Previewing 2018 Lacrosse: Navy

Boston College lacrosse

Last year in the Final Four, Boston College lacrosse erased a three-goal halftime deficit to knock off Navy, 16-15, and advance to the National Championship for the first time in school history. On Tuesday afternoon, the No. 8 Midshipmen (3-0) will get a chance to avenge that loss, coming to Massachusetts to take on the second-ranked Eagles (5-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) in BC’s third matchup against ranked foes thus far.

Who is BC playing?

Navy

When is BC playing?

Tuesday, Feb. 27, 1 p.m.

Where is BC playing?

Newton Campus Lacrosse Field, Newton, Mass.

How to Watch:

The game will be live streamed on WatchESPN.

By the Numbers:

BC:

1) The Eagles boast the top-two point scorers in the country in Sam Apuzzo and Kaileen Hart, with 33 and 23 points, respectively. Apuzzo leads the country in goals (21) and is second in assists (12).

2) The last time BC started a season 5-0 was in 2015, a year in which it rattled off five more wins before eventually suffering its first loss. The Eagles would end the season at 15-4, exiting in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

3) BC’s high-octane offense enters Tuesday’s play averaging 17.8 goals per game, good for sixth in Division I—and two more goals per game than last year’s runners-up squad. Additionally, the Eagles have been even better at home, posting a 19.3 goals per game mark.

Navy:

1) Attacker Kelly Larkin scored four goals and added an assist in Navy’s comeback win over Michigan on Sunday, her second hat trick in three games this season. She also had a career-high six goals against BC in the national semifinals last season.

2) The Midshipmen are scoring almost four goals less per game than BC, but enter with a strong, talented defense—a unit that’s conceding just nine goals per game.

3) Navy lost just twice on the road last season, posting an impressive 9-2 mark. Only two of the away games came against ranked foes—No. 15 Virginia and No. 10 Duke—and both were losses.

Last Meeting:

The aforementioned national semifinal, where BC entered halftime trailing but erupted for 10 goals in the second half to win, 16-15. The Eagles had won earlier in the season, 20-11, but quickly fell behind in the program’s first-ever Final Four. Larkin was especially hard to contain for BC’s defense, as it trailed, 9-6, at the break. Kenzie Kent and the Eagles came alive, however, finishing with five goals, en route to victory. Apuzzo and Hart both chipped in with two goals in the win.

BC wins if…

It continues to find success on the offensive end of the field. The Eagles are sixth in scoring and even more potent at home. Navy may play tough defense, but if BC’s trio of Apuzzo (first in the nation in points), Hart (tied for second), and Dempsey Arsenault (tied for fourth) get going, it could be tough for the Midshipmen to keep pace. They were able to get ahead last year, but you can never discredit the Eagles from having the weapons to rally.

BC loses if…

It can’t contain Larkin, and Navy turns in an inspired effort on defense. Larkin was nearly unstoppable last time out, piling up six goals and creating consistent chances on net. The Midshipmen have a strong defense, so if they can keep the game in the low double-digits and combine that with an excellent performance from Larkin, it could be a similar outcome as last year—just without the Eagles comeback.

Featured Image by Keith Carroll / Heights Editor

About Bradley Smart 124 Articles
Bradley is the associate sports editor for The Heights. He believes that America does truly run on Dunkin, March is the best month, baseball teams should always wear stirrups, and being down 3-1, in anything, is never cause for concern. You can follow him on Twitter @bradleysmart15.