On a sunny Saturday afternoon, No. 14 Boston College lacrosse was part of an intense ACC showdown in Louisville, Ky. against the No. 13 University of Louisville Cardinals. The game was another test for BC (2-2, 0-2 Atlantic Coast), which looked to notch its first conference win of the season. After a tough loss to Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., BC looked to bounce back and gain some traction for the tough ACC slate that lies ahead.
There were frequent momentum swings in this hard fought battle, which went to overtime. An excellent performance by the BC defense, led by junior goalie Zoe Ochoa, stymied Louisville (5-0, 1-0) for most of the game, but it was the Cardinals that walked out of U of L Lacrosse Stadium with the last laugh. A couple of late BC penalties in overtime ultimately proved too much to overcome, as a last-second Louisville shot handed BC its second loss of the season by a score of 7-6. The game was the second played between these two schools, and the all time record is now 1-1. BC defeated Louisville last season on a shot that came with six seconds left in overtime. This was the first time this season that BC has played an overtime period.
The scoring began almost four minutes into the game, with Louisville drawing first blood. BC responded shortly afterwards on Sarah Mannelly’s fifth goal of the season. Kate Weeks and Sam Apuzzo scored two quick goals to give the Eagles a 3-1 advantage. BC would go on to score one more goal in the half, courtesy of Mannelly, while Louisville would add two more, leaving a halftime score of 4-3 in favor of BC. In the second half, the Cardinals struck quickly, scoring three goals to reclaim the lead at 6-4. The BC offense would muster two more goals from shots by Caroline Margolis and Weeks, tying the game up at six with time running short in regulation. After the regulation period, BC got its first taste of the new “sudden death” overtime rules.
After losing possession in Louisville’s defensive zone, BC turned to its own defense to make one more stand with two minutes left in overtime. Louisville changed tactics, and had its goalie come out to near midfield to run down the clock, ensuring that its possession would be the last of the period. After breaking into the BC defensive zone, the Cardinals gained a free position shot with 12 seconds left after a late BC penalty. With a clear shot on net, Louisville’s Hannah Koloski capitalized on the opportunity and sealed the victory for the Cardinals. The overtime loss overshadows a performance by BC’s Ochoa, who had a career-high 13 saves on 20 shots in the loss. In addition, Mannelly’s assist on Apuzzo’s first-half goal moved her into a tie for fifth place in BC’s career assists record. Freshman Brooke Troy made her first start for BC as well, and picked up three ground balls and forced three turnovers.
The loss leaves BC on a two-game losing streak and winless in ACC play. The Eagles will need to focus on finishing games as they go forward. BC will play some out-of-conference games until mid-March, in which ACC play will resume. BC will look forward to coming home and playing at home for the first time this season when it faces off against the University of Massachusetts in early March. For Louisville, this was a great way for to start off its 2016 campaign in the ACC. While still new to the conference, it has shown that it can play with the best, and will be a strong competitor going forward.
Featured Image by Graham Beck / Heights Senior Staff