Second Half Comeback Can’t Carry Lacrosse Past UNC

While many students returned home from the Heights for the long Easter weekend, No. 12 Boston College lacrosse (6-4, 1-3 Atlantic Coast) was hard at work, as BC welcomed in No. 3 North Carolina (8-2, 2-0) to the Newton Lacrosse Field on Saturday afternoon. To do so, the Eagles would have to use some of their homemade magic to upset the national Goliath, just like they did in their most recent game against Syracuse. But UNC got off to a fast start, and dominated the first half, forcing the Eagles to play catch-up for the whole game. A second-half surge fueled a big BC comeback, but despite its best efforts, the Eagles fell just short of upsetting UNC and lost by a score of 13-12. The loss was BC’s first at home this year and dropped the Eagles’ all-time record against UNC to 2-13.

The scoring began early on, as UNC’s Sammy Jo Tracy scored off of a pass from Aly Messinger five minutes into the game. But the Tar Heels didn’t sit back to wait for a BC rebuttal, and went on to net five more consecutive goals in the first 20 minutes of play. After falling behind 6-0, BC finally got on the board courtesy of Kenzie Kent’s first goal of the season, her first game for lacrosse after women’s hockey’s extended postseason. The Tar Heels and their juggernaut offense didn’t miss a beat, though, as Tracy and Kelly Devlin each scored to set the score to 8-1, the biggest deficit that BC would face all day.

But with just over three minutes left in the half, BC came alive. Kent would score another goal for the Eagles that would spark an offense that had been struggling up to that point. Kate Weeks would score 18 seconds later, and Caroline Margolis would notch her first goal of the game before the half ended, setting the score to 8-4 and giving BC a much-needed boost heading into the second half.

The second half was all BC. Margolis scored her second goal of the game two minutes into the half to extend BC’s scoring streak. Molly Hendrick would end the Eagle run with a UNC goal, but BC was firing on all cylinders. The two teams exchanged blows like boxers, with BC getting the better of the round. Mannelly and Brooke Troy would capitalize for the Eagles, each notching a goal to set the score at 9-7. UNC would score two more goals, only to be neutralized by two BC goals coming off of the stick of Tess Chandler.

Weeks would tack on another Eagle goal to make it a one-goal game at 11-10. But the Tar Heels would match pace with the Eagles for the rest of the game, ultimately winning 13-12. The early lead that UNC had established early on proved to be just enough of a buffer to get by the BC surge, and it handed the Eagles their first home loss of the season. The game was as close statistically as it was on the scoreboard, with the teams tying in most categories. UNC had narrow categorical advantages in draw controls and ground balls.

The loss drops the Eagles to 1-3 in ACC play, and with three conference games left to go in the season, the team will need to hold on to this toughness going forward, as its ACC schedule doesn’t get any easier. UNC’s offense showed just how dominant it can be as well, which will certainly be a focal point for the team going forward.

Featured Image by Lucas Xuan / Heights Staff

March 30, 2016

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