Niskayuna’s Kayla Treanor doesn’t like to keep track of the numbers, and she’s even less concerned about the huge pile of accolades that continually come her way.
“There’s only one reason I’m playing,” said the high-scoring Syracuse sophomore attack/midfielder. “We want to win a national championship. Nobody thinks about those kinds of things while they’re playing. They just distract you. I’m focusing on winning and being a good teammate.”
Treanor’s nose for the net is one of the main reasons why 19-2 Syracuse is not only tied for the program record for victories in a season but also is making the Orange’s seventh appearance out of the last eight years in the NCAA women’s lacrosse tournament quarterfinals.
Syracuse hosts fellow Atlantic Athletic Conference foe Boston College Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Carrier Dome.
The 5-foot-9 Treanor has produced so many goals and points that it is indeed hard to keep track of them. And her list of hardware is growing by leaps and bounds.
With 71 goals and 34 assists, Treanor is second in the nation in goals and first in points (105), a mark that tied the Syracuse sophomore record currently shared with senior teammate Alyssa Murray, who produced that total in 2002.
She and Murray are both finalists for the Tewaaraton Award as the national player of the year. Treanor was also named the ACC Offensive Player of the Year.
“Sure, it’s an honor to even be considered for the Tewaaraton Award. It’s a very big honor,” Treanor said. “I’m very thankful and grateful to the Tewaaraton foundation. But we’re still focused on winning, and that’s all I care about.”
Classes ended last week at Syracuse, so Treanor, an education major, can devote all of her energy to the lacrosse field, where she makes scoring goals seem as easy as study hall.
When pressed, Treanor explained some of the reasons she is such an outstanding scorer.
“I would say the strength of my game is me being able to use both hands. I’m confident in both my left and my right. I don’t know the difference between the two,” she said. “I think my stick skills are the key for me. I think all great players have both aspects in their game, power and finesse. I’m trying to develop my skills in both, and I’m still working hard.
“I’m not that fast, so I play near the crease. I take my time with my shot, so I would say that accuracy is more important for me.”
Treanor credits her time at Niskayuna High School for developing her precocious game.
“Playing for Niskayuna prepared me a lot. We had a great coaching staff all the way up to the varsity,” she said. “Growing up, we always had a lot of talent on our team. We have Division I players at Johns Hopkins and Louisville, and my sister, Alyssa, is at Siena. I was very fortunate to play there, and I keep an eye on all of my former teammates. I’m really proud of having played there, and I’m very thankful.”
Upon graduating from Niskayuna, where she was the only three-time Section II All-American, Treanor also quickly fell in love with the Syracuse program and didn’t have to ponder her collegiate choice.
“The coaching staff at Syracuse is great. I wanted to play for coach [Gary] Gait. He’s exceptional. He knows the game better than anybody,” she said.
“I also wanted to be close to home so my parents could see me play. Ultimately, Syracuse was a great fit for me both academically and athletically.”
Treanor burst onto the scene as a freshman, scoring 71 goals and adding 24 assists for 95 points, second to Murray for the team lead. She was named a first-team All-Big East and All-Region selection.
“I was really lucky as a freshman. The coaching staff put a lot of trust in me, and that allowed me to play. I made some freshman mistakes, but the key was that they kept me in the game,” she said.
“I’m very thankful and very lucky to play for a coaching staff that believes in me. Now, me and my teammates are out to win a national championship.”