Sports, Spring, Lacrosse

No. 7 Eagles Narrowly Escape Virginia Tech in 14–12 Win

The last time that No. 7 Boston College lacrosse fell to an unranked opponent was on Feb. 8, 2020, when the Eagles lost to UMass Amherst in their season opener.

On Saturday, in a constant back-and-forth game with Virginia Tech, BC once again faced the possibility of dropping a game to an unranked opponent over three years later. But BC (7–3, 4–1 Atlantic Coast) pulled away in the final quarter to edge out the Hokies (5–6, 1–4) 14–12. 

“I’m happy,” BC head coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein said. “And I’m sure a lot of people are wondering if we’re happy about it, like a win’s a win. The ACC’s competitive, and I’m proud of how our girls competed today.”

While the Eagles dropped three places in the national rankings after a six-goal first quarter deficit led to a 13–8 loss to then-No. 6 Denver six days earlier, Walker-Weinstein still gave freshman goalie Shea Dolce the nod to start the game against the Hokies, and she played the entire game.

“I was really proud of Shea,” Walker-Weinstein said. “I think she saw some really tough shots. Those girls are really good shooters … but she was really resilient. I think she hung around and made some really good saves and the defense did really well for her and I was proud of her.”

Dolce recorded eight saves with a .400 save percentage in the win—a bounce-back performance for the freshman. 

The game itself was a call and response affair.

Virginia Tech struck first just under five minutes into the game, but at the 8:38 mark, Courtney Weeks knotted the game at 1–1 after Mckenna Davis fed her a pass that left the Hokies’ goal wide open. 

Kayla Martello threaded the needle between two Virginia Tech defenders and the Hokies’ goalkeeper, Jocelyn Torres, to give the Eagles their first lead of the game at the 7:04 mark, and Jenn Medjid found Weeks on a backdoor cut to extend BC’s lead to 3–1 entering the second quarter. 

Less than a minute into the second quarter, Medjid barrelled toward the crease and buried the ball to extend BC’s lead to three on a free-position goal. This goal marked the 200th of her career, and she became the third BC player to ever reach that milestone—the others being Charlotte North and Sam Apuzzo. 

“Her ability has always been such a constant,” Walker-Weinstein said. “She’s always been such an incredible lacrosse player but I have just been so overwhelmed by her growth as a leader and her ability to pull excellence out of her teammates has really, really made her stand, I think higher than she’s ever stood before for our program. And I’m just so proud of who she has become.” 

Virginia Tech refused to let the Eagles run away with the game, however, potting four straight goals to reclaim a 5–4 lead at the 8:08 mark. 

Cassidy Weeks stopped the bleeding as she scored on a bounce shot to tie the game with 6:27 remaining, and Ryan Smith scored on a free-position goal to regain the lead.

But Virginia Tech’s Ella Rishko notched her second and third goals of the game at the 2:47 and 2:02 marks, respectively, which put the Hokies back on top, 7–6.

“They have really great players, and their really good players stepped up at very critical times,” Walker-Weinstein said. “And I think the biggest thing was that they stepped up to prevent us from going on three-, four-goal runs.” 

That lead lasted for just 40 seconds, as Medjid split the legs of Torres to knot the game at seven apiece. With nine seconds left in the half, the Hokies potted their eighth goal, and took an 8–7 lead over BC. 

It did not take long for the Hokies to extend their lead in the second half as a free-position goal put them up by two 45 seconds into the third. 

The Eagles rattled off three goals in response, and by the 9:22 mark, they had taken a 10–9 lead.

Rishko recorded her fourth goal of the game to tie it, but with 7:14 left in the third quarter, Shea Baker launched the ball into the net to give BC an 11–10 lead.

Both teams added one more goal apiece, and BC entered the final quarter ahead 12–11.

The Eagles added two more goals to their total in the fourth quarter while giving up just one. BC held its lead for the remainder of the game en route to a 14–12 victory. 

“There were some errors that we still need to clean up,” Walker-Weinstein said. “But again, we made some significant changes this past week, and I think the girls got on board and did what we asked, and I think we just have to do more of that.”

March 26, 2023