Megan Carney Opens Up About ACL Injury, Emily Hawryschuk's Leadership


Meg Carney couldn’t recall when she saw Emily Hawryschuk heading toward the Carrier Dome locker room, but she’ll always remember how she felt.

The Syracuse junior had made a cut — coming from the sideline, she went left, then right and tried to go left once again before her knee buckled. Carney wasn’t sure if she had dislocated or hyperextended her knee, but she knew the injury was significant.

Once she was helped off the field and her crying dissipated, Carney saw her teammate. She said it was either on the Carrier Dome Jumbotron or on the locker room television, but she saw images of Hawryschuk, the Syracuse star who had torn her ACL weeks earlier, heading to her side.

“It was reassuring seeing that she was coming and knowing she was there for me,” Carney said. “She held my hand the whole time when the doctor came in and told me everything was going to be OK.”

Syracuse’s worst fears were realized on April 22 in a battle with Boston College. Carney’s knee injury was a torn ACL, and with that, she was out for the remainder of the 2021, a promising one for the Orange.

Gary Gait’s team had already lost Hawryschuk, its leading scorer, and Vanessa Costantino, a fifth-year captain, to torn ACLs. Now Syracuse will be down another dynamic player in Carney, who had 69 points this season.

Carney, a Texas native, checked in with Sheehan Stanwick Burch on “The Stick Drop” this week following her ACL injury. She and teammate Meaghan Tyrrell joined Stanwick Burch to talk about their lacrosse journeys, but Carney took the time to provide an update on her last few days.

She told Stanwick Burch that she’ll be there this week to cheer on her Syracuse teammates at the ACC tournament in Chapel Hill while rehabbing her injured knee. Soon after this weekend, Carney said she will head back home to have surgery and begin her recovery. She hopes to return to the team for the final four.

Although Carney has not suffered an injury quite like this one, she said she might be able to draw from the experience of sitting out her freshman fall with a stress fracture in her back. She stood alongside Gait and learned the intricacies of the Syracuse offense, which helped her as she eased onto the field come spring of 2019.

Now a leader on her team, Carney will also use her voice from the sidelines — much in the same way as Hawryschuk, who has provided guidance during television timeouts and in team huddles this season.

“I just want to follow in the same footsteps as [Hawryschuk],” Carney said. “When I was playing, during a timeout, I come over to her and ask her, ‘What are you seeing? This isn’t working. Do you see this? What should we do?’ She was always there to help. I want to be there and help the offense with what I see and know, having played against teams earlier in the season.”

Carney’s season may be gone, but she’ll hope her Syracuse tam can make a run in the conference tournament, and later in the NCAA tournament. The Orange won their first game without Carney, taking down Boston College.

The message to Syracuse fans?

“We’re not done yet,” Carney said. “[Next season] is going to be better than ever and this season is going to be great.”

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