8.33 per game. But it’s SB who does a better job of limiting opponents shots, keeping their opposition to a paltry 17 shot attempts per game versus SU’s 23 (still a great number).
There’s a lot of offensive talent inside the Dome tonight, and this game may well come down to which offense adjusts better to their opponent’s zone.
Goalie vs. Goalie
While the defenses seem quite well matched, statistically, there is one defensive area in which the Orange seem to hold a considerable advantage: the goalie play.
Delaney Sweitzer has been one of the best goalies in the country this season, averaging a 7.59 GAA and a .552 save percentage. While Stony Brook starter Hailey Duchnowski has a similarly good 8.71 GAA, her save percentage is only .391 percent.
That’s a significant drop-off from Delaney’s number, and it emphasizes that the true reason why Stony Brook’s defense has such a good GAA is because they simply aren't allowing enough shots per game (17).
If the Syracuse offense can do a better job of creating shots on goal for themselves, then the number one shooting percentage offense in the country (.535) should be able to put up a good number.
Ellie Masera and the offense
I don’t think there’s a player in the entire country who’s more important to her team than Ellie Masera is to Stony Brook.
Masera leads the Seawolves in goals (28), points (33), ground balls (10), draw controls (33), free-position goals (5), free-position opportunities (9) and shooting percentage by players with more than 10 shots on the season (.509). That’s almost every one of the main statistical categories.
She’s second in the country in goals per game (4.67) and third in points per game (5.50). She’ll also be a huge factor on the draw circle. It’s going to be very interesting to see the SU approach to defending against her in this game.
Masera is joined on the offense by Kailyn Hart (14G, 9A, 23P), Jaden Hampel (10G, 6A, 16P), Morgan Mitchell (10G, 6A, 16P), Charlotte Verhulst (6G, 5A, 11P), and Erin MacQuarrie (5G, 5A, 10P).
Delaney Sweitzer POTW
Sweitzer was named ACC Defensive Player of the Week for the second straight week and third week overall this season. Sweitzer made 13 combined saves in helping lead the Orange to two big road wins over Loyola and Duke last week.
Sweitzer has been absolutely crushing it so far this season. She’s currently third in the country in save percentage (.552), fourth in goals-against average (7.59), and fifth in ground balls per game (3.89).
You come to Syracuse to play in games like this. pic.twitter.com/LrFA40hgiE— Syracuse Women's Lacrosse (@CuseWLAX) March 21, 2023