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Syracuse women’s lacrosse: Northwestern preview and game thread

The ladies have quite the task on their hand to begin their 2024 season.

2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championship Photo by Greg Fiume/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Season openers don’t come tougher than this, I’ll tell you that much.

Northwestern, the defending national champions. 21 wins in a row. Revenge on their mind since their last loss was to SU in last season’s opener. Almost everyone back from last year’s team that dominated its way to a title. Road game inside Ryan Fieldhouse. Preseason No. 1 team in the country.

Kayla Treanor and her Syracuse Orange women’s lacrosse team have definitely got their work cut out for them. The ladies will take the field to open the 2024 season at 1 PM with a broadcast that’s unfortunately only available on the subscription-required BTN+.

  • All-time series: 25th meeting; Northwestern leads, 16-8
  • Last meeting: Syracuse W, 16-15 on February 11, 2023
  • Northwestern last season: 21-1 overall, 6-0 Big 10, Won National Title, beating BC, 18-6

A top-5 matchup to begin the season is a very exciting prospect, which is exactly what we have with the No. 5 Orange facing the No. 1 Wildcats.

It’s in fact a little overwhelming to take a look at Northwestern’s roster from last year and realize just how many important pieces have returned in 2024. Which is, to say, virtually everyone.

Obviously it starts with superstar Izzy Scane (134 points), last year’s Tewaaraton winner and the best college players in the game. Then it continues to Erin Coykendall (108 points), who scored well over 100 points last season in the shadow of Scane, but is one of the best players in the country and a Tewaaraton finalist last year.

Attacker Madison Taylor (70 points), midfielder Samantha Smith (24 points, 121 DC) and defender Sammy White (42 GB, 31 CT, 68 DC) are all among the very best in the country at their respective positions. There’s also goalie Molly Laliberty (.473 SV%, 8.60 GAA), their veteran net minder back for one final season.

The Wildcats also attacked the transfer portal in the offseason to bring in a pair of graduate transfers in Lindsey Frank (Richmond) and Mary Schumar (Marquette), who scored 90 and 89 points, respectively, last season.

Everywhere you look, this NW team is loaded with superstars.

The Syracuse defense has plenty of talent of their own, but Delaney Sweitzer and co. might just be starting the year with their toughest assignment.