Previewing 2018 Lacrosse: Syracuse

boston college lacrosse

Coming off its 16th-consecutive win, Boston College lacrosse is heading into its final game of the regular season looking to enter the postseason with a perfect record for the first time in program history. The No. 2 Eagles (16-0, 6-0 Atlantic Coast) will face off against No. 16 Syracuse (8-7, 0-5) in a game that will determine whether BC will match its program record of 17 total wins—a mark that it set just last year. That said, traditionally, Syracuse has owned the all-time series, and without a single conference win this season, the Orange will undoubtedly be out for blood on Thursday evening.

Who is BC playing?

Syracuse

When is BC playing?

Thursday, April 19, at 5 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 live stats can be followed on BCEagles.com.

By the Numbers:

BC:

1) The dynamic duo of Sam Apuzzo and Dempsey Arsenault has been deadly for every one of the Eagles’ opponents. It’s no surprise that the tandem leads the team in total points, considering that both players have posted at least one point in every game this season. Constantly feeding off each other, they find the back of the cage more often than not, with Apuzzo ranked second in the nation with total points this season, and Arsenault ranked 14th.

2) BC is strong in both offense and defense. The Eagles’ offense is ranked seventh nationally, averaging 16.19 goals per game, and their defense is ranked 10th nationally, only allowing an average of 8.94 per contest. Head coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein’s team has conceded 13 or fewer goals on 14 separate occasions this season. In fact, BC has held eight of its opponents under the 10-goal mark.

3) BC secured at least a share of its first-ever ACC regular season title following a close win over Virginia Tech this past Saturday. Despite the accomplishment, the Eagles were met with a strong defense and yielded their lowest scoring output of the season. Walker-Weinstein wasn’t thrilled with her team’s ball movement, or lack thereof, but after almost a week of rest, the Eagles will get a chance to redeem themselves.

Syracuse:

1)  Of the teams’ 18 matchups, the Orange has come out on top all but three times. When playing in Newton, Mass., Syracuse holds a 5-1 advantage over the Eagles. With a definitive edge since meeting for the first time in 1998, the Orange will come into its matchup confident.

2) Syracuse—currently on a two-game losing streak—is attempting to head into its final game of the season against Louisville with a win. In its last game against No. 5 North Carolina, Syracuse couldn’t get past the Tar Heels’ lockdown defense. After letting the game get out of hand in the opening frame, the Orange struggled to close the gap in the back half of play, falling to UNC, 20-11.

3) Having stopped 132 shots this season, Asa Goldstock finds herself tied for the 20th-most saves in the country. In her short time with the Orange, she has stopped over 300 shots and has made a name for herself throughout the ACC. In her collegiate debut against BC last season, she saved a total of 10 goals.

Last Meeting:

In the second round of last year’s NCAA Tournament, BC walked away with its first-ever win in Syracuse. After a strong 21-10 victory, the Eagles topped the No. 9 Orange, booking a trip to the Elite Eight. Storming back from a 3-2 deficit, the Eagles wrapped up the half on a 9-2 run. Early in the second half, BC tallied the first three goals of the period, and finished the game with five-consecutive scoring plays to put the exclamation mark on the blowout.

BC wins if:

It gets on the scoreboard quickly. Record aside, Syracuse is a tough opponent that, historically, has had the Eagles’ number. But if BC’s top scorers have their way in the early going, the Eagles could put this one to bed before intermission. Coupled with a stingy defense, its attacking line will give BC more than it needs to thwart Syracuse—one of the two ACC teams that has yet to record a conference victory this year.  

BC loses if:

It enters the game with too much confidence. With a perfect season on the line, the Eagles will be itching for their coveted 17th win. That’s not to say that the Orange isn’t playing for something too. One more victory, and Syracuse clinches a winning season. Above all else, it’s quite clear that BC isn’t unbeatable—after all, the Eagles have had to sweat out their past two wins.

Featured Image by Bradley Smart / Heights Editor