Previewing 2018 Lacrosse: Virginia

Fresh off the announcement that three Boston College lacrosse players made the Inside Lacrosse Midseason All-American First Team, the second-ranked Eagles (11-0, 3-0 Atlantic Coast) will play their second-straight game against a top-10 opponent as they travel to face No. 7 Virginia in a pivotal conference game. The Cavaliers (8-2, 3-1) have historically been a handful for BC, holding a 13-3 edge in the all-time series as well as a perfect 6-0 mark at home.

Who is BC playing?

Virginia

When is BC playing?

Saturday, March 31, 12 p.m.

Where is BC playing?

Klockner Stadium, Charlottesville, Va.

How to Watch:

The game will be broadcasted on ACC Network Extra and available to stream on WatchESPN.

By the Numbers:

BC:

1) Sam Apuzzo was one of the three All-American nods, and rightfully so—the junior attacker leads the nation in points (76) and goals (52), and is tied for seventh in assists (24). She had nine points in the most recent win over North Carolina.

2) Alongside Apuzzo is Dempsey Arsenault, who has transitioned from two years of defensive-oriented play to consistently attacking the cage on a game-to-game basis, setting career highs in goals (35) and points (52). The third member is Elizabeth Miller, a defenseman that has anchored the country’s seventh-ranked defense (8.83 goals per game).

3) It should be no surprise, then, that the Eagles lead the nation in goal scoring—they’re recording 17 goals per game, a half-goal better than Maryland—the reigning national champions.

UVA:

1) The Cavaliers boast a diverse scoring attack—four different players have scored 20-plus goals this season, with Kasey Behr’s 29 goals the gold standard on the roster.

2) UVA has held its opponent to 10 or fewer goals during its current three-game win streak. In their eight total victories, the Cavaliers have limited teams to single digits five times.

3) Considering that they have a variety of options on the offensive end, it makes perfect sense that the Cavaliers are tied with Maryland in shots per game with 36.1. It speaks to the chances UVA is able to create, game in and game out, as it also ranks 11th in scoring offense (15.3 goals per game).

Last Meeting:

The Eagles snapped a three-game Cavaliers winning streak with a 17-10 win at home on April 1, 2017, amid snowy conditions. BC led by a lone goal at the half before orchestrating a 9-3 run in the final 20 minutes, leaning on a team-high eight points from Kenzie Kent (three goals and five assists) in her first start of the season. Apuzzo netted what would then tie a career high in goals with six, while goaltender Lauren Daly impressed with five ground balls down the stretch.

BC wins if…

It shows up on defense. This game has the makings of a high-octane shootout, with the No. 1 and No. 11 scoring offenses in the country, but the game will be won on defense. The Eagles have a much more talented backend, especially relative to last season—they’ve brought their goals allowed per game average down by almost four. Ranked seventh in the country in scoring defense, BC is almost 20 places ahead of the Cavaliers, so the potential for a repeat of last year’s seven-goal win could be in store.

BC loses if…

It falls victim to regression. Everything is clicking for the Eagles right now—they’ve won a program-best 12 games in a row, have improved markedly on defense, and have the best scoring offense in D1—so heading to Charlottesville, a place they’ve gone winless in six tries, to play another top-10 team has all the makings of an upset. If the defense can’t contain UVA’s high shot volume offense and BC falls behind early, claiming its second win of the week over a ranked opponent might be a tall task.

Featured Image by Andy Backstrom / Heights Editor

About Bradley Smart 125 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.