FIELD HOCKEY: Eagles Suffer First Loss
Published: Monday, September 9, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 9, 2013 00:09
Heading into its road matchup against UMass, the Boston College field hockey team looked to continue its perfect start to 2013.
The Eagles were fresh off coach Ainslee Lamb’s 100th career win. Yet even with an emotional high and a four-game winning streak, the Eagles began the game relatively flat in a loss to the Minutemen.
The Minutemen sprinted to an early two-goal lead, forcing the Eagles to play catch up all day.
BC field hockey lost 4-2 at UMass Amherst on Sunday, falling to 4-1 on the year. Ranked No. 14 in the country, UMass remains undefeated.
“We played a great 25 minutes in the second half but against a top program like UMass, it’s not going to be enough to win,” Lamb said. “That will be a critical step to get us back on track.”
Despite falling behind early, the Eagles fought back to tie the game at two goals a piece early in the second half. The Minutemen quickly squashed the comeback, however, scoring two goals to seal the victory.
BC’s inability on Sunday to play a complete game for an entire 70 minutes was uncharacteristic of a squad led by Lamb.
In spite of the loss, freshman Emily McCoy shined. With the Eagles down a goal and very much in the game, the rookie showed poise uncharacteristic of a freshman.
Off the penalty corner, McCoy controlled the ball in the circle and snuck it past UMass goaltender Sam Carlino. She is tied for the team lead with five goals.
Emma Plasteras also kept pace with McCoy on Sunday, scoring her fifth goal of the season. Just a few minutes after the intermission and down two goals to none, Plasteras found the back of the cage off of a deflection on a corner attempt. Her goal began BC’s scoring on the afternoon, preceding McCoy’s own score.
Yet the Minutemen quickly fired back with two goals of their own late in the second frame. An unassissted goal from Molly MacDonnell and a score from Brooke Sabia gave the home team a late two-goal edge.
With less than five minutes remaining and down 4-2, the Eagles made one last push to steal a victory on the road. Sophomore goalie Leah Settipane was pulled to give the Eagles strength in numbers and potentially a late-game push on the offensive end. Even with the man advantage, BC was unable to convert, gathering just three shots.
The Eagles managed to outshoot their opponents in the two-goal loss by a formidable six-goal margin, 24-18.
Yet BC was haunted by a lack of offensive execution all afternoon, a flaw uncharacteristic of its strong start to the season.
While the No. 19 Eagles are still in search of their coach’s 101st career win, Lamb did not take this out of conference loss lightly. If they want to make it back to the NCAA tournament this season, their best will be required against the top programs in the country.
The Eagles will have a couple of golden opportunities for redemption in the near future, with two of their next three games against ranked opponents.
Despite yesterday’s disappointing defeat, Lamb still saw the game as a learning experience and a chance for her squad to spark a new streak.
“We need to commit as a staff and team to make sure that we use this opportunity to get better so we can make the most of this loss.” n