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May 27, 2021 — Inside the women’s lacrosse Final Four, part 2

SYRACUSE vs. NORTHWESTERN

The obvious: A matchup of not only two good teams, but a pair of genius coaches in Kelly Amonte-Hiller and Gary Gait, each of whom have had enormous influence on women’s lacrosse the last three decades

The not-so-obvious: A lot has been made about the injuries that Syracuse has suffered this year, but you have to credit the Orange for their “next woman up” mentality. It is certainly a measure of the depth of talent on the SU roster

Key players: SU: Meaghan Tyrrell, jr., f; Emma Tyrrell, so., f, Emma Ward, fr., f, Asa Goldstock, gr., g; NU: Izzy Scane, jr., f; Erin Coykendall, so., f; Lauren Gilbert., sr., c, Madison Doucette., jr., g

SU wins this game if: Northwestern is prevented from going on one of their patented goal-scoring streaks … Syracuse can get more than 60 percent of their goals with an assist … if Asa Goldstock has the game of her life

NU wins this game if: Izzy Scane goes off. Yeah, I think she’s that kind of transformative figure, even more than a Selena Lasota, a Hilary Bowen, a Shannon Smith. There’s a reason why she’s called “The Scane Train.”

The skinny: Syracuse has, for all of its excellence in recent years, has never won the Division I title, and its last appearance in the final was 2014 when the tournament was last held at Unitas Stadium … much has been made of the SU defense but can they hold up against not only Scane, but the rest of the Wildcats’ attack unit?

The unanswered questions: Can Goldstock steal a result for Syracuse? She has saved 45 percent of opposing shots this year, and I think she’s going to need more than that for a win today. But the bigger question is which coach is able to dictate the pace of play. Is this going to be a game where the first to 20 wins it?

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