Little has been able to stop Boston College lacrosse’s high-octane offense this year. Coming into Thursday’s clash against No. 4 Notre Dame, the No. 5 Eagles were the third-most prolific scoring offense in the country with over 17 goals per game.
Cold conditions, whipping rain, and the second-best scoring defense in the ACC posed a potential new obstacle for BC (10-1, 6-1 Atlantic Coast), but the Eagles’ attack fought through the challenges to claim a decisive 19-11 victory over Notre Dame (6-4, 3-4). BC started strong and ended strong, constantly pressuring Notre Dame’s defense and never allowing the Irish room to take a breath.
It was clear within the first five minutes of the matchup that BC had every intention of stealing the No. 4 spot right out from under the Irish. The Eagles made quick connections on offense, forced turnovers through well-timed checks and pressure, and dominated the draw controls.
In the first five possessions of the game, Courtney Weeks and Cara Urbank each scored two goals while Belle Smith added one, giving the Eagles an early five-goal lead.
Despite an impressive defensive showing in a tight loss to No. 1 North Carolina on April 10, the Irish defense struggled to contain BC. Notre Dame had trouble earning possession of the ball in open play, and BC dominated the draws.
In addition to scoring a powerful fadeaway jump shot to take the score to 6-0, Charlotte North won 11 draw controls. This dominance allowed BC to keep the ball away from its defensive end as much as possible and keep the momentum of the game on its side.
Even when Notre Dame got into BC’s end, Rachel Hall was more than up to the task in net, as she racked up a season-high 11 saves.
The Irish attack was hamstrung by the absence of top goal scorer Samantha Lynch, who did not play due to an injury. Notre Dame spent over half of the first period with a zero on its side of the scoreboard.
With 13:40 left in the half, the Irish finally found the back of the net and put in two back-to-back goals, cutting the Eagles’ lead to 6-2.
The combination of possessions from the draw, along with BC’s strong defense, allowed the Eagles’ offense to keep finding the net, as Weeks notched another pair of goals and Jenn Medjid and Caitlynn Mossman also got on the board. BC went into halftime up 11-5.
The second half opened much like the first. Weeks logged her fourth goal just minutes into play, setting the pace for the rest of the game. North also added another goal to take a 13-5 advantage.
Though still in her first collegiate year, Smith scored her sixth hat trick of the season, showing the strength and depth of BC’s offense.
The Irish offense stepped up its game after coming out of the locker room, winning eight draw controls and scoring six goals, but it was not enough to overcome the Eagles.
Featured Image by Kristian Lamarre / Heights Staff