Cathy Reese aims to put together a challenging nonconference schedule every year and 2023 is no different. This year’s Maryland women’s lacrosse squad — with 13 new players — has perhaps its toughest regular season matchup on Friday as No. 2 Maryland plays on the road at No. 4 Syracuse.

Reese is no stranger to Syracuse — the two former conference foes share a long and intertwined history that features high-leverage games.

Of the 17 contests against Syracuse since Reese became Maryland’s coach, four were Final Four games and another came in the 2014 National Championship, which ended in a 15-12 Terps victory.

Despite changes in the Orange’s coaching staff since the last matchup in 2020, it still boasts an impressive roster that will give Maryland trouble.

In those 17 meetings, Syracuse was coached by Gary Gait, but he switched to coach Syracuse’s men’s team last year. His replacement was Kayla Treanor, one of the best players he coached.

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Treanor graduated from Syracuse in 2016 as one of the most decorated players in NCAA history. She has a similarly talented player in star attacker and 2023 Tewaaraton Award favorite, Meaghan Tyrrell, who is in striking distance of becoming the Orange’s all-time points leader.

“Their offense is tough,” Reese said. “You can see a lot of their players are very dynamic and multi-dimensional. They can feed, they can score, they can dodge, they can do all sorts of things, which is just like [Treanor] was as a player too.”

Nobody has found the recipe for stopping Tyrrell, who led her team in both goals and assists last season. She is the only 2022 Tewaaraton finalist playing again this season.

Tyrrell also has ties to the Terps. Maryland graduate defender Maddie Sanchez played with Tyrrell on their club team, the Long Island Yellow Jackets.

“We grew up together, we actually played on the same club team our whole lives, so I kind of just knew her from there, and we were actually great friends,” Sanchez said. “She’s always in the right spot or making the right move … she handles pressure really well.”

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The Terps’ challenge of stopping Tyrrell could get even tougher with the potential absence of the Terps’ All-American defender Marge Donovan. But Reese’s squad boasts a deep defense that may help it continue its success against the Orange — Maryland has won 23 of the 25 matchups.

Reese said she’s looking forward to making the Maryland-Syracuse game an annual one once again. But for now, all eyes are on the top-five matchup on Friday between two teams with an extensive history.