Sports, Spring, Lacrosse

No. 6 Eagles Use Overtime to Down No. 2 Syracuse 11–10

Just five days after a 13–12 loss to No. 11 Virginia in which Boston College lacrosse couldn’t finish the job en route to its third loss of the season, the No. 6 Eagles bore down in their final game of the regular season against No. 2 Syracuse, and forced an overtime with less than two minutes left in regulation.

“I told them to play like champions,” BC head coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein said. “We can’t wait to feel like a champion, after a game, you have to play like a champion.”

After forcing the extra frame, Cassidy Weeks scored for the Eagles just 2:44 into overtime to cap off BC’s 2024 regular season with a win over the Orange, its highest ranked win of the season.

With the overtime score, the Eagles (13–3, 7–2 Atlantic Coast) handed the Orange (12–4, 8–1) its first loss in conference play, winning 11–10 in overtime on Thursday night in rainy conditions at Alumni Stadium.

Syracuse got off to a fast start with Olivia Adamson firing a shot past Shea Dolce just two minutes into the game.

BC’s defense settled down after the first goal, however, against a strong Syracuse attacking group.

“They just needed to be a little bit more disruptive and less reactive than we have been in the past,” Walker-Weinstein said. “And they did exactly that and that’s what it takes.”

The Eagles battled back immediately with long possessions leading to goals from Belle Smith and Molly Driscoll to take a 2–1 lead.

But the Orange responded just as quickly with two goals in 1:57 from Emma Tyrrell and Emma Ward to close the quarter with a 3–2 lead.

The Eagles were unable to capitalize on early possessions in the second and after a turnover by Kayla Martello, Emma Muchnick found Adamson alone in front of the net who put it over Dolce’s head to make it 4–2.

“It’s a good zone,” Walker-Weinstein said. “They run the best zone in the country.”

Weeks got one back for the Eagles with a bounce shot through Delaney Sweitzer’s legs, but just 48 seconds later Natalie Smith dodged Ryan Smith and fired the ball into the net, restoring Syracuse’s two-goal lead.

The Eagles inefficiency in the offensive zone continued throughout the second quarter. Turnovers, missed shots, and shots straight at Sweitzer left BC with just three goals at the end of the second quarter.

“I think the offense actually was working,” Walker-Weinstein said. “It’s just we got to continue to focus on shooting. If we put some of those early shots away, we would have been fine.”

It was a similar story for Syracuse with BC’s defense forcing five turnovers, collecting five ground balls, and only giving up two goals in the second quarter.

According to Sydney Scales, BC’s emphasis on one-on-one defense led to its success defending Syracuse.

“We focus a lot on our one v. one defense, and I think that was something we executed,” Scales said. “That was the backbone.”

Weeks took advantage of the player-up advantage early in the third quarter to slip along the goal line and cut to the top of the crease, firing a goal over Sweitzer’s head to cut the Orange’s lead to one.

The Eagles continued pushing. Rachel Clark made a quick pass to Martello who spun around her defender and whipped it low into the net, tying the game at 5–5. Belle Smith then added a third to cap a three-goal run to open the half for the Eagles.

“We’ve been talking a lot about resilience,” Walker-Weinstein said. “We have such a dominant senior class that I think they’ve just been in those moments before.”

After the Orange took the lead at the end of the third, Weeks continued her stellar play for the Eagles, finding Clark driving right down the middle who snuck it under the bar to tie it 1:13 into the fourth quarter.

“I mean, even going down like that we always know we have a fight, we’re always in the game,” Weeks said. “Everytime we went back in, it was just you gotta climb out.”

Savannah Sweitzer gave the Orange the lead 10–9 after rolling around to the front of the net, barely avoiding the crease line, but Clark came up with the tying goal with 1:27 remaining, streaking down the middle and bouncing it into the net sending it to overtime.

“We knew there were some weaknesses around the crease,” Clark said. “We have such dynamic crease players and we have such great cutters up top so we wanted to keep the ball low and look for the streaking cutters down the middle.”

Dolce came up with a point-blank save on Natalie Smith in the first possession of overtime, giving the Eagles a chance to win the game.

Emma LoPinto found Weeks cutting through the middle who, while surrounded by three defenders, put it in the bottom right corner, winning the game for the Eagles 11–10.

“We ran through the whole play, and then were just being athletes after,” Weeks said. “That’s a play that me and Emma have been practicing all year, so it was so easy in the moment to finish it.”

The win for the Eagles gives them extra confidence that they can work with as they head toward their ultimate goal, according to Walker-Weinstein.

“The confidence is going to help them work a little bit harder which is what we’re going to need heading into the tournament,” Walker-Weinstein said.

April 18, 2024