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As Syracuse announced its starting lineup, the roughly 1000 fans in the Carrier Dome cheered on each player as they were announced. Then, Megan Carney and Emily Hawryschuk, both of whom tore their ACL last season, ran out of the tunnel and high-fived their players to receive an extra loud ovation.
Then Kayla Treanor’s name was announced, and the crowd erupted in support of Syracuse’s first-year head coach, who coached against Syracuse as an assistant at Boston College in last year’s national championship game. Treanor stood on the sidelines appearing calm, wearing a gray sweatshirt and a hat that covered any of her emotions, and she spoke to the players one last time before they took the field.
In Treanor’s first game as head coach and with preseason All-Americans Carney and Hawryschuk on the field once again, Syracuse (1-0) ousted Stanford (0-1) in the second half and won 12-9.
Syracuse immediately started passing the ball around Stanford’s compact defense, allowing the Orange enough time to pass the ball around on the outside. The ball fell to freshman Olivia Adamson’s stick 50 seconds into the game. Adamson took a shot from the right side of the net, and the ball went past Stanford goalkeeper Kara Rahaim to give SU a 1-0 lead.
When Emma Ward was injured, Treanor was forced to find someone to replace her. Treanor spoke to Adamson’s role on the team on Tuesday during the press conference.
“(Adamson) really took her game to another level in this preseason,” Treanor said. “Obviously with the absence of Emma Ward, someone else has to step up.”
Syracuse set the tone early, but it didn’t take long for Stanford to respond, and within two minutes, it put Syracuse’s new starting goalkeeper Delaney Sweitzer to the test after Caitlin Chicoski received a pass from Sarah Jaques right in front of the net and scored the quick equalizer.
One defensive possession later, Stanford’s offense kept Syracuse on its heels by constantly attacking the gaps, which forced SU’s Jenny Markey to body check Jay Browne. Browne shot the ball wide but Ashley Humphrey scooped it up behind the net and quickly found Jaques, who was once again in front of the net, for a goal. Humphrey similarly assisted Stanford’s third goal, this time finding Ailish Kelly to increase the Cardinal’s lead to 3-1.
But Syracuse quickly tied the game at 3. Sam Swart lined up around the midfield but Treanor motioned for Swart to go up to the attack line and play higher. Kate Mashewske won the draw and fittingly, Swart was up high in the middle of the offense.
She received a pass and quickly drew in Stanford defenders to find Carney, who scored her first goal of the night on the run. Then, Emma Tyrrell caught the ball at the top of the attack circle, jab-stepped right and then dodged left to make the score 3-3.
Still, the Syracuse defense looked flatfooted early on. Kelly scored her second goal of the night after a foul on Sierra Cockerille. Kelly’s back was facing the net but scored a behind-the-back goal to give Stanford the lead after the opening quarter.
Out of the break, Annabel Frist widened the lead for Stanford after Humphrey received an uncontested pass, and then she dished it to Frist who was right in front of Sweitzer and netted it to put the Cardinals up 5-3.
After Frist’s goal, Meaghan Tyrrell single-handedly generated Syracuse’s comeback. She quickly scored two goals within three minutes to tie the game up. On the first goal, Meaghan had the ball on the right side of Rahaim and the net after a long pass from her sister when she whizzed it past for an unassisted goal. The next was an unassisted goal, and Meaghan drew three defenders, spun around one and put it low and under the stick of Rahaim and into the back of the net to tie the game.
In her final goal of the second quarter with five minutes left in the quarter, Meaghan cut across the net and received a pass from her sister and sealed her hat trick and the lead. The lead didn’t last long, though, as Stanford had a free position attempt after a foul on Katie Goodale. Frist took advantage and netted her second goal of the night, leaving both teams tied going into halftime.
In the second half, Syracuse scored first to take a 7-6 lead off a goal from Emma and never looked back.
The Orange extended its lead to two goals after Meaghan received an extra pass from Cockerille on the right side. The Orange had also found its footing on defense with a goalkeeping change that brought in Kimber Hower, who Treanor planned to play in the second half prior to the game.
In the fourth quarter, Emma scooped up a loose ball at Syracuse’s 20-yard line and ran coast-to-coast. As she neared the goal, the Syracuse fans rose to their feet and watched a quick string of passes from Emma, Hawryschuk and Carney. Before Stanford could react, Meaghan caught Carney’s pass right in front of the net and earned her sixth goal of the night to go up 10-7.
Immediately after, a media timeout was called. Treanor huddled up with her group and encouraged her players to not let up after a successful defense-to-offense transition play.
Out of the timeout, Hawryshuck, who hadn’t played in a lacrosse game in a year and had struggled early due to Stanford’s aggressiveness towards her throughout the game, had a shot for a goal after she was fouled and earned a free position attempt. Hawryschuk wound up into motion with her stick back and fired the shot into the back of the net. Treanor smiled and pumped her fist in excitement after seeing Hawryschuk score her first goal after missing nearly all of 2021.
“For Emily it was obviously a big time goal for her,” Treanor said. “Just seeing (Hawryschuk) be able to play is amazing.”
With one more goal from Cockerille with six minutes left to put Syracuse up 12-7, Treanor once again pumped her fist as Syracuse had done enough to guarantee her first win as the program’s head coach.
“Ever since Coach Kayla came to Syracuse that’s kind of been on our minds — just get her first win as a head coach.” Meaghan said. “We were so proud not only of ourselves but of her.”
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