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Syracuse women’s lacrosse will put its offseason progress to the test with its “play day” on Sept. 25. Syracuse will host UAlbany, Villanova and Army — all of which are coached by former Syracuse lacrosse players — in a round-robin tournament with quick exhibition-style matches. The coaches will gauge their players’ performances before the fall season begins.
Former SU women’s lacrosse player Kayla Treanor, who was named the team’s new head coach in June, will also get her first chance to coach the team in a game-like situation against other teams.
“It’s been really exciting and just amazing to be back at Syracuse with this incredible group of girls,” Treanor said earlier today when asked about her first three months of coaching at SU.
Here are three important offseason factors for Syracuse women’s lacrosse:
Building a culture
In her adjustment from an assistant coach at Boston College to head coach at Syracuse, Treanor says it hasn’t been a “huge transition,” but she is prepared for more challenges and pressure as the season progresses. To help her start, Treanor has been able to rely on her assistant coaches to help guide the program to where she wants it to be.
Even as the head coach, Treanor is still balancing her own playing career. Later this fall, she plans to play in scrimmages with Team USA women’s lacrosse. Her players look up to her because she’s proven herself as one of the best, they said.
“She’s one of the best players in the world,” midfielder Sam Swart said. “Being coached by her is definitely like I’m fangirling sometimes. She knows her stuff.”
So far, the team has mainly been focusing on resetting after last season’s loss to Boston College in the NCAA Championship game. The team has worked on the basics and fundamentals so that everyone on the team is on the same page. Along with the new players and coaches, the Orange have added new plays and schemes to prepare for the upcoming season.
Even though the team made it deep into the tournament last season, Swart emphasized focus as a way to win games this season under Treanor.
“We need more focus,” Swart said. “Coach Kayla is definitely bringing more focus, and that’s what we need to win.”
New faces are matched with experience
The Orange brought in seven freshmen to a team that made it to the national championship title game last season, but they lost multiple key players which forced the team to adjust. However, the Orange return 22 experienced upperclassmen, including Meaghan Tyrrell, the third-leading scorer in the NCAA last season who looks to lead the team as a senior. Tyrrell said she has worked on a lot of the basics of the game during the offseason to elevate her game. She has also been a mentor to some of the newer players, and she has included them in her workouts by giving them advice.
“[I’m] just trying to make everyone on the field on offense better,” Tyrrell said.
For the team in general, one of the focuses has been acclimating the freshmen before the season starts. With several roles to fill from last season such as Morgan Widner’s and Asa Goldstock’s, there will be opportunities for players who weren’t on the field last season to contribute early.
Syracuse also had goalie Kimber Hower join the team this offseason after transferring from from North Carolina.
“There’s a lot of talent, a lot of fresh faces, and a lot of older faces too,” Treanor said. “The special thing is that they’re all really good people and want to play hard and compete.”
Last season, Megan Carney and Emily Hawryschuk were both sidelined due to ACL tears. Carney and Hawryschuk combined for 30% of SU’s scores in the prior two seasons, so the 2021 team had to adjust.
The team shifted gears under now-men’s lacrosse head coach Gary Gait to advance to the NCAA championship. But with Carney and Hawryschuk back this season, it will give the Orange added depth and experience.
While no timetable was given on Carney’s and Hawryschuk’s returns, if all goes well, they are expected to be back this spring. Treanor said the two have been working relentlessly while also taking their time to make sure they are at their best for when the spring season comes around.
Treanor said that the two have “a lot of support” from Syracuse University and the athletic staff.
“They’ll get there,” Treanor said on their return. “They’re great kids and they’ll do great … and they’ll come back healthy.”
The post An early look into the SU women’s lacrosse program before 2021 fall season appeared first on The Daily Orange.