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Looking back on Syracuse women's athletics in 2022

Teisha Hyman (with basketball) takes up the basketball in a Syracuse women’s basketball game against Coppin State, with first year head coach Felisha Legette-Jack looking on.
Teisha Hyman (with basketball) takes up the basketball in a Syracuse women’s basketball game against Coppin State, with first year head coach Felisha Legette-Jack looking on.

Championships. Broken records. Familiar faces returning home. Those three simple phrases described 2022 for Syracuse Women’s Athletics. It was a year that flew by, and a year that featured plenty of accomplishments.

It began on South Campus, where Syracuse Ice Hockey made history once again. The Orange won their second College Hockey America Championship, earning an NCAA Tournament bid for the second time in program history. If you asked former captain Jessica DiGirolamo before ‘Cuse’s conference championship bout with Mercyhurst about her squad, you would be surprised by her answer.

“I think [watching the team play] for the whole Syracuse community and the student athletes,” DiGirolamo said. “Not many people even know we have a rink.”

Whether you know Tennity Ice Pavilion exists or not, the Orange made history. A conference title raised SU’s CHA banner and an appearance in the big dance.

After Paul Flanagan’s crew’s loss to Quinnipiac in the first round, the focus shifted towards the Dome, where Syracuse Women’s Lacrosse welcomed back Kayla Treanor, who has her number 21 retired at SU, as its head coach. Treanor’s goal was simple.

“My goal, in particular, is to bring a national championship back to Syracuse,” Treanor said in her introductory press conference back in the summer of 2021.

The Orange did not make it back to that point, after falling to Boston College in the National Championship in 2021. But, there were still amazing moments. ‘Cuse had seven wins against ranked opponents, three all-ACC first team members, and Emily Hawryschuk - who returned to the field after tearing her ACL a day before the second game of the season in 2021 - that became the all-time scorer in SU women’s lacrosse history.

Despite a quarterfinal loss at Northwestern in the NCAA Tournament, there was still plenty to be proud about. Fast forward to the fall season, and it featured even more achievements. Polina Shemanova became the all-time kills leader in Syracuse volleyball history. Plus, ‘Cuse Field Hockey saw Quirine Comans become a first team all-ACC member. SU women’s soccer finished 2022 with a winning record for the first time ever: 8-7-3.

After the Orange’s draw against NC State in the season finale, head coach Nicky Adams was full of emotion.

“Taking over this program has had some ups and downs,” Adams said. “But it’s really cool to see how the changes over the last three seasons have finally come together.”

Lastly, there’s Syracuse women’s hoops, who brought in a familiar face to lead the way: Felisha Legette-Jack, who played for the Orange from 1985-89. Coach Jack, as the team calls her, has had full belief of her now 11-4 right from the jump.

“This team is an NCAA team,” Legette-Jack said in her media day press conference, back in October. “If we can come together, I really believe we can be a force to be reckoned with.”

So far, it certainly has. ‘Cuse was 5-1 in the month of December, and has brought that momentum into 2023. So far, the Orange have snagged a win against ACC foe Pittsburgh and a two-point loss to No. 6 N.C. State.

Overall, 2022 was special. Fingers crossed for an even better 2023, one that continues this afternoon. Syracuse women’s hoops and Clemson face off from Littlejohn Coliseum at 2 p.m. on WAER. McClurg Team Countdown to Tipoff begins our coverage at 1:30 p.m.