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No. 2 Syracuse women’s lacrosse battles No. 3 Boston College in National Semifinals

Syracuse women's lacrosse practices in Cary, NC, ahead of its Final Four matchup with Boston College.
Syracuse women's lacrosse practices in Cary, NC, ahead of its Final Four matchup with Boston College.

Cary, NC – Second-ranked Syracuse women’s lacrosse is two wins away from its first title in program history. But, as all the great teams have done before, to reach the mount, the Orange have to go through the team that has stood in their way for the last handful of years, third-ranked Boston College.

BC took down SU 16-10 in the 2021 national championship game held in Maryland after the Orange had eliminated the Eagles from the ACC Tournament a few weeks prior. On that coaching staff for the eventual champions is current Syracuse head coach Kayla Treanor. The 2021 national championship game was the final as head coach of the women’s team for Gary Gait before he was hired to coach the men’s squad, which led to Treanor’s hiring on the women’s team.

To get back to the Final Four for the second time in three seasons, Syracuse stampeded through Johns Hopkins and number seven James Madison, to clinch the program’s fourth trip to the state of North Carolina in a little over two months.

“We’re super excited moving on to a Final Four, which is a destination we wanted to be all year,” Treanor said after the SU’s 13-7 win over JMU last Thursday. “I thought it was a great game. In particular, our defense was outstanding today, probably their best game of the year.”

Syracuse brings a lot of experience to the Final Four. In 2021, Meaghan Tyrrell, Emma Tyrrell, Emma Ward, and Sierra Cockerille, all scored against Boston College in the title game, and all are major factors on this year’s squad. Plus, players like Jenny Markey and Maddy Baxter have gained valuable experience in their two years since that championship matchup as well.

But, someone who did not play in the 2021 title game was Megan Carney, who suffered a torn ACL in April of 2021 before the Orange’s run through the NCAA Tournament. Carney watched from the sidelines as her teammates came so close to the first championship in program history. Then, in 2022 she returned from injury but still was not herself. But, in 2023, in her fifth season of college lacrosse, she’s back to where she was pre-injury and hoping to bring home a trophy.

“It would be so awesome,” Carney told earlier this week. “It’s a dream you chase when you’re a kid. But I do believe we can get it this year, which makes it even more fun and more special.”

Carney and Meaghan Tyrrell each returned for a fifth season to chase that elusive national championship, but now have to go through one of their biggest conference rivals to do so. The only loss Syracuse suffered in the regular season was in its finale, at home (at SU Soccer Stadium), 17-16 to Boston College.

“It certainly fuels the team,” Treanor said earlier this week. “I think it gives them a level of respect for their opponent knowing that it was such a great game last time. I think the girls are excited to get a rematch against these guys and just know that it’s gonna be a really great game.”