After the last two showings by the Syracuse Women’s Lacrosse team, one thing has become clear: Syracuse is a women’s lacrosse school. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. As a refresher, Syracuse steam rolled over Loyola in their season opener 18-6. 18 goals is a big number against Loyola, and even more impressive, is holding the Greyhounds to 6 goals when they are one of the best offensive teams (generally speaking) in the country. We knew there was a good chance that Syracuse would beat Loyola, but I don’t think we expected it to be by that much.
Then, to add insult to injury, they also took down the Seawolves, who, by all accounts, is an even harder opponent, 16-6. Who puts Stony Brook on a running clock? It was offensive. I actually felt bad for Joe Spallina. All this, by the way, even more impressive because the Orange’s best midfielder, and arguably best player, Emily Hawryschuk, was sidelined due to a lower body injury. We have since confirmed that she tore her ACL and is out for the entire season.
So what does this mean for their game against Duke? The biggest key for Syracuse now is embracing the “next man up” mentality. And who is the next player in? According to Gary Gait, it's Megan Carney. She led the Orange last game with five goals and one assist. Also in the Orange’s offensive arsenal is Sierra Cockerille, Sam Swart, and Meaghan Tyrell, each of whom bring something different to the table.
Cockerille is predominantly a scorer and she has no problem driving to the cage and getting it done herself which is huge. That’s the way Hawryschuk plays.
Swart is crafty and patient, two characteristics that compliment Cockerille’s fierce nature.
Tyrell’s biggest asset, aside from her laser-accurate passes, is her ability to work with Megan Carney. I like to refer to the duo as “The Megan Show,” mostly because of how entertaining they truly are to watch. The chemistry that have developed has history and it continues to get better with every game they play together.
But don’t let the offensive threats overshadow the defensive efforts we have seen, particularly from Goldstock. Last game, “Goldstop” owned the cage making 11 saves and as such won the US Lacrosse Division I Women’s Player of the Week. The other good news is that the Orange has all of their defenders back, so there are no new people they have to incorporate into the defense.
Heading into this week, expect a fight from Duke, but I would be surprised to see anything other than another W for the Orange. Even with Hawryschuk out, the Orange have their offense scoring 15 plus goals in every game they have played and their defense is on lock.
Duke has had an impressive 4-1 start to the season, but their wins (Davidson, William and Mary, Virginia Tech, East Carolina) have not been against teams that are quite on the level of Syracuse’s opponents (Stony Brook, Loyola). Will they match up well against the Orange? We will find out today.
The game is set for Saturday March 6th in Durham NC and you can watch the game on the ACCNX.