With 13:40 left in the first half of Boston College lacrosse’s Tuesday afternoon game against Yale, the Bulldogs looked like they had seized momentum. Goals from Olivia Markert and Addie Zinsner had erased a 3-1 Eagles lead, and when the Bulldogs won the ensuing draw control, they had a chance to take the lead for the first time. One minute later, though, any thoughts Yale had of pulling off an upset of No. 1 BC had almost completely diminished.
Christina Walsh forced a turnover, which led to a Kenzie Kent goal that restored BC’s lead, before Cara Urbank and Taylor Walker scored in the span of six seconds. Just 74 seconds after the Bulldogs had knotted the game at three, the Eagles had claimed a 6-3 lead—one that they never relinquished, en route to a 15-10 win.
After Walker scored, Kate Taylor and Dempsey Arsenault continued the Eagles’ dominance, adding goals to give BC (16-0, 6-0) an 8-3 advantage. Add in scores from Sam Apuzzo, Maggie Casey, and Jordan Lappin in the first 15 minutes, and the Eagles’ first eight tallies came from eight different players—just the latest illustration of how deep BC’s attack runs.
Even more impressive, the Eagles did most of their offensive damage without Apuzzo, who went to the sideline early in the first half and didn’t play the rest of the way.
“She’s just taking a little break,” BC head coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein commented after the game. “She does everything for us all the time every day, so we’re just giving her a little break.”
Kent would tack on the final goal of the first half with a free-position attempt, and the Eagles closed the opening stanza on a 6-0 run. The defense, which looked slightly vulnerable in the early stages, turned up the intensity, forcing four Bulldogs (6-7, 1-4 Ivy League) turnovers while allowing just three Yale shots in that span. The defensive effort more than made up for a slightly subpar performance for BC in the draw circle. Entering the game, the Eagles had won 64.8 percent of draw controls, but only gained possession on 13-of-27 (48.1 percent) against Yale.
The second half began much the way the first ended. BC’s defense forced the Bulldogs’ Kenya Jones into a turnover, and Kent—who was one of three Eagles to record a hat trick—capitalized on the mistake with the first goal of the period. Kent would cap her hat trick moments later after yet another turnover, giving BC a 11-3 advantage.
Arsenault and Urbank kept the Eagles rolling with two more tallies, before Yale finally found its way back onto the scoreboard, thanks to an Izzy Nixon goal. The tally snapped a 10-0 scoring run for BC that spanned an impressive 22:43 of game action and showcased just how dominant the Eagles can be when they are fully locked in.
“We’re focusing a lot on fundamentals, hustle, and I think they just really locked in and got aggressive,” Walker-Weinstein said. “I was really proud of them.”
Nixon’s goal seemed to give the Bulldogs some offensive ideas. The duo of Arsenault and Urbank both ripped twine once more, but Yale finished the game by rattling off five consecutive goals—cutting a 15-5 Eagles lead to 15-10 by the time the horn sounded. Markert found the back of the net three more times to key the late surge, while Zinsner also scored twice. Abbey Ngai—who made eight saves on 15 shots faced—was taken out when BC still held a 15-7 lead, and replacement Lauren Daly played the last six minutes, conceding three times.
“We let our foot up off the gas, which is disappointing because unfortunately we lose momentum, we lose a little bit of sense of urgency, a little bit of pride when we do that,” Walker-Weinstein said. “It’s something we’re going to have to fix and focus on.”
The win—BC’s 16th straight to begin the season—took place in Alumni Stadium, which is a stage more befitting of a team that is within a Senior Day win over Louisville of a second consecutive undefeated regular season. The move comes at a good time for the Eagles, too—Senior Day against the Cardinals, as well as the ACC Tournament (which starts April 24) will all take place in Alumni. There are certainly things that can be improved, as the allowance of scoring surges against Virginia Tech and Yale have exploited some late-game flaws. Still, that 22-minute stretch of dominance against the Bulldogs also showed the Eagles still have a gear that fits the bigger stage, a gear that few, if any, other teams can match.
Featured Image by Bradley Smart / Heights Editor