No. 4 Boston College lacrosse faced off against its fourth opponent ranked in the Top 10 and its seventh ranked opponent in just nine games on Sunday, taking on No. 6 Denver in Jacksonville, Fla.
It’s lost three of those ranked games, including Sunday afternoon’s matchup with Pioneers.
“We always like to have a strong schedule,” BC head coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein said. “We want to play the best because it demands a lot from our team, and I have no regrets on how the schedule has been created. I think the schedule is great and it’s challenging and that’s what we want for the girls.”
After goalkeeper Shea Dolce earned the starting role and played the entire game in the Eagles’ win over No. 24 Clemson on Thursday, Walker-Weinstein gave the freshman the nod in Sunday’s matchup. But after conceding six goals in the first quarter alone with no saves, Walker-Weinstein called Rachel Hall into the game and held down the net for the remaining three periods, allowing seven goals of her own with four saves.
The early deficit proved to be too much, and the Eagles (6–3, 3–1 Atlantic Coast) dropped their third game of the season in a 13–8 loss to the Pioneers (9–0).
After nearly nine minutes of scoreless play with lockdown defense from each side, the Pioneers finally broke through BC’s defense and Sloane Kipp notched the first goal of the game at the 6:06 mark.
Kipp’s goal opened the floodgates for Denver, and less than two minutes later two goals from Ellie Curry gave the Pioneers a 3–0 lead, forcing an early BC timeout with 4:10 left in the quarter. Eight seconds after play resumed, Denver potted their fourth goal of the match.
The scoring barrage did not stop there, as Denver continued its onslaught of unanswered goals with its fifth and sixth goals at the 3:51 and 2:36 marks, respectively.
The Eagles recorded just one shot on goal in the first quarter.
“I think that Denver came out and executed, like, their game, very well, and we did not,” Walker-Weinstein said. “I think in the beginning, and throughout the game, I think Denver wanted to win more than we did.”
The lackluster quarter prompted Walker-Weinstein to pull Dolce and sub in Hall, who had started the first seven games of the season for the Eagles.
“You know, like I said, all year, both goalies are very good, and we’re going to continue to play who’s hot,” Walker-Weinstein said. “But I think Denver was overwhelmingly organized and executed way better than we did. No one person’s fault by any means. I think Denver just had a better game plan and executed it better.”
The second quarter went back and forth, as Courtney Weeks finally ended BC’s scoreless streak 1:20 into the second quarter with an assist from Mckenna Davis, but Denver responded with two goals of its own.
Kayla Martello then found the back of the net for two straight goals, and the Eagles entered halftime trailing 8–3. Hall allowed just two goals on four shots on goal in the quarter.
BC’s defensive and offensive woes returned to start the second half, though, as the Pioneers extended their lead to seven with two goals by the 10:55 mark.
The Eagles, however, responded with a goal from Ryan Smith at the 3:20 mark, and Jenn Medjid joined the scorer’s circle with her first goal of the game with 57 seconds left in the quarter to bring the Pioneers’ lead back down to five.
“I think a positive is that we had a great third quarter and we executed need-ball defense very well and arrived very well,” Walker-Weinstein said. “That’s a positive.”
BC continued its run at Denver in the final quarter, as Medjid potted her second goal of the game to bring BC within four.
But with 5:25 left in regulation, Denver’s Caroline Colimore iced the game and extended the Pioneers’ lead back to five with two goals of her own, and the Pioneers then tacked on one more goal for good measure and the win.
Medjid and Martello completed their hat tricks within the final 18 seconds of play, but it was too little too late as BC fell to its third ranked opponent this season.