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Lacrosse Opens Season With Win

For The Heights

Published: Sunday, February 19, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01

The No. 13 ranked Boston College women's lacrosse team (1-0) opened the 2012 season on a high note Friday night, defeating the Holy Cross Crusaders (0-2) 16-5 at Holy Cross Field.

Scoring came from a host of Eagles, with junior Brooke Blue and freshman Michaela Rix leading the way with four goals apiece. Graduate student Kristen Igoe, a 2011 first team All-American midfielder, picked right up where she left off, scoring three goals and assisting on another. Freshman attacker Covie Stanwick contributed in a big way, tallying six points (two goals, four assists) to lead all in scoring. Senior midfielders Sam Taylor (two goals) and Brittany Wilton (one goal) also added to the potent Eagles offense.

On the defensive end, senior goalie Catherine Conway stood tall in cage as she notched her first win. The keeper made five saves on 15 shots, and cleared the ball with 87.5 percent proficiency, including a perfect 7-for-7 on clearances in the second half.

The Eagles opened strong, with Rix and Wilton scoring within the first minute of play. Three minutes later Taylor added her first goal of the game, assisted on a nice feed by Stanwick.

Holy Cross's Taylor Zebrowski scored with 22:43 left to put the Crusaders on the board, but Blue answered with a goal of her own moments later to bring the game to 4-1. An Eagles penalty gave Holy Cross another opportunity, which they capitalized on to cut the lead to two, before BC returned with a 3-1 run to finish the half, posting a 7-3 lead going into the break.

Holy Cross came out firing in the second half, scoring twice to make it 7-5 with 22 minutes left in the game. This is the closest that the Crusaders would get, as Rix reignited the Eagles' side with a blistering shot to make it 8-5. A gritty groundball pickup by Taylor led to a Stanwick transition goal three minutes later, and suddenly the rout was on. Igoe, Taylor, Blue, Rix, and Stanwick all scored in the final 15 minutes, as the Eagles dominated the tempo and possession to seal a 16-5 victory in the season opener.

After the game, head coach Bowen Holden was quick to praise the efforts of her upperclassmen.

"Certain people stepped up and made big plays at certain times," Holden said. "Whether it was Brooke Blue diving for a ball out of bounds, or Igoe taking a big charge at midfield, those are the kind of plays we need all the time."

While upperclassmen like Igoe and Blue were essential to BC's early season victory, perhaps the biggest factor in the game was the performance put on by Rix and Stanwick. When asked about their contribution, Holden was pleased, but not surprised about their play, "They don't play like freshmen. They fit into their roles nicely and really contributed tonight".

Much of BC's success could be attributed to the fact that they dominated possession for much of the game. The Eagles won 16 of 22 draws, a feat that Holden said was a major priority for the team heading into this season.

"If you don't have the ball, you're not going to win the game," Holden said. "We really work on it a lot in practice, and it shows in games like tonight."

Holden was quick to credit assistant coach Acacia Walker with the Eagles' success at the draw circle. "She's the mastermind behind our success," Holden said. "It's a lot of extra work, but it pays off for us." The Eagles dominated in other possession stats as well, outshooting the Crusaders 37-15 and outworking them on groundballs 19-10.

Not all went well for the Eagles on Friday though, as Holden was frustrated with the team's slow start.

"Its tough to tell from the box score, but I don't think we played as well as we could have in the first 45 minutes" Holden said. "There were a lot of first-game jitters. We need to come to play from the start, not 45 minutes into the game."

With another big non-conference matchup looming this Tuesday at No. 12 Syracuse, where the Eagles will take on a formidable Orange squad, the coaching staff will be focusing on starting much faster.

"We'll be back to work on it tomorrow, we cannot afford to start this slow on Tuesday," Holden said.

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