Previewing 2018 Lacrosse: North Carolina

boston college lacrosse

No. 2 Boston College lacrosse (11-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast) takes on No. 5 North Carolina (6-2, 1-0) at home this Saturday afternoon for a chance of redemption, looking to defeat the Tar Heels for the first time since 2015. UNC leads the all-time series with BC, 15-2, having won 12 of the last 13 meetings. After being defeated by the Tar Heels twice last year, the Eagles are looking to to turn the tables. Currently on program-best 11-game win streak, BC seems to be an unstoppable force, with UNC being the only thing in their way to continue making program history.

Who is BC playing?

North Carolina

When is BC playing?

Saturday, March 24, 12 p.m.

Where is BC playing?

Newton Campus Lacrosse Field, Newton, Mass.

How to Watch:

The game will be broadcasted on ACC Network Extra and can be livestreamed on WatchESPN.

By the Numbers:

BC:

1) Dempsey Arsenault, named one of the Nissan Eagles of the Week, has continued to prove to be a key contributor to the Eagles’ top-tier offense. This past week, BC defeated both Louisville and Yale, in large part thanks to two-consecutive hat tricks from Arsenault. The junior ranks second on the team in scoring 33 goals, 15 shy of Sam Apuzzo.

2) With Tuesday’s victory over Yale, the Eagles picked up their 11th-straight win, recording the longest win streak in program history. BC remains undefeated in conference play with an ACC record of 2-0. The Eagles’ offense is led by Apuzzo, who ranks first on the team for goals, assists, points, and shots.

3) BC’s 13-9 win over Yale marks the ninth game of the 2018 season, in which the Eagles have defeated their opponent by at least four goals. The only two games where they had a smaller margin of victory were against Notre Dame and Southern California, both road wins.

North Carolina:

1) On March 20, attacker Ela Hazar was named the ACC Women’s Lacrosse Offensive Player of the Week. She recorded eight assists in UNC’s recent 18-13 victory against Northwestern at Martin Stadium. This performance named Hazar the UNC program record-holder for single-game assists, upping the previous record of six. She also now leads the Tar Heels in career assists with a total of 98, topping Becky Lynch’s record of 92 assists set in 2012.

2) Redshirt freshman Taylor Moreno started in goal for the first time in her career earlier this month against Virginia, showcasing her potential with a season-high 17 saves. Moreno held Virginia to just three goals in the second half, playing a huge part in UNC’s four-goal victory. Moreno was named ACC Defensive Player of Week for her performance.

3) Senior midfielder Marie McCool leads the Tar Heels offensively, with 31 goals, 36 points, and 69 shots this season. On average, UNC outscores its opponent, 34.3 to 26.4, and has logged 200 shots on goal compared to their opponent’s 161 this season.

Last Meeting:

The Eagles and the Tar Heels last faced off in the 2017 ACC Tournament on April 28 in Richmond, Virginia. Top-seeded UNC ultimately defeated BC, 17-14, although UNC’s victory was hard-earned to say the least. The Tar Heels’ offensive was carried by Molly Hendrick’s five first-half goals, in addition to an Ela Hazar hat trick and a five-point Carly Reed outing. The Eagles showed potential to come back with four goals from Apuzzo, three goals and one assist from Kate Weeks, and two goals and three assists from Kenzie Kent. Despite the effort, BC was ultimately unable to erase its deficit.

BC wins if…

Apuzzo and Arsenault both bring their offensive A-game. UNC’s offense is not to be underestimated, and the Eagles will need to put away goal after goal to outscore the Tar Heels. BC must work to win as many draw controls and ground balls as it can, but also limit errors on the defensive end—UNC attackers can and will take advantage of any slip-ups. Finally, BC’s defenders must find a way to effectively shut down McCool and Hazar if the Eagles want to preserve their undefeated season.

BC loses if…

It is unable to successfully shut down the Tar Heels’ offensive attack. One of the best goal-scoring teams in the country, UNC’s top scorers must be properly guarded by BC. A few miscues early on, and the Eagles could find themselves down big in the first half. In addition, if Moreno has another head-turning game in the cage, the BC will have to lean on the playmaking ability of Apuzzo, Arsenault, and others to keep pace on the scoreboard.

Featured Image by Taylor Perison / Heights Staff