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Syracuse women’s lacrosse: Six graduate students to return for extra year in 2024

The program officially announced the massive news on social media on Thursday.

2023 NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championship Photo by Grant Halverson/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Thursday was a good news kind of day for Syracuse Orange women’s lacrosse fans.

Really good. Like, season-altering kind of good.

On Thursday, the program officially announced via Twitter and Instagram the return of six graduate students for their extra year of eligibility: Bianca Chevarie, Kate Mashewske, Hallie Simkins, Delaney Sweitzer, Savannah Sweitzer, and Emma Tyrrell.

This is the final class that will be granted the extra year of eligibility due to the COVID pandemic. This group were all freshmen during the shortened 2020 season.

The news is just absolutely massive for a program that was already suffering significant losses from last year’s roster (Meaghan Tyrrell, Meg Carney, Sierra Cockerille, Tessa Queri) but also has plenty of talent already returning (Emma Ward, Olivia Adamson, Maddy Baxter, Natalie Smith, Katie Goodale, etc.).

There is, obviously, the immense amount of talent and experience that exists among the six of them that is the biggest cause for excitement, but what’s equally as exciting is that their return impacts every area of the field. Emma and Savannah play on offense, Kate takes draws, Bianca and Hallie start on defense, and Delaney’s the goalie. Every unit on the team is significantly impacted by this, and that’s pretty sweet.

Emma, a two-time All-American (honorable mention in 2023), finished last season third on the team in points (68) and goals (52), as well as fourth on the team in draw controls (30). One of the best all-around players in the country, she has a huge impact on every part of the game in which she participates.

Delaney, last year’s First Team All-American goalie, had a phenomenal breakout season in helping to lead the Orange. She finished the season eighth in the NCAA in save percentage (.505), seventh in total saves (185), third in ground balls per game (3.71) and 12th in goals-against average (9.20).

Kate, a 2022 Second Team All-American, played in seven games last year before suffering a season-ending knee injury. One of the best draw takers in the entire country, she was having an outstanding season before the injury, accumulating 70 draw wins in less than seven games. Her 10 draws per game average would have placed her second in the country in wins per game.

Bianca played in 10 games last year before suffering her season-ending knee injury. Even in playing just under half of the team’s games, she still finished the season third on the team in both ground balls (22) and caused turnovers (17). Her injury ended up being a huge blow to a defense that had to re-organize multiple positions in her absence. Having her back is a big-time boost for this defense next season.

Speaking of boosting the defense, Hallie’s return does exactly that, as well. She finished last year with 18 ground balls and nine caused turnovers, but her importance goes well beyond the numbers. Playing the ‘rover’ position in the middle of the Orange zone, Hallie patrols the most important and most difficult position to play on the defense. Her return is huge in ensuring the success of that side of the field for ‘Cuse.

Savannah played in every game last season as a regular member of the offensive rotation, finishing the season with 16 points on 10 goals and six assists. Aside from her numbers, she’s one of the heartbeats of this team, so her impact should not be understated. She always brings the energy and celebrates every team goal like she scored it herself, and seems to be beloved by her teammates.

The Orange are coming off an 18-3 season in which they tied the program record for consecutive wins by winning their first 15 games of the year. They ran out of steam in May, as they only went 3-3 down the stretch. That being said, they did reach their second Final Four in three years with a one-goal loss to Boston College in the semifinals.

Welcome back to Bianca, Kate, Hallie, Delaney, Savannah and Emma! Can’t wait to see what’s to come in 2024!