The Sunday Slide: February 19, 2023


Nikki Mennella had five goals and three assists in Hofstra's upset win over Vanderbilt.

What a difference a year makes, both for Syracuse and — more specifically — goalie Delaney Sweitzer.

Sweitzer transferred in from USC last year and started five games, splitting time with Kimber Hower. In 13 games and just over 253 minutes, Sweitzer struggled, saving just 25.8 percent of shots.

Kayla Treanor showed a vote of confidence in Sweitzer after a strong fall, and the decision is paying dividends. She’s saving 48 percent of shots and has led Syracuse to massive early wins over Northwestern and Maryland. Credit to both Treanor and Sweitzer is due.

It’s somewhat ironic her turnaround was on full display against Maryland. Emily Sterling did a 180 of her own last year, becoming the nation’s top goalie after a very difficult 2021 season. She’s the backbone of a touted Terps defense that has yet to fully support the hype.

I’m not backing down just yet from my confidence in that Maryland defense. Cathy Reese told me in the fall that it would take time for the players to mesh, even if they’re all excellent individually. Reese knows her team (and lacrosse) better than most.

As always, thanks for reading The Sunday Slide. Hit me up with your comments (, and maybe I’ll include you in next week’s column. Only if you’re nice.


Don’t let Izzy Scane get angry. I have takeaways upon takeaways from Sunday’s game between Northwestern and Boston College, but I keep going back to Scane when figuring out how the Wildcats erased a halftime deficit to win 15-14.

Scane tied her own program record with 10 goals earlier in the week against Notre Dame, then she was met by a cement wall in BC’s defense. The Eagles held Scane without a goal in the first half, and she was visibly frustrated. She broke through in the second half with four goals, slamming her stick hard enough to make Rob Gronkowski cower in fear.

In my opinion, Northwestern looks like a top-three team right now, behind North Carolina and Syracuse.

Let’s keep it with this game for a second. Acacia Walker-Weinstein made a very interesting change with a couple minutes left in the third quarter, pulling Rachel Hall for highly regarded freshman Shea Dolce. Hall allowed 10 goals and saved six shots, while Dolce — getting her first impactful minutes of the young season — allowed five goals and made two saves. I’ve wondered since the fall how long it would take for Dolce to make a case to start. I’m not saying Sunday’s performance necessarily did the job, but it’s clear that Walker-Weinstein sees plenty in her talented freshman. This is a battle to watch.

Lehigh, I have a humble request. It’s been three games. Where are the SCTop10 goals? The Mountain Hawks were a SportsCenter staple in 2022. The volume of highlight-reel goals was just nutty. I can’t wait for more.

Mica Lambert called game in the fourth overtime, giving Delaware State a 13-12 win over Akron. Delaware State is 2-0 for the first time ever and has won two games in a row for just the second time since the program’s inception in 2013. But it’s incredibly unfortunate this overtime winner can’t be found anywhere to watch. We share viral highlights and game-winning goals every weekend on Twitter and Instagram (@usalacrossemag). Lambert’s surely would have been one of them.

Two of my favorite, seemingly mundane moments from 2022 were Michelle Tumolo’s first win as Army’s head coach and then her reaction to beating Navy. Tumolo wears her heart on her sleeve and genuinely cares, as she told Charlotte Varnes after her first W. The Black Knights continued to make Tumolo proud this week, beating Jacksonville 12-10 for their highest-ranked win in program history. Lacey Bartholomay stood on her head with 19 saves.

I was very impressed by Johns Hopkins’ grittiness in a 12-10 loss to Loyola. Yes, Loyola is still figuring out some things on offense, but the talent is there. The Greyhounds entered as clear favorites, but the Jays gave them a game. Maeve Barker (four goals) and Ava Angello (two goals, one assist) were huge.

It’s always nice to hear from Stephen Gorchov, Hofstra’s associate director of athletics for communications. He’s been in the business for a long time, and he has a good news sense. (He’s also always supremely helpful and accommodating of any request.) He emailed me Saturday to make sure Nikki Mennella’s performance was on my radar. She had five goals and three assists in an 11-8 upset win over Vanderbilt. Her eight points were the most by a Hofstra player in a win over a ranked opponent since Alyssa Parrella had seven points against Towson in April 2017.

The celebration after Lindenwood earned its first Division I win was awesome. High-level sports reactions can sometimes feel performative, especially in the media-saturated age we live in. But Lindenwood’s reaction was so genuine. I especially loved the coach’s kids getting involved.

Pitt was the first ACC team to ever play a game at Binghamton’s Bearcat Sports Complex, and Binghamton welcomed them graciously by scoring the game’s final six goals to win 11-5. It’s always fun seeing non-Power 5 teams getting the edge on big athletic departments.


4 • Beth Ann Mayer will have more on this inspiring story early this week. Special shoutout to Elon’s Sammy Fisher, a survivor of the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas (Fl.) High School shooting, for scoring four goals during a game in which Elon honored the victims of the tragedy. Thanks to Miles McQuiggan, another all-time great sports information pro, for sharing the story.

11 • Meaghan Tyrrell beat whichever defender Maryland threw at her on Friday, dropping six goals and five assists for 11 points. What a performance.

18 • Games against Denver simply aren’t going to be fun for opposing offenses. The Pios have allowed just 18 goals in their 3-0 start, but the defense can’t do all the work for long. Denver’s scored just 27 goals, winning two one-goal games.

50 • The Virginia offense has totaled 50 goals in a 3-0 start, including 34 combined in wins over Stanford and Princeton. Rachel Clark had another six goals against the Tigers, giving her 13 on the year. Virginia has been tough to pin down the past few years, but the Hoos look stellar so far.

90 • Molly Laliberty has been a target for opposing shooters in her first three games as Northwestern’s goalie. She’s seen 90 shots and made 28 saves (41.8 percent), a more-than-respectful number when you consider her first three tests as a Division I goalie came against Syracuse, Notre Dame and Boston College.

646 • Jenner Watch is over after just one week. Maddie Jenner’s 18 draw wins against Gardner-Webb in Sunday’s 24-1 win give her 646 for her career, meaning she’s now NCAA Division I’s all-time leader. I spoke with Jenner a couple times in the last month for our “Give & Go” feature in the March edition of USA Lacrosse Magazine. Super smart, super insightful and clearly super talented.


Thanks to Susan for the email after last week’s inaugural column. Commenting on my Clemson shout out, she let me know that Clemson went all-out for its first women’s lacrosse game and was also an incredible host. The Tigers included Wofford in their opening day photo and printed out the keepsake for fans to take home at the end of the game. Now that’s class.


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