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Syracuse women's lacrosse seeks revenge in season-opener against Northwestern

Syracuse women's lacrosse celebrates a goal against North Carolina.
Syracuse women's lacrosse celebrates a goal against North Carolina.

If revenge was on the mind of the Orange, they couldn’t have asked for a better game to start the year. No. 5 Syracuse women’s lacrosse (0-0, 0-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) opens its season against No. 4 Northwestern (0-0, 0-0 Big Ten Conference) in a ranked match-up at 12 p.m. Saturday at home. Last year in the NCAA Tournament, the Wildcats dominated the Orange 15-4 in the quarterfinals, and Northwestern went on to lose in the semifinals of the tournament.

Now entering a new season both teams look to get off to a great start with a win against a familiar foe, they’ll play each other for the fourth time in three years.

This game is the first of seven ranked matchups the Orange will play this season, five of those games coming from other ACC opponents. Getting off to a fast start will be important for the Orange, as falling behind in this conference would be difficult to overcome. Luckily for them, they have several weapons returning.

Graduate student Meaghan Tyrrell returns to the team this year as she continues her career as one of the greatest players the program has ever seen. Last year’s Tewaaraton Award finalist, Tyrrell was named to the All-ACC Preseason Team as an attack. The Long Island native received this honor along with her sister Emma Tyrell, who is returning from a lower-body injury last season.

Both the Tyrrell sisters also made the IL Preseason All-America in the first and second teams respectively, they’ll be joined by three other teammates on the list. Senior Kate Mashewske takes the third team spot while graduate student Megan Carney and junior Katie Goodale were honorable mention. They create one of the deepest teams in the conference led by a Syracuse legend on the sideline.

The Orange’s head coach and all-time leading goal scorer Kayla Treanor enters her second year leading the team. Her debut campaign landed them an impressive 15-6 record while finishing the season top five in the nation as well as an impressive 9-1 home record. Treanor is the third head coach in the program's history, she’s only in her sophomore year but she already has the Orange in a serious contending position.

On the other side of the field is Northwestern, one of the most storied programs in women’s lacrosse history as they continue their consistency in the sport. Head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller once again has some major weapons at her disposal once again as she enters her 22nd year.

Graduate student Izzy Scane is returning from her season-long injury and will be accompanied by senior Erin Coykendall on the attack. Scane and Coykendall will welcome the highly coveted freshman Carli Fleisher to their attack front this season, Fleisher was the #1 recruit in the nation according to Inside Lacrosse.

Statistically, both teams are almost identical as both teams boast a top-15 offense in the country and parade multiple All-Americans on their rosters. Defense will be essential for the Orange as Northwestern leads the nation in draw control making their fast-paced offense difficult to stop. Goalkeeping could be the difference in this game for both teams. Northwestern welcomes grad student Molly Laliberty, a transfer from Tufts, that won IWLCA Division III Women's Goalie of the Year and could see significant time for the team. Kimber Hower returns for the Orange after starting 16 games the previous season and allowed just under 12 goals a game.

First draw starts at 12 p.m. in the JMA Wireless Dome.