The Boston College women’s lacrosse team had gotten off to a fast start this year, winning seven of its first eight games, but the Eagles have lost two of their last three. The two losses have been to top teams, but they were largely due to the Eagles’ inability to put forth a strong start in the beginning of their games. Against the University of North Carolina, the Eagles went down 2-0, eventually losing 14-13. Facing Harvard on Wednesday, BC went down 3-0 before it roared back to beat the Crimson 13-9.
The Eagles continued their trend on Saturday at Maryland, as the Terrapins leapt out to a 4-0 lead. BC recovered to take the lead late in the second half, but they were unable to finish out the game, and Maryland beat BC 10-9.
Despite having a strong year, one Eagle who did not have her best game against the Terrapins was BC goalie Emily Mata. Maryland tallied 15 shots in the game, 13 on target. Mata made just three saves, two in the first half and just one in the second. Maryland deserves much of the credit for being so ruthlessly efficient with its offensive opportunities, but Mata’s performance was her first truly sub-par one of the year. Meanwhile, Maryland’s Abbey Clipp made four saves in the 40 minutes she played, with Emily Kift making three saves of her own to keep the Eagles off the board in the final 15:09 to seal the win.
The first half was lacking offensively for the Eagles, who managed just three goals and were held scoreless for the first 12 minutes. It was Sarah Mannelly who finally broke through for BC. Mannelly ended up with three goals and an assist, adding yet another game to her recent string of strong performances. By the time the end of the game rolled around, BC’s usual suspects had racked up their stats, but the team’s quiet first half had already doomed the Eagles. Covie Stanwick had two goals and two assists, and Mikaela Rix scored twice. With Mannelly’s points, the Eagles’ three leading scorers tallied 10 points, but just three came in the first half.
Whatever BC head coach Acacia Walker said at halftime got the Eagles rolling early. Within the first 11 minutes, BC turned a three-goal deficit into a two-goal lead, as the Eagles scored five straight.
It would be the first and only time BC led in the game, as less than three minutes later, Maryland tied the game up at eight. Just over a minute after that, the Terps took a 9-8 lead. Caroline Margolis had been given a yellow card, and when Maryland’s Taylor Cummings earned herself a free position shot, she did not hesitate to convert for her third goal of the game, which paced the Terps.
After Stanwick tied the game 21 seconds later, however, Walker’s magic dried up-as did the Eagles’ offensive ability, as BC failed to score for the rest of the game. When Erin Collins scored her second goal of the game and 12th of the year, Maryland just needed to continue its strong defensive play to clinch its 13th win of the year.
The Terrapins won the game in the fundamentals. Maryland turned the ball over just five times, and just once in the second half. Although BC forced the four turnovers in the first half, it also turned it over four times, negating its defensive effort.
Maryland also fouled BC just 10 times, giving up three free position shots. The Eagles were only able to convert on one of those free position shots. BC won 11 of 20 draws in the game, lower than its season average. The Eagles fouled Maryland 15 times, and the Terrapins converted on two of three free position shots, including their final goal.
It was the third game in a row in which the Eagles put themselves in an early hole. Against Harvard-a good team but not a great team-BC was able to roar back and win. Against top five teams in North Carolina and Maryland, however, the Eagles ended up being unable to overcome their early deficits.