The Bethlehem Connection

Rowan helped out in a big way her freshman season. She led Syracuse with 56 points on 46 goals and 10 assists as the Orange moved near the front of the Big East pack.

The final piece of the puzzle was bringing Quillinan to Syracuse. Quillinan had already proven to be one of the top goal scorers in high school, having accumulated 298 goals in her varsity career " 101 in her senior season alone. Given Quillinan's familiarity with Battaglino's offense and Rowan's abilities, it was natural to think she would pick up right where she left off when she graduated from Bethlehem in 2006.

"You try to put her in areas of the field where she feels comfortable (shooting the ball)," said Battaglino. "I had no doubt in my mind she could strike from certain areas of the field."

"He knows where Katie and I " and the rest of the girls " play best, and he puts us in those positions," said Quillinan.

It didn't take long for Quillinan to make an impact. She had three five-goal games and six hat tricks on her way to breaking Rowan's freshman record for goals.

Quillinan's presence also benefited Rowan, as she found herself being freed up for her own drives to the goal while opposing defenses struggled to stop Syracuse's high-octane offense.

"Last year at the beginning of the season, I saw my role as a passer (first)," said Rowan. "But after talking to the coaches, I realized I had to start going to the goal."

"Rowan has great skills," said Gait. "She's a great dodger and a strong shooter. She has a great awareness for the game."

The success has carried over to the first four games of this season. Rowan has 13 goals and 10 assists " including a season-opening 6-goal, 3-assist performance in a 24-3 victory over Canisius " and Quillinan has 13 goals. Those early performances have helped place Rowan and Quillinan on the Tewaaraton Trophy watch list for college lacrosse's highest honor.

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