The Syracuse Orange women’s lacrosse team have sustained another significant injury to their roster, this one coming a week and a half ago in their win over Stony Brook.
Senior starting defender Bianca Chevarie suffered a lower-body injury in that game that will end her 2023 season, Chevarie and the team announced on Instagram on Friday evening.
About 10 minutes into the first quarter against Stony Brook, Chevarie went down pursuing a loose ball near midfield. She was down on the ground for a while before being helped into the locker room. She returned to the sideline later in the game on crutches with her left knee wrapped in ice.
This is not unexpected news because it all looked pretty bad the night that it happened, but that doesn’t make the official news any less significant. Chevarie was a starter who was having a great season and played an important role on the left side of the crease for the Orange defense. At the time of her injury, she was second on the team in ground balls with 22 (she still is) and was tied for the team lead in caused turnovers with Katie Goodale with 17.
She has great athleticism that allows her to stay in front of her defenders, a nose for the ball, and the instincts to know how a player tries to attack a defense as a former offensive player herself. All of that will be difficult to replace for Caitlin Defliese’s defense.
In the two games since her injury, the Orange have moved freshman Coco Vandiver from her outside position in the zone down to Chevarie’s crease position. In a corresponding move, they’ve also had backup midfielder Jenny Markey move full-time to take Vandiver’s position in the zone.
It’s a tall task and an important position for Vandiver to man right on the crease, but the freshman has had a really good start her career. Markey is used to playing defense as a midfielder, and has plenty of foot speed and quickness to help her stay in front of people. She’s also already proven to be a very dangerous weapon in transition because her straight-line speed is elite. When Delaney Sweitzer finds her with one of her big clearing passes, it’s off to the races for the ‘Cuse transition game.
Just like Kate Mashewske before her, Chevarie had an inspiring message for her team as part of her Instagram post:
“With this incident, my faith in this team does not waiver. Our belief in ourselves and our success go hand in hand, there is nothing I want more than to see them play on Memorial Day weekend. I may have a different role, but my goal stays the same and I will do anything to help them achieve that”.
Best of luck to Bianca on her journey to making a full recovery!