Spring, Lacrosse

BC Cruises Past Massachusetts Using Balanced Offensive Effort

Boston College lacrosse has two of the most dynamic attackers in the country in Kenzie Kent and Sam Apuzzo. Both are capable of taking over a game, as demonstrated in early season wins over Syracuse and Boston University. Thursday against Massachusetts, both once again played starring roles in the game, tallying four goals each.

But BC’s bout with the Minutemen also served as a reminder that the Eagles also have one of the deepest supporting casts in the country, and it’s these role players that are a big reason why BC is the No. 1 team in the country. Against the UMass, it wasn’t Kent or Apuzzo but Taylor Walker who got the scoring started for the Eagles after just 45 seconds, and goals started flying in from seemingly every player on the roster after that. Eleven different players got their name on the scoresheet, and BC cruised to its third straight win to open the season, beating its in-state foe, 25-14.

After Walker kicked off the scoring party, Kent doubled the Eagles’ lead just under two minutes later, before Sheila Reitano earned and converted a free-position attempt to give BC (3-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) a three-goal edge under four minutes into play.

Kent scored again before the Minutemen (1-1) finally woke up, as goals from Hannah Palau and Cassidy Doster cut the lead to 4-2, but the Eagles’ movement in the offensive end kept causing UMass’s defense problems. Perhaps slightly frustrated, the Minutemen started to foul, but that led to more free-position attempts for BC, and in the first half, the Eagles were nearly automatic on those.

Dempsey Arsenault found twine, Apuzzo also scored after a foul on Brooke McDaid, and Jordan Lappin added to the lead with a free-position shot of her own. All told, the Eagles found the net on four consecutive free-position attempts to start the game, and used their prolific shooting to build an 8-3 lead halfway through the first half.

UMass started to mount a rally. A turnover from Jenn Medjid and a successful clear led to a tally from Kiley Anderson, and Caitlyn Petro won the ensuing draw control to give the Minutemen to narrow a chance to narrow the BC lead to three. However, Haley Connaughton shot wide on the ensuing possession and Arsenault and Apuzzo made no mistake on the other end, extending the Eagles’ lead to 10-4. Anderson notched her second goal of the half with 9:51 to play to shrink the UMass deficit again, but that was as close as the Minutemen would get for the rest of the game.

Courtney Weeks found the net for her first collegiate goal before Reitano, Walker, Kent, and Cara Urbank also added to the first-half offensive onslaught, and the whistle blew for halftime with the Eagles holding a comfortable 15-8 edge. The comfortable lead gave BC a chance to work in some of the reserves, and it might have been expected that the Eagles offense would slow down, but BC proved more than capable of continuing to score.

Anderson got the second-half scoring started with her third goal of the day for the Minutemen, but it didn’t take long for the Eagles to respond. Kent logged her fourth of the day before Maggie Casey found twine for her first goal of the season, and Jenn Medjid, another BC freshman, scored the first two goals of her career, as the Eagles continued to batter the UMass goal. Apuzzo’s fourth score of the contest earned BC a commanding 24-12 advantage, and allowed Lauren Daly—who recorded five saves a game after stopping a career-high 12 shots against Syracuse—to take a seat for Abbey Ngai, who saw action for the second time in 2019.

The sophomore netminder helped lock down the Minutemen attack for the remainder of the game, as UMass recorded just one goal in the final 9:24 on a shot from Brinley Anderson with just over two minutes to play. In the meantime, Medjid capped BC’s scoring and polished off her hat trick, as the Eagles set the program’s single-game scoring record with 25 goals.
It was yet another dominant performance from BC, which finished the game with a 24-15 advantage in draw controls, a 47-27 edge in shots, and eight players with more than one goal to their name. After a brief scare against Syracuse last weekend, the Eagles once again looked the part against a UMass team that has made the NCAA Tournament eight of the past nine seasons. Thursday was a reminder that BC simply has an embarrassment of riches talent-wise, and slowing the Eagles down once they get going offensively is nearly impossible.

Featured Image by Bridget Clark / For The Heights

February 21, 2019