Sarah Mannelly’s Hat Trick Boosts Eagles Past UMass

On a chilly Wednesday afternoon, Boston College lacrosse finally had the moment that it has been waiting for. Having played the first four games of its schedule as the away team, BC finally got the opportunity to play at home. The Eagles weren’t going to let this opportunity go to waste, especially with in-state rival UMass Amherst (4-1, 0-0 A-10) as their opponent.

Coming off two tough ACC losses to Louisville and Notre Dame, BC (3-2, 0-2 Atlantic Coast) looked to get back to its winning ways at the Newton Campus Lacrosse Field. Despite a sluggish start and falling behind early, the Eagles demonstrated great composure and came back to hold off the Minutemen, 9-8. The win set the all-time record between the two schools at 7-4, and ended a two-game losing streak against UMass.

The scoring began just 16 seconds into the game, with UMass drawing first blood. The goals poured in for the Minutemen as they opened up a 3-0 lead just 10 minutes into the game. The BC response came shortly after, starting with a Kate Weeks goal coming a minute after the third UMass goal. Along with a Sam Apuzzo goal and Weeks’ second goal of the game, the Eagles reset the score at 3-3. UMass reclaimed the lead with two goals that were four minutes apart to make the score 5-3. BC would show great resilience, scoring 24 seconds later. Kayla O’Connor’s goal started that longest scoring streak of the game, as BC would add on three more goals en route to amounting its biggest lead of the game at 7-5 with four minutes left in the half. UMass, however, would end BC’s streak with a goal, leading to a halftime score of 7-6.

The second half featured less scoring, but that didn’t lower any tension that existed on the field. UMass and BC would exchange goals blow-for-blow with two second-half scores each, starting with Sarah Mannelly’s third goal of the game. But the score would remain deadlocked at 9-8 for the rest of the game, as the Eagles’ offense managed to hold onto the ball for most of the last five minutes of the game in the UMass defensive zone.

The only point at which the Eagles did not maintain possession was with 16 seconds left in the game, after they turned the ball over. UMass couldn’t convert on the last-chance opportunity to tie the game, and BC came away with the win. But head coach Acacia Walker lamented her team’s inability to play a full game.

“We’re playing good lacrosse for 40 minutes, and then I think the 20 minutes is where we know we’re not pulling away and we’re making too many mistakes,” Walker said. “But we’ll get there, it’s early in the season, and the girls are responding.”

The win gives the Eagles momentum as they head into March. With a couple of non-conference games ahead of it, look for BC to refine its style of play and to finish two full halves.

Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor

March 2, 2016

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