As the whistle blew at the end of the first half of play, No. 13 Boston College lacrosse was clinging tightly to its three-goal lead over No. 15 Southern California. A series of runs and draw controls by the Trojans had kept the Eagles on their toes in the first half, despite their unbroken lead from start to finish.
This tension continued throughout the entirety of the game until Charlotte North had a free-position chance with just under two minutes left in the game. She ripped a low shot that rebounded off USC goaltender Riley Hertford to freshman Belle Smith, who quickly deposited the ball in the back of the net to secure the Eagles’ victory.
In a top-15 matchup, BC (2-0), led by North and Cara Urbank, who put up her 100th career goal only six minutes into the game, recorded a 14-8 victory over USC. Coming off a painful loss to the Trojans last season, the Eagles wasted no time in putting points on the board.
Junior Jenn Medjid scored on the Eagles’ first offensive opportunity, giving the Eagles an immediate lead that would stay with them throughout the remainder of the game. BC went on an offensive hot streak, logging four goals before USC found the net once.
The Trojans broke BC’s streak when they found their footing and brought themselves back into the game with three unanswered goals, bringing the score to 6-4. Despite its slow start, USC dominated the draw controls in the first half, winning twice as many as BC. The Trojans’ control of the draw controls allowed USC to interrupt the Eagles’ momentum and put up points of its own. The half finished with a behind-the-back goal from North, bumping up the Eagles’ lead to three as they headed into the locker room.
It was really in the second half that the Eagles started to assert their dominance over the Trojans, though. Urbank quickly logged a goal, giving her a hat trick to start off the half.
Despite USC’s hard-nosed defense, North racked up four total goals, while Medjid and Cassidy Weeks both added two. Smith, Annie Walsh, and Caitlynn Mossman each netted one goal, giving the Eagles seven different goal scorers for the day.
The true differentiator between the first and second half of the game was BC’s ability to adjust its draw controls in order to retain possession of the ball. While the Eagles only came up with four draw controls in the first half, they came back in the second to win seven of the 12. With a game as intense as Friday’s, each draw control win was essential for BC to hold onto its lead.
Even with an increased number of draw controls, BC would have faced a much tighter game had it not been for goalie Rachel Hall. Hall acted as a brick wall in net, recording seven saves on the day. Her saves came from all over the field—everything from crease rolls to free-position shots. She provided the Eagles with the defensive security needed when facing a quick, aggressive team such as USC.
Despite the back-and-forth nature of Friday’s matchup, BC’s intense offensive pressure gave the Eagles the edge they needed to secure their second victory of the season.
Featured Image Courtesy of BC Athletics