Despite a hat trick from Sam Apuzzo in the first 15 minutes of Tuesday afternoon’s game against No. 8 Navy, second-ranked Boston College lacrosse was staring at a four-goal deficit midway through the half
It wasn’t the first time the Eagles (6-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) had trailed to the Midshipmen (3-1)—after all, they were behind, 9-6, after 30 minutes of play in the national semifinal a year ago, only to rally for 10 goals in the second half to secure their place in the championship game.
So it was almost fitting that BC would mount another comeback against a tough Navy team. Spearheaded by Apuzzo and Dempsey Arsenault, who set career highs in goals and assists, respectively, the Eagles rattled off seven-straight scoring plays to build a four-goal lead at the break. It held up in the second, as BC came away with a 20-14 win, its third against top-20 teams this season.
Apuzzo scored a program-record nine goals, breaking Kate Weeks’, BC ’17, previous mark of eight, and she added an assist in the victory, extending her comfortable lead atop the national points leaderboard. She scored in a dizzying variety of ways, including an important insurance goal down the stretch from the right side, leaping away from her defender and unleashing a shot to cap her scoring spree.
Meanwhile, Arsenault was enjoying an equally productive day, totaling nine points. After Apuzzo and Kaileen Hart scored to cut Navy’s early lead to just one, she netted a hat trick in a span of just over two minutes. Having already registered three assists in the early going, she added three more down to stretch to finish with six—four more than her previous best.
The impressive offensive performance from the duo was supplemented by two goals apiece from Emma Schurr and Tess Chandler. The former had a SportsCenter Top-10 quality finish in the second half, scoring behind her back with a goal that had Midshipmen goaltender Ingrid Boyum grasping at straws.
Yet even though Apuzzo tabbed two of the first three goals of the game, Navy was in control, early in the half. The Midshipmen built their early 7-4 lead on the strength of a diverse scoring attack, seeing five separate players record points on the first three goals. The Navy duo, consisting of twins Julia and Jenna Collins, netted a pair of hat tricks, as the sisters alternated scoring over a four-goal span to stretch the lead to three.
Then, with 13 minutes to go, Apuzzo opened the floodgates off an assist from Hart. The senior followed with a goal, then Arsenault scored her three more. After Brooke Troy and Elizabeth Miller scored for BC, the Midshipmen were suddenly trailing by four.
Navy would close the gap to just one with 10 minutes to go, but the Eagles veteran leadership was up to par, as Arsenault set up Chandler, and Apuzzo added another. After one more Midshipmen goal, Chandler scored, Apuzzo added two more to her career day, and freshman Jordan Lappin finished off Navy with just a second left on the clock.
Despite trailing early, it was an impressive effort from BC for a variety of reasons. The Eagles scored 20 goals against a top-10 team that had conceded just nine per game on the season, Apuzzo looked the part of the nation’s best offensive weapon, and Arsenault showcased a passing ability that will undoubtedly serve as a cause for concern for upcoming opponents. With three victories over top-20 foes, BC, by all accounts, should be an early favorite to return to the National Championship.
Featured Image by Lizzy Barrett / Heights Senior Staff