Stringing Sticks: Thomson, Treanor to have special women’s lacrosse game Tuesday

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ALBANY A special reunion will happen on Tuesday when UAlbany travels to Syracuse University for a non-league women’s lacrosse game at the Carrier Dome.

That’s when Katie Thomson (formerly Rowan), a 2009 graduate of Syracuse and head coach of the Great Danes, brings her team to face the Orange and head coach Kayla Treanor, a 2016 Syracuse graduate. It will be the first time the two Capital District products oppose each other as head coaches.

Thomson, a Bethlehem graduate, led the nation in scoring her junior season with 142 points, on her way to totaling 396 points for her career on 232 goals and 164 assists. She ranks number one on Syracuse’s all-time list for career points and career assists. And the career goal mark? Well, Treanor has that with 260.

Thomson returned to Syracuse as an assistant coach for the second time before the 2013 season. She stayed for three seasons and got to see Treanor develop into a national star. It wasn’t the first time she’d coached her, however.

“I coached her in Empire State Games when she was still in high school,” Thomson said.

At Syracuse, though, it was clear the Orange had someone special.

“You knew from day one and seeing her work ethic,” Thomson said. “She’s always been so passionate about the game and wanting to learn more. She wanted to be a coach since the day he stepped on to the Syracuse campus.

“She’s a competitor and a really fabulous coach,” Thomson added. “I’m just so proud of what she’s done. She’s made such an impact playing professionally and for the U.S. team. We have a great relationship and we love catching up with one another.”

Thomson and Treanor were able to get together during the 2021 season, when UAlbany traveled to play eventual-national champion Boston College, where Treanor was in her last of four years as an assistant coach. She took over the Syracuse job from Gary Gait in June.

No matter the outcome Tuesday, it won’t be able to top when Thomson became the first women’s lacrosse player to have her jersey retired at Syracuse during a ceremony in February.

“Looking back on all my memories, Syracuse means so much to me. It’s really been overwhelming, my time at Syracuse,” Thomson said.

When the first whistle blows, naturally Thomson will feel differently. And it won’t be an easy task for UAlbany (5-6), which first has to play at UMBC on Saturday to try to stay unbeaten in America East. Syracuse is 11-3 and ranked fourth in the country in both national polls. Thomson said it’s a great opportunity for her team to play its hardest and grow from the experience.

“This is my job and my team at Albany, and of course once the game starts, I want to win. I have a very personal connection to Syracuse, but business first.”

BIG WEEKEND

Both the Union College and UAlbany men’s lacrosse teams have important games on Saturday. The Dutchmen make a short ride to RPI for yet another matchup of nationally ranked squads, as Union (2-1 Liberty League, 10-1 overall) is fourth in both national polls, while the Engineers (3-1, 9-2) are ranked 15th and 20th. More importantly, it’s a key game in the Liberty League, in which no team is undefeated and six of the eight schools have one or two losses. No one can quibble with Union’s overall strength of schedule, but it can’t afford to lose too many in its own league.

UAlbany (2-2 America East, 4-6 overall) will be glad it’s home to face league-leading Vermont (3-0, 6-6). The Great Danes, surely tired from their emotional win over Syracuse 39 hours earlier, took one on the chin to UMBC last Saturday and now sit in fourth place in the league standings. After facing the Catamounts, UAlbany will just have NJIT left in the conference, and three losses may be dicey for the America East semifinals, which start May 5.

AWARDS

Senior Keaton McCann of the nationally ranked Union College men’s lacrosse team was named the Liberty League’s Co-Offensive Performer of the Week. It was the second weekly award of his career after leading the Dutchmen with seven goals and eight points in two games against nationally ranked teams last week.

His second goal of the game was the go-ahead tally in Union’s 13-12 win over St. John Fisher. He followed that with a game-high five goals and six points in a 14-13 loss to RIT. McCann is closing in on 100 career goals. He enters Saturday’s game at nationally ranked RPI with 97, which ties him with teammate Hayden Frey and one other person for eighth place in school history.

Siena College fifth-year attack Nicole McNeely earned MAAC Offensive Player of the Week honors. She totaled 14 points on nine goals and five assists in a pair of games. McNeely also had six draw controls. She had three goals and one assist against Canisius, and followed that with a 10-point outing (six goals, four assists) in a win over Fairfield. She entered the week ranked ninth nationally in assists (29) and 16th nationally in points (62). McNeely is already the school’s all-time leader in career points, goals and assists.

Union College senior Grace Heiting was named the Liberty League Co-Offensive Performer of the Week for women’s lacrosse. Heiting tallied 11 goals to go with three assists, 17 draw controls, nine caused turnovers and four ground balls in two wins. Her nine points, on seven goals and two assists, against Clarkson were the most in a game by a Union player since 2016. She also had seven caused turnovers against the Golden Knights, and her goal and caused turnover totals are tied for the most by a Union player in a game since at least 2004.

SUNY Cobleskill sophomore Gregory Neumann was named the North Atlantic Conference’s Men’s Lacrosse Player of the Week. Neumann scored six goals, had five assists, scooped up 12 ground balls and caused a turnover in a 1-1 week for the Fighting Tigers. 

Russell Sage’s women’s lacrosse team had two players honored, as sophomore attack Grace Hines, a Guilderland High School graduate, and junior goalie Madeline Butta were named the Empire 8 Co-Player of the Week and Goalkeeper of the Week, respectively.

Hines scored a career-best seven goals on nine shots in a 13-3 win over Keuka. She ranks second in the conference with 3.3 goals per game. Butta saved a career-high 17 shots against Keuka.

RPI freshman women’s lacrosse player Lisa Boehmer was selected Liberty League Rookie of the Week. A midfielder, Boehmer score four goals and had three assists in a pair of league wins, including a three-goal, two-assist, four-ground ball and two-draw control outing against Vassar.

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Categories: College Sports, Siena College, Sports, UAlbany, Union College

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