Sports, Spring, Lacrosse

Eagles Roll Past Harvard

It’s officially spring in Boston, but Wednesday sure didn’t feel like it-with a high of just 34 degrees and winds gusting up to 41 mph, it seemed like Old Man Winter was still in control. The Boston College women’s lacrosse team started its game against Harvard ice cold on both offense and defense, giving the Crimson a 3-0 lead before heating up and storming back to beat Harvard 13-9.

The Eagles ended the first half on an 8-0 run, leading 8-3 at the break. The Crimson outscored BC in the second half, 6-5, but it was a case of too little too late. Once the Eagles’ prolific scorers found their groove, the Harvard defense was powerless to stop them, as BC scored in a variety of ways to earn its eighth win of the year. Sarah Mannelly continued her recent run of strong performances, as she, along with Mikaela Rix, Brooke Blue, and Covie Stanwick paced the Eagles’ offense.

Mannelly broke through for the Eagles almost 12 minutes into the game and then went on to score three more times throughout the contest. Rix put away three goals of her own, as did Blue. It was Stanwick who led the Eagles in points, however, as she notched five points with two goals and three assists.

Offensively, BC dominated. The Eagles were able to get the 1-on-1 matchups they wanted, they were consistently able to find cutters out front, and their attackers behind the crease were able to create space and exploit it consistently. Harvard was unable to stop anything BC threw at it, and the Crimson’s frustration showed, as Harvard committed 32 fouls.

Harvard freshman standout Marisa Romeo was unstoppable, scoring four of Harvard’s six second-half goals. At one point in the second frame, Romeo deftly split two BC defenders at the top of the attacking area, stepped up, and effortlessly whipped a shot past Eagle goalie Emily Mata. Other than Romeo, however, the Crimson was largely shut down by a combination of the Eagles’ tireless defense and the stout play of Mata, who had five saves on the night. While Harvard outscored BC in the second half, most of its goals came when it looked as if BC had taken its foot off the pedal, the game already in hand.

The Eagles’ offense was less efficient than normal, as it turned the ball over 14 times. That, along with Harvard goalie Kelly Weis’ nine saves, robbed BC of even more scoring chances. The Eagles were also just 2-6 on free position shots.

As the second half opened, Harvard once again potted an early goal. Unlike the first half, however, BC put its foot on Harvard’s throat, scoring four of the next five goals to go in front 12-5. After that, it was clear BC had eased up, but was still clearly in control of the game.
One thing that remained consistent throughout the game was BC’s proficiency on the draw. The Eagles won 18 of 24 draws, keeping Harvard’s offensive opportunities to a minimum. The Crimson did what it could with the opportunities it had, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the high-flying Eagles offense on Wednesday night.

Between two games against top-five opponents (the Eagles play at Maryland on Saturday), an unexpected reprise of winter weather in March initially slowed down the Eagles. Once they got warmed up, though, there was no stopping them.

March 27, 2014