Sports, Top Story, Spring, Lacrosse

Eagles Defeat Princeton 20–16 in Offensive Shootout, Advance to Quarterfinals

There was no shortage of action in the opening quarter of No. 2-seed Boston College lacrosse’s NCAA Championship second round matchup against Princeton in Alumni Stadium on Sunday.

The first goal was notched just over a minute into the matchup, and the scoring never stopped from that point on. In the first quarter, a total of just three saves were made by either side, and the score heading into the second quarter showed 7–6 in the Eagles’ favor.

This offensive showdown never let up, but it was ultimately the Eagles (17–3, 7–2 Atlantic Coast) who pulled out the win over Princeton (11–7, 6–1 Ivy League) by a final score of 21–16, led by six Eagles scoring hat tricks.

“One thing we say a lot is ‘seven threat offense,’” Mckenna Davis said. “And everyone on our offense is capable of scoring and making plays, and it’s so great to be surrounded by so much talent. It makes everyone else on the team like play better and want to do better for each other.”

Princeton, on the other hand, scored the most goals that BC had allowed in the 2024 season.

“I think going into NCAA’s is like every team is giving their best fight, including us,” Belle Smith said. “So like, we expect a hard game every game and like credit credit to Princeton. They’re a great team.”

The first quarter was a back and forth affair, with neither team able to establish control of the game.

Smith got the scoring started in the matchup just 1:04 into the game, but Dora Haven knotted the game up for Princeton 38 seconds later. Smith remained on the offensive hunt, and logged her second goal of the game 19 seconds later to reestablish the Eagles’ lead.

BC eventually built a 6–3 lead, but the Tigers rebounded and rattled off three goals of their own to knot the game at six apiece. A Rachel Clark goal with 17 seconds left in the frame handed the Eagles a 7–6 edge heading into the second quarter.

“I think today and the fight that we had is a true reflection of the type of team we have this year,” Princeton head coach Jenn Cook said. “It’s a great group of kids with a ton of belief and love, and they were all in, and we gave BC a game.”

The call and response continued into the second quarter. McKenzie Blake got the better of Shea Dolce at the 9:45 mark, then Cassidy Weeks potted her 34th of the season 41 seconds later.

With the game knotted at 9–9 with 7:17 left in the first half, it appeared as though the game would remain tight heading into the third quarter.

But BC finally proved why it was the No. 2-seed in the tournament, and launched a four-goal takeover to secure a 13–9 lead heading into the half.

The run included three goals in the final 30 seconds of the half, capped off by Emma LoPinto sniping the back of the net with just two seconds left on the clock, giving BC all of the momentum heading into the second half.

“Everyone kind of locked in there, right? Looked at each other, and were like, ‘alright, two minutes, like what are we going to do before halftime to get a lead’ and everyone was focused, locked in and did it together,” Smith said.

By the 13:48 mark of the third, BC had established a 15–9 advantage thanks to Cassidy Weeks and Belle Smith netting their second and fourth goals, respectively.

The Eagles added one more to their total before Princeton went on a run of its own, rattling off four-straight goals to make it a 16–13 game.

“I think until the clock hit zero, all of us believed that we were in that game,” Cook said.

Cassidy Weeks stopped the bleeding 2:01 into the final quarter by completing her hat trick and making it a four-goal game. Smith netted her fifth of the game just over two minutes later to extend BC’s lead to five.

At the 9:56 mark, LoPinto completed her hat trick and essentially iced the game, but BC was not done yet, even with a 19–13 advantage.

Andrea Reynolds gave BC 20 goals, and McKenna Davis netted number 21. While the Tigers netted two more of their own, it was too little, too late. The Eagles advanced to the quarterfinals with the win to take on Michigan, continuing down their path toward a seventh-straight national championship appearance.

“I think we’re excited for something new,” BC head coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein said. “Make those adjustments, like learn about new players and execute at a higher level on Thursday.”

May 12, 2024

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