Boston College lacrosse opens its season against Notre Dame on Saturday in South Bend, Ind. The No. 6 Eagles will look to replicate last year’s winning ways in this high-profile, top-20 matchup against the No. 15 Fighting Irish.
Having lost in the National Championship to an undefeated Maryland team to close out the 2017 campaign—BC’s best finish in program history—the Eagles have high hopes for the upcoming spring. On the other hand, Notre Dame will enter Saturday’s game with a chip on its shoulder, after a disappointing season which resulted in a first round exit from the NCAA tournament. Both teams will look to put a one in the win column to start the season and build momentum for the rest of the year.
Who is BC playing?
When is BC playing?
Saturday, February 10, 12 p.m.
Where is BC playing?
Loftus Sports Center, South Bend, Ind.
How to Watch:
The game will be livestreamed on WatchESPN.
By the Numbers:
1) Junior attacker Sam Apuzzo is coming off of a terrific year, in which she scored 80 goals in 24 games to average 3.33 goals per game, ranking 10th in the nation.
2) The Eagles relied mostly on their offense last season, which was ninth in the country in goals per game at 15.54. They could very well do the same this year, considering that BC has returned three of its top-four scorers.
3) BC is ranked sixth in the nation in the preseason poll, despite finishing second only to the Terrapins last season. This could be because of a relatively weak recruiting class, with only two incoming freshmen in the top 50.
1) Last year, Notre Dame thrived at home, finishing with a 6-2 record in South Bend, whereas the Irish only won five out of their 11 remaining games on the road and at neutral sites.
2) Incoming freshman midfielder Andie Aldave was the No. 1 overall recruit in the Class of 2018 coming into the season. Notre Dame will certainly look to use the talented rookie on the attacking end in order to increase its goal tally.
3) The Irish are looking to improve on both ends of the field, having finished 27th in scoring margin last season. Winning by an average of only three goals per game, Notre Dame will certainly look for some more insurance this time around.
The previous meeting between the Eagles and the Irish featured a high-scoring thriller in the first round of last year’s ACC Tournament. BC won the game, 17-14, with hat tricks by Apuzzo, Kate Weeks, Kenzie Kent, and Kaileen Hart leading the Eagles to victory—one that marked their first conference tournament win since 2013.
BC wins if…
It scores in bunches. The Eagles’ defense proved to be rather unreliable as it gave up almost 13 goals per game last season, failing to crack the top 50 in that department. BC relied heavily on its offense and will likely continue to do so this year, with the likes of Apuzzo and Kenzie Kent returning, both of whom averaged over three goals per game in 2017. Returning role players such as Dempsey Arsenault and incoming top-10 recruit Hannah Cermack will try to fill the scoring void of the talented senior class that played a significant role in the Eagles’ postseason run.
BC loses if…
Notre Dame sees a big upgrade in play from returning goalkeeper Samantha Giacolone. The junior started all 19 games last year, an impressive feat for any underclassman netminder. She finished out the season with a .475 save percentage, 19th in the nation. The Irish are counting on Giacolone to keep a strong BC offense in check. Doing so would provide a huge boost of confidence to an undoubtedly talented goalie, who could be ready to take her game to the next level.
Featured Image by Keith Carroll / Heights Editor