Everything was going right for Boston College lacrosse—a nine-game win streak, three top-five wins in a row, everything was falling into place. That is, until it wasn’t.
With the ball loose just a few feet in front of Syracuse goalkeeper Asa Goldstock, BC’s offense began to prepare to drop back to defense, anticipating a turnover. Suddenly, Cara Urbank rounded the crease and scooped up the ball, giving her an easy one-on-one situation with Goldstock, and the attacker netted the first tally of the game under one minute into the contest.
BC’s quick lead gave the impression that the Eagles would put up a fight against Syracuse for the second time this season, perhaps even coming away with another win. After a nail-biting win over the Orange two nights prior, BC was exhibiting all the signs of a team peaking at just the right time.
The game’s next few minutes, however, said otherwise.
In a battle for the No. 2 seed in the ACC Tournament, No. 4 BC (12-2, 8-2 Atlantic Coast) fell to No. 3 Syracuse (12-2, 8-2) in blowout fashion. A 16-7 final scoreline marked just BC’s second loss of the year. Though the Eagles netted the first goal of the game, Syracuse quickly rebounded and earned a lead that the Orange maintained until the final horn blew, never once showing signs of wavering.
Although it took the Orange over 10 minutes to find the back of the net when the two teams met for the first time on Thursday, Syracuse wasted no time on Saturday. In the first half alone, Syracuse logged eight unanswered goals, keeping the Eagles’ offense at bay for nearly 18 straight minutes. Urbank broke the goal drought with her second of the day, quickly followed by Jenn Medjid. Still, Syracuse’s lead remained sizable, as the Eagles trailed 8-3—their largest first-half deficit of the season by a longshot.
The loss of leading scorer Megan Carney, who was injured in the Orange’s previous game against BC, potentially spelled disaster for Syracuse, but if anything, it was the Eagles who struggled while Syracuse flourished.
A number of missed passes and shot clock violations led to BC having nine turnovers in the first half alone, compared to Syracuse’s three in that same span. Both teams recorded 12 shots in the first half, but BC went wide with all but seven of them while Syracuse was right on the money for 11 of its 12 shots.
Syracuse added two more goals to its already seemingly immovable lead before the half was over, while Belle Smith put her name on the board once, and the period ended with a score of 10-4.
Medjid kicked off the second half scoring once again, closing the gap to just five goals. In Carney’s absence, Syracuse’s Emma Tyrrell stepped up, scoring six goals, including two rapid-fire tallies 24 seconds apart early in the second half.
Prior to Tyrrell’s goals, though, BC head coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein opted to pull Rachel Hall from net in favor of Abbey Ngai. Through her 34-plus minutes on the field, Hall conceded 11 goals and recorded just two saves—out of the ordinary for the star netminder transfer from Oregon. Then, in under a minute on the field, Ngai conceded two. She went on to only allow five total Orange goals and tally three saves.
Syracuse is known for its three-man weave at the top of the 8-meter arc, and despite already having faced it once this season, BC had trouble following the Orange players, frequently leaving them with wide-open shots on net. This trouble on defense allowed Syracuse to score three goals in quick succession before BC could find the net again. Hollie Schleicher earned her first goal of the season with just under 20 minutes left, followed by Smith once again to close out the Eagles’ scoring.
Syracuse went on to add three more goals to its total before the final horn.
Notably missing from the stat sheet was Charlotte North, BC’s top scorer and a Tewaaraton Award nominee, who was held without a goal for just the second time this season. Also out of character for North was her five draw controls, four fewer than her 9.08 per game average.
With BC’s loss, the teams split the weekend series, meaning that the seeding for the ACC Tournament deferred to goal differential due to the teams’ identical records. Because of Syracuse’s wide margin of victory on Saturday, the Orange earned the No. 2 seed, while BC will be No. 3 and face No. 6 Virginia in the first round of the ACC Tournament this week.
Featured Image by Jess Rivilis / Heights Senior Staff