With snow piled up at each end of the field, the maroon jerseys stepped onto the field ready to take on the home team. Every player was in position and each breath of anticipation created clouds of fog in front of them. With a temperature of 29 degrees, both teams were ready to heat things up. Both goalies hit their sticks against the frozen goalposts causing the pipes to ring. The players crouched down, ready to pounce. And with a swift blow of the ref’s whistle, the 2017 season began.
No. 17 Boston College lacrosse headed out to Worcester to take on Holy Cross in the season opener. The Eagles came out strong early and never gave up the lead. While the Crusaders successfully tied the game early on, they failed to catch up to BC once it broke away. Although HC tried to slow down the Eagles, BC ultimately prevailed with a 19-8 victory.
BC could not wait to get the first goal of the season. After Christina Walsh won the opening faceoff, the Eagles stormed down the field. Sam Apuzzo took possession and wrapped around the back of the net. She found Kate Weeks wide open in front of the net and fed her the ball. Weeks sent one past Julia Maloney in order to give BC the lead just 30 seconds into the game.
Tess Chandler and Kayla O’Connor tallied two goals of their own, allowing the Eagles to hold a three-goal advantage. But the Crusaders finally answered when Maddie Ward tallied two goals within 29 seconds. Both teams went on to split goals, making it a 4-3 game with 13 minutes left in the half.
After Bryn Carroll knotted the game at four goals apiece, the Eagles decided to take a timeout. With 11 minutes left in the half, they turned up the intensity. For the remainder of the half, BC held the Crusaders scoreless.
Mary Kate O’Neill broke the tie and began a scoring spree for the Eagles. With goals from Weeks, Apuzzo, Kaileen Hart, Taylor Walker, and Chandler, BC headed into halftime with a commanding 10-4 lead. Zoe Ochoa’s six saves in the first half allowed her to move up to seventh all-time on the career list for BC.
With Lauren Daly now in goal, the Eagles flew out of the gates once again. Only 21 seconds into the half, Emma Schurr rocketed a shot past Maloney. O’Neill tallied another, giving BC a 12-4 lead.
HC did not hesitate and quickly answered. Three Crusaders found gaps in the Eagles defense and charged towards the net. They all successfully got past Daly, making it a 12-7 game.
Weeks took matters into her own hands. With 23 minutes left in the game, she completed her hat trick to curb the Crusaders’ scoring streak. Three minutes later, Weeks scored another, making it a 14-7 game.
Anna Pusey scored on a free-position goal to cut the Eagles’ lead to six. This would be the last goal to get past Daly.
Even with a commanding lead, the Eagles continued to fire shots at Maloney. Chandler scored and Weeks followed with a free position goal to give BC a 16-8 lead with 15 minutes to play.
The Crusaders managed to take four shots in the remainder of the half, but failed to capitalize on any of those attempts. The Eagles did not let up and scored three more goals, including a goal that completed Chandler’s hat trick and a man-up goal by O’Connor after HC’s Connors received a yellow card.
Even though it was below freezing at Kuzniewski Field, passion and enthusiasm radiated from the BC squad throughout the entire game. This drove the Eagle’s fiery performance and allowed them to open up the season with a dominating 19-8 victory.
Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor