Notre Dame Hands Lacrosse First Loss of Season

On a cool Sunday afternoon at the Loftus Sports Center, Boston College lacrosse fell out of rhythm and failed to get anything going against the University of Notre Dame. The No. 11 Eagles (2-1, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) went into the weekend with momentum after starting the season with a 2-0 record. Having beaten both BU and Holy Cross soundly, BC seemed to have all cylinders firing as it entered South Bend, Ind. But it was No. 9 Notre Dame (3-0, 1-0) that had all of the momentum, striking quickly and frequently, ultimately handing BC its first loss of the season by a score of 14-4. The loss leaves BC with a 3-7 record all time against Notre Dame, and snaps BC’s three-game win streak against the Fighting Irish.

The outcome was never in much doubt, as Notre Dame showed how tough ACC play can be by neutralizing the BC offense. Unlike the Eagles, the Irish took advantage of every offensive opportunity that came their way. This led to a statistical thumping, as the Eagles were outmatched in a variety of ways.

The scoring began 1:20 into the game, when BC’s Caroline Margolis notched her sixth goal of the season. Notre Dame struck back quickly, tying the game a mere 22 seconds later. Mary Kate O’Neill scored BC’s second goal shortly afterward and gave the Eagles the lead. It’d be the last one they’d have all day.

After the goal, the floodgates opened on BC’s defense, as the Irish responded with a vicious 10-0 run that extended into the second half. Cortney Fortunato began the streak for Notre Dame with the first of her five goals coming three minutes after O’Neill gave the Eagles the lead. Notre Dame opened up a 7-2 lead at halftime, thanks in part to three goals that came in the last minute of the period.

Kate Weeks broke the Irish scoring streak 12 minutes into the seconds half with her third goal of the season. The damage, however, had already been done, and Notre Dame scored three more goals before Kayla O’Connor scored her fourth goal of the season with only just over a minute left in this lopsided game.

Notre Dame dominated in every statistical category, outpacing BC with more shots on net, groundballs won, converted free position shots, and saves. This came all in addition to winning the turnover battle, as Notre Dame turned the ball over 17 times to BC’s 19. Penalties also plagued BC, as the team compiled one green card for delay of game and three yellow cards. Notre Dame, on the other hand, committed no penalties throughout the game. In terms of production, no one contributed more than Notre Dame junior attack Fortunato, who scored five goals and had seven total points. For BC, four different Eagles scored unassisted goals. Three of the four goals came off of free position shots, while Weeks’ goal near the end of the game was a clean, unassisted shot.

While losing is neither fun nor easy, the Eagles can use this loss as a learning experience and grow as a team. Notre Dame was BC’s first real test against ACC competition, and with the rest of the ACC slate coming up, BC should now know what to expect. While it is too early for BC to be concerned with its conference ranking, its coming games will be more telling of what direction this team will go in as the tournament season approaches.

Featured Image by Grace Tourvill / The Observer

February 21, 2016