After losing its first game of the season against North Carolina one week prior, Boston College lacrosse entered Saturday’s game against Pittsburgh looking to prove that its heartbreaking loss to the Tar Heels was not a sign of slowing down.
But the No. 2 Eagles came out slowly on a snowy day in the Steel City, allowing the Panthers (5–6, 0–5 Atlantic Coast) to jump out to a 5–1 lead in the first quarter. Despite being behind early, the Eagles (9–1, 3–1) used their offensive firepower and two quick goals from Belle Smith to climb back into the game and close the gap, ultimately securing a 19–12 victory.
The weather appeared to be a factor for both teams throughout the game as snow fell and Pittsburgh hit low temperatures. Saturday marked the second time this season that the Eagles have faced imminent weather, the first being their matchup against Denver, which was cut short due to freezing temperatures.
“The girls did a really good job of digging through it and focusing on the X’s and O’s,” BC head coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein said after the game. “And nothing will be as crazy as the Denver game.”
While BC cut its deficit to two goals by the end of the first quarter, the Panthers—whose women’s lacrosse program is in its first season—would not let the Eagles run them over in the second quarter. Pitt opened the second quarter with a quick goal from Maureen McNierney. Then, a fast break by the Panthers left BC goaltender Emily English—in her first collegiate start—to defend two Pitt players. The play led to a Pitt goal, and the Panthers were up 7–3.
The momentum changed again in favor of the Eagles, though, and this time, the momentum shift was permanent. The Eagles scored five consecutive goals in the second quarter, including a goal from Mallory Hasselbeck on a drive from behind the net to tie the game. Jenn Medjid scored with 43 seconds remaining in the quarter, but Pitt responded with 13 seconds lef to tie the game at eight apiece entering the third quarter.
“They have some great players and were stunners to start the game,” Walker-Weinstein said. “They played really hard, and I credit Pitt 100 percent for the way they came out.”
The second half included a return to the type of play Eagles fans are used to seeing from the defending National Champions, as BC dominated the draw controls and pace of play. Pitt scored two goals in the quarter, and goalie Paulina DiFatta posted a stellar performance in net for the Panthers, saving a few Charlotte North 8-meter chances and intercepting several centering passes from the Eagles. It would not be enough, however, as the Eagles pulled away in the third quarter with six goals.
Seven Eagles scored at least one goal on Saturday. Medjid scored six, Smith scored five, North scored four, and Caitlynn Mossman, Kayla Martello, Hasselbeck, and Mckenna Davis each scored one.
Featured Image by Nicole Wei / Heights Staff