Syracuse women’s lacrosse boasts strong roster heading into 2021 season
SU women's lacrosse boasts strong 2021 roster
Last season, the Syracuse women’s lacrosse team went on a 7-1 tear at the beginning of the year, winning six in a row before COVID-19 forced the remainder of their scheduled games to be canceled. Now, the Orange boast two of the top players in the nation and nearly all of their roster from last season, so expectations are high entering the 2021 season.
Syracuse will enter the season with a stacked roster. The Orange return all but one player from last season, keeping the nation’s top-ranked defense intact. Goalie Asa Goldstock, who had the lowest goals-against average (7.07) last season, will return to defend Syracuse’s crease.
Both Emily Hawryschuk and Sarah Cooper will also return for the Orange. Both players were named to US Lacrosse Magazine’s Preseason All-America Team in December. Hawryschuk finished last season second national in goals (39) and fifth in points (46), while scoring five or more goals in five of eight games and seven or more points on three occasions. She’s taking advantage of the NCAA’s extended eligibility to athletes whose seasons were impacted by COVID-19.
Hawryschuk enters the season on the heels of a Team USA tryout. Earlier this year, she was one of 50 players invited to official tryouts for the team that will represent the country at the 2021 World Lacrosse Women’s World Championship.
Cooper’s 12 caused turnovers helped solidify Syracuse’s defense as the best in the nation, a group that only allowed an average of 7.00 goals-against in 2020. In 2019, she was ACC Freshman of the Year and earned a spot on Inside Lacrosse’s Media All-America Second Team in the previous two seasons.
Both players are also featured on Inside Lacrosse’s 2021 Top 50 Men’s and Women’s Players in College Lacrosse. Hawryschuk is ranked No. 2 and is the highest-ranked women’s player on the list after being named Clutch Player of the Year and a first-team All-American last season. Cooper rounds out the list at No. 38.
Even with last year’s roster maintaining mostly intact, the Orange also brought on eight freshmen, including three recruits ranked in the Top 40. Olivia Adamson, who committed to Syracuse in eighth grade, and Payton Rowley will join Syracuse at attack, and Ashley Peck is the only new Syracuse midfielder in Inside Lacrosse’s rankings.
The only loss of the 2020 season came at the hands of a ranked Stony Brook team, who edged out the Orange 17-16. This season, Syracuse will face the Seawolves in their home opener, hosting Stony Brook at the Dome on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 10 a.m. Prior to their matchup against the Seawolves, the Orange will open the season on the road against Loyola, and will take on Georgetown in Washington, D.C. before heading back home.
The Orange sit at the top of multiple rankings heading into this season. Inside Lacrosse’s Preseason Rankings placed Syracuse at No. 3 and were ranked No. 4 in the Nike/US Lacrosse preseason poll in early January.
Despite the high rankings, the Orange will have their hands full with a stacked schedule against ACC opponents, one of the toughest conferences in college lacrosse. Out of eleven opponents, eight are ranked in the 20-team Inside Lacrosse ranking. Across several rankings, the ACC had the most teams of any conference nationally.
Syracuse’s first opponent, Loyola, is ranked No. 5 in the Inside Lacrosse ranking, but comes in ahead of the Orange at No. 3 in Nike/US Lacrosse’s poll. SU’s toughest opponents will come against No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 1 North Carolina. Syracuse will play the Fighting Irish in a home double header on March 11 and 14 before traveling to UNC on April 3.
Syracuse’s roster will be put to the test in their first game when they play Loyola on Saturday, Feb. 20 at noon.