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Unusual home game pits Syracuse women’s lacrosse against Louisville and the elements

Syracuse attacker Emily Hawryschuk (#51, blue) sits just seven goals shy of the Syracuse career record.
Syracuse attacker Emily Hawryschuk (#51, blue) sits just seven goals shy of the Syracuse career record.

Syracuse women’s lacrosse is getting ready to play a cold, potentially rainy home game against Louisville on Saturday.

Wait, pause. Syracuse plays its home games in the Carrier Dome (or if you’re looking to the future, the JMA Wireless Dome). Shouldn’t rain be something they never have to worry about?

Alas, when Monster Jam compels 35,000 New Yorkers to caravan into Syracuse, someone has to pay the price.

“It’s one of those things that’s always existed, and now it’s impacting our lives?” quipped fifth-year transfer and Syracuse native Tessa Queri. “Me and Meg Tyrrell were joking, like, on Tuesday during our game, we’re gonna be coughing up all the leftover dirt.”

Despite the change of venue (this game will be played outdoors at nearby Christian Brothers Academy), No. 4 Syracuse (11-3) will look to pick up an all-important win in ACC play against unranked Louisville (6-8).

Freshman attacker Olivia Adamson (#1, blue) rifles a pass against the Cornell defense
Freshman attacker Olivia Adamson (#1, blue) rifles a pass against the Cornell defense

The Orange currently sit in a three-way tie for second place with Duke and Boston College at 5-1, each team with just two games to play in their conference schedules. The Cardinals, for their part, sit at just 1-5 in conference play, only half a game ahead of Pittsburgh in the cellar.

But Syracuse knows it can’t afford to take anyone in this conference lightly.

“The ACC is by far the best lacrosse conference in the country,” head coach Kayla Treanor said. “I’m sure if Louisville were in a different conference, they’d have a lot more wins.”

Thanks to a 20-9 win over Cornell on Tuesday, lacrosse observers are beginning to get a clearer look at this Orange team without midseason All-Americans Emma Tyrrell and Megan Carney. What they’ve learned is that on a roster like Syracuse’s there’s always someone ready to step up when a star goes down with an injury.

Sophomore midfielder Natalie Smith has scored six goals in the team’s two games without Tyrrell—double her career output to that point.

“She’s an awesome player” fifth-year captain Sam Swart said of Smith, her fellow midfielder. “Last year we didn’t really get to see much of her, but now she’s really stepped up and played her role.”

It hasn’t just been Smith, though. Junior transfer Savannah Sweitzer has been thrust into a starting role on the attack, scoring a sensational behind-the-head goal against Cornell that was eerily reminiscent of Carney’s earlier in the season.

And a pair of freshmen lit up the stat sheet against the Big Red. Olivia Adamson, who has played consistent minutes all season, set career highs with five points and four assists. Meanwhile, classmate Payton Rowley played significant minutes for the first time in her college career and scored her first hat-trick.

“We were all recruited for a reason,” Swart said. “We all have the same skillset and it’s just a matter of time whether you’re ready to be put in or not.”

Even with all the aforementioned players rounding into form, however, there’s one player who is undoubtedly hotter than all the rest on the offensive end. Sixth-year attacker Emily Hawryschuk set career highs against Cornell in goals with seven and points with eleven.

And by scoring those seven goals, Hawryschuk also put herself exactly seven more away from the Syracuse career record—a record currently held by her head coach.

“I hope she passes it—we want her to score a lot of goals,” Treanor laughed. “I hope she passes it quickly.”

Opening draw against the Cardinals is scheduled for noon at Alibrandi Stadium. And whatever weather the day may bring, the Orange will press on. Those that can play will do so for the star players unable to suit up.

“They want to honor their teammates that can’t play right now,” Treanor said. “The best way to do that is to compete hard and try to win.”