BC Splits Weekend, Defeating Stanford but Falling to Syracuse

After a disappointing drop in the rankings, No. 18 Boston College field hockey needed to snap its two-game losing streak in order to work its way back up. Facing the No. 1 and No. 14 teams back to back would be no easy task, but BC was up for the challenge.

On Saturday, the Eagles (2-3, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) faced the No.14 Stanford Cardinal (1-3) in Syracuse, N.Y. The majority of the first half was quiet, with both defenses shutting out their competition. With five shots on goal in just the first half, it looked like the Cardinal would be the first team to strike first. But BC kept its opponent quiet in order to go on an offensive push of its own. With 30 seconds left in the first half, the Eagles were awarded a penalty corner. The ball was inserted and a shot was fired at Kelsey Bing’s cage. Brittany Sheenan snagged the rebound and slipped it into the net to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead going into the half, despite Stanford outshooting the Eagles 7-5.

The Cardinal came back onto the field hungry for a goal. Six minutes into the second half, Caroline Beaudoin passed the ball to Sarah Hegleson, who tipped the ball in high from the far post in order to tie the game. The Eagles were not ready to let Stanford steal the game from them and within two minutes, regained the lead. Eryn McCoy fired the ball toward the goal, but it hit the post. Lucy Lytle was there and put the rebound past Bing.

Of course, the Eagles did not make things easy. BC committed a foul in the circle that, according to the ref, “blocked the probable scoring of a goal.” Because of this, the Cardinal was awarded a penalty stroke with 17 minutes remaining in the game. The captain, Fran Tew, stepped up to the penalty spot, just seven yards in front of Audra Hampsch. Tew flicked the ball into the net in order to tie the game.

Neither side was able to find the offensive momentum needed to finish out the half, sending the game into overtime tied at two. The Eagles needed to pull themselves together in order to win their first game against a ranked opponent.

Stanford tried to attack first, launching a shot at Hampsch, who saved her team from a golden-goal loss. Sheenan received the ball on a breakaway opportunity. After storming downfield, she rocketed a low shot on goal. The ball flew past Bing, signaling the end of the game and the start of a BC victory celebration.

There was less for the Eagles to celebrate the day prior, after a disappointing loss to the host team. No. 1 Syracuse (5-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) proved why it is the reigning NCAA champs by beating BC 3-1 in its home opener.

Playing such a tough opponent, the Eagles knew they had to strike first if they had any hope of beating the Orange. Just 12 minutes into the game, Sheenan scored a goal by tipping in McCoy’s shot as it crossed the line. This 1-0 edge did not last long. With 10 minutes left in the first half, Syracuse tied up the match after driving the ball into the circle and using a backhand strike to get past Hampsch. Tied at one at the half, the Eagles still had a chance to win a season-defining upset. The Orange, however, had other plans.

Five minutes into the second half, Annalena Ulbrich sent a long ball to Liz Sack, who scored to give Syracuse a 2-1 lead. The Eagles continued to fight, but to no avail. With less than five minutes remaining, Roos Weers passed to Elaine Cary on a breakaway. Cary put some insurance on her team’s lead in order to complete the comeback win and deny BC an upset to open up league play. After a 3-1 loss, the Eagles split the weekend, a small but significant step in working their way back up the rankings.

Featured Image by Drew Hoo / Heights Senior Staff

September 11, 2016