Coming off of a 7-1 record last year finishing 4th in the final IWLCA rankings of the 2020 season, the Syracuse Women's Lacrosse team has proven that they are one of the top competitors in the nation. But how do highly ranked teams stay at the top year after year? One way: land some of the top recruits in the nation.
The Syracuse Women's Lacrosse team landed 8 recruits in the class of 2021, and there is a lot within the class to be excited about.
The class consists of 2 attackers. The first of these is Olivia Adamson of Lakeland Preparatory School. Adamson was ranked in the top 40 by Inside Lacrosse. Adamson is known for her high lacrosse IQ, creativity, and stick skills. Not only is she a scoring threat, but even scarier for her opponents, she is able to create space and offensive opportunities for her teammates to score. Off the field, Adamson says she has a lot of positive energy she is excited to bring to the team. As one of the top recruits in the country, Adamson was looked at by some of the top lacrosse schools in the nation including Johns Hopkins, Virginia Tech and USC. However, in her heart, she always knew that Syracuse was the place where she wanted to live out her collegiate career. She committed to the university in 8th grade and has never looked back since. "I have known that I wanted to play at Syracuse since my first visit in 7th grade," Adamson said. "I can't wait to learn from the best coaches, play with such amazing players, and win a national championship."
The attacker who joins her is Payton Rowley, another recruit ranked in the top 40 by Inside Lacrosse. Rowley, who attended Maryvale Preparatory School, is going to be a great addition to the Orange because of composure on the field. Rowley is an asset to any team she is on because of her ability to make quick decisions and anticipate situations before they are about to happen. She knows how to read the field and the play, and she understands how to spatially set herself up for success. Rowley says her strong suit is dodging to the cage unexpectedly, which fakes out both defenders and goalies.
Rowley also brings to the team a selflessness about her that can be considered nothing other than a huge asset. When asked how she saw herself fitting into the team, Rowley said "I bring a team mentality into every lacrosse game...I understand that I can not do everything myself," Rowley said. "Implementing the team mindset and using it at Syracuse will help me blend in with their offensive strategy."
The class of 2021 recruits are midfielder heavy, with the remaining six recruits being midfielders. One of these midfielders is Ashley Peck, the third Syracuse recruit ranked in the top 40 by Inside Lacrosse. Peck attended West Morris Mendham High School in New Jersey. Peck is a great catch for Syracuse because of her speed and aggressive defense. Peck likes to work off ball using picks and cuts. Moral of Peck's story: If you turn your back on her, she'll make you regret it. "I see myself working with my teammates to get the best play off and trying to finish on every opportunity I have," Peck said. She is a force to be reckoned with on offense as well as defense.
Ashely is joined by a midfielder she knows very well—her sister. Melanie Peck, who also attended West Morris Mendham High School, has the background of being a former defender, which will only help her in her role as a midfielder now. Peck says her strengths are fighting for ground balls and dodging. She also knows when to pull the ball out instead of going to cage and she can make quick passes to cutters. When asked what she can add to the team, she responded "My speed will bring a lot to the team, and my ability to never give up."
Another midfielder who brings great potential is Ana Horvit of Vero Beach High School. Hailing all the way from Florida, Horvit believes that her biggest strength is her coachability. She says she has a great attitude and is very receptive to feedback. "I am willing to make adjustments that will allow my teammates and I to excel," Horvit said. She also considers herself to be very knowledgable about the game of lacrosse, and her understanding of the game leads to increased performance.
Horvit is joined by Julia Basciano, a midfielder from Arch Bishop John Caroll High school. Basciano brings to the team her speed, ability to see the field, and her aggressiveness. When asked what she will bring to the team, she said "I am a supportive teammate and will always fight until the game ends." Basciano continued, "I will help bring the high energy on and off the field."
Mckenzie Olsen is another midfielder that will join the Orange next fall. Olsen attended Palos Verdes High School all the way in California. Olsen is ranked in the Top 100 for the class of 2021 recruits, and she was named a Lacrosse Magazine All-American. Olsen said her greatest strengths are her field sense, quickness, and ability to anticipate plays before they happen, both on the offensive and defensive end. "I see myself fitting in great with the amazing program at Syracuse and...learning from the coaches and my teammates who are committed to excellence in all aspects of the game," she said.
Last but certainly not least is midfielder Caroline Rehder from Glenelg Country School in Maryland. Rehder plans to bring her athleticism, speed, and strength to the Syracuse Women's Lacrosse team next fall. Rehder explains that she sees several key places on the field where she thinks she can shine. "I see myself fitting into Cuse as a strong, powerful midfielder, especially on the offensive side, off the draw, and in transition," she said.