Sports, Spring, Lacrosse

Apuzzo’s 10-Point Day Lifts Eagles to Resounding Win Over Dartmouth

It doesn’t seem to matter who is playing Boston College lacrosse—the No. 1 Eagles are still going to pile up goals. BC, led by the potent attacking duo of Sam Apuzzo and Kenzie Kent, is off to a fantastic start this season, and the matchup against Dartmouth on Wednesday afternoon was no different.

Apuzzo reached two career milestones, tying her record for most points in a single game with 10, while simultaneously tying the program all-time points record—Covie Stanwick’s total of 309—in a high scoring and exciting affair, in which the Eagles doubled up the visiting Big Green, 20-10.

Apuzzo would finish the day with eight goals and two assists, a dominant effort from the senior who is building off a prolific 2018 campaign where she nabbed the Tewaaraton Award. Kent, meanwhile, took a facilitator approach, scoring once and adding six assists in the win.

Dartmouth (1-3) scored first, jumping out to a 1-0 lead about five minutes into the game off of a free-position shot by Elizabeth Mastrio, but that’d be the last time it led. Five minutes later, the Eagles (5-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) would take the lead for good after scoring two goals in the span, as senior Taylor Walker put one in off a slick pass from Apuzzo before she added one of her own a minute later. Dartmouth played better in the first half overall, as it attempted more shots, picked up more ground balls, had fewer turnovers, and converted more of its clear attempts.

The real killer for the Big Green, however, was fouls, of which they committed six more than BC, leading to four of the Eagles’ goals. This undisciplined play allowed the hosts to jump out to a 9-3 lead with about 10 minutes left to play in the first half, which included a hat trick for Apuzzo. Dartmouth would come roaring back in the period, scoring three unanswered goals and cutting the lead to only three at halftime.

Despite the final score, the second half remained a close contest for nearly two-thirds of the period, until BC really turned it on. Early out of the break, though, Dartmouth managed to keep the score close. Yet it lacked the legs to keep up with the Eagles’ offense, which went on a 6-2 run out of the gate. With about 16 minutes left in the half, Apuzzo scored her seventh goal of the game on a great assist from Kent, who had a tremendous day of her own, totaling six assists and a goal. The Kent-Apuzzo connection will be crucial for the Eagles if they are to continue their dominance atop the national rankings.

The game started to slow with 10 minutes left, when both teams were unable to find the back of the net. They each managed to get a few shots on target, mostly from free-position shots, but a combination of quick reactions from the defense and great goaltending combined to cause a seven-minute scoreless streak.

BC goalie Abbey Ngai—making her first career start—did not have her best day, but she stepped up in important moments and made a few highlight saves, racking up 12 on the day. One came late in the second half when a Dartmouth attack found a clear lane to the goal and shot high to Ngai’s weak side, but was stoned by a great reaction save—one that led to a fastbreak opportunity for the Eagles.

The most significant goal of the game ended the long drought, as Apuzzo received a cross-net pass from Kenzie Kent, executed a great shot fake, and scored to tie the points record. This goal started a streak of three straight scoring plays for the Eagles that effectively finished the game, giving BC a double-digit victory.

Dartmouth played hard, but was simply overmatched by a more talented team. The Eagles, on the other hand, are clearly one of the favorites to return to the national title game, which they have lost the past two seasons, and finally take home the trophy. The comfortable win will likely come as a relief for head coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein and her team, too, as they prepare to embark on a perilous road of stiff competition.

BC’s next four games come against talented opponents in No. 17 Southern California, 2017 Final Four participant Navy, No. 5 Northwestern, and No. 18 Georgetown. It’s a murderers’ row of opposition, with all four teams having made splashes on the national scene the last few years. Still, if the dominant second half against Dartmouth—where the Eagles outscored their visitors, 11-4—or the fact that BC has cracked 20 goals in three of five games thus far is any indication, Walker-Weinstein should have no reason to fret.

Featured Image by Jonathan Ye / Heights Editor

February 27, 2019