Tag Archives: syracuse

Lacrosse Advances to Elite Eight With Win Over Syracuse

Boston College lacrosse experienced an unfamiliar result against a familiar opponent in Sunday’s NCAA Tournament Second Round. With the Eagles’ 21-10 drubbing of the No. 9 Orange (15-7), they advanced to their second-ever Elite Eight and beat their ACC foes for the first time in the postseason. They’ll host Southern California at Newton Campus Field on Saturday.

No. 14 BC (15-6) came out firing on all cylinders on the road with the season on the line. For the second-straight NCAA Tournament game, star midfielder Sam Apuzzo racked up seven points to help lead the team’s explosive offense. Kate Weeks did her usual damage up front, tallying her 15th hat trick to bring her season goal total to 69.

Trailing 3-2 early in the match, the Eagles rattled off a 9-2 run that gave them a commanding lead entering halftime. After the break, they scored three-consecutive goals to push their lead to 15-7. BC increased its advantage to 20-9 before the teams traded goals in the final five minutes of the contest. Kayla O’Connor and Kenzie Kent added three goals apiece in an overall dominant performance from the attack.

While the offense was nearly unstoppable, the defense deserves credit, too. Zoe Ochoa held the Orange to seven goals in the first half before Lauren Daly replaced her in the second half. Together, they combined for 13 saves, and Daly even kept Syracuse scoreless over a 13-minute stretch in the second half.

Once again, Acacia Walker’s squad exceeded expectations. Apuzzo is one of the nation’s best players, as evidenced by her eight-straight hat tricks. Weeks creates matchup problems with nearly every defense. If Sunday’s victory was any indication, this team may find itself in Gillette Stadium at the end of the month for championship rounds in its own backyard.

Featured Image by Amelie Trieu / Heights Editor

Apuzzo Breaks Pair of Program Records in Win Over Canisius

Hours before Boston College lacrosse’s NCAA Tournament opener against Canisius on Friday, head coach Acacia Walker’s group broke a program record. Five players—Sam Apuzzo, Kate Weeks, Kenzie Kent, Elizabeth Miller, and Dempsey Arsenault—earned Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association All-Northeast honors. Then, almost 28 minutes into play, one Eagle eclipsed another mark.

Hovering on the left side of the field, Kent surveyed the field before locating Apuzzo. The sophomore received the feed, and drew the attention of Canisius goaltender Rebecca VanLaeken. Apuzzo edged closer to the net and proceeded to hook a shot around VanLaeken.

Not only did the goal allow BC to take a three-goal lead into the second half, it also etched Apuzzo’s name into school history. With the goal—her 66th of the season—she dethroned Covie Stanwick, BC ’13, as the program’s most prolific single-season scorer.

Soon a three-goal lead turned into a double-digit massacre, as the Eagles lived up to their ACC pedigree in the second half. BC outscored the Golden Griffins 11-2 in the final 30 minutes of play, clinching a 21-9 victory and guaranteeing a rematch against Syracuse.

While the score may not show it, No. 13 BC (14-6, 3-4 Atlantic Coast) wasn’t always in the driver’s seat. In fact, it looked as if Canisius’ (15-5, 8-0 MAAC) scoring attack was equal, if not superior to the Eagles’ in the early goings.

Less than a minute into the game, Jourdan Roemer recorded an unassisted goal. And just like that, the Golden Griffins were on the board. Immediately after that, BC countered with two scoring plays of its own. But that’s when Canisius—the eighth highest scoring team in the nation—showcased its potency on the offensive side of the ball.

Over the course of the next 10 minutes, the Golden Griffins scored four-straight goals. Up three, Canisius was in command. BC, a team that had scored 16-plus goals in three of its previous games, looked stagnant.

But the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference representatives could only hold off the multi-faceted Eagles offense for so long. Once the clock hit the 16-mark in the first half, it was all BC.

Following the final goal of Canisius’ 4-0 run, Kayla O’Connor shoveled in a rebound goal. Moments later, Kaileen Hart, veering to the right side of the net, shot across her body to find the back of the net. Not too long after that, Apuzzo found O’Connor for a quick catch-and-release shot that tied the game all up, 5-5.

Without the help of its two 60-goal scorers, BC still managed to work its way back into the game in a matter of minutes. As soon as Apuzzo and Weeks got involved in the scoring effort, Canisius didn’t stand a chance.

After Hart chipped in another goal, Weeks and Apuzzo both got their names on the scoring sheet. Their two goals upped the Eagles’ lead to three. Tessa Chad eventually stopped the bleeding. Hart countered with a free-position goal—her fourth of the day—but Jen Reininger reduced the deficit back to two in no time.

Apuzzo’s record-breaking goal closed out the half, propelling the Eagles to a 10-7 lead and, ultimately, a second-half scoring spree.

Close to two minutes into the second half, Weeks logged her second goal of the game. This time, you could see that she—along with her teammates—was out to prove something. As soon as the ball hit the twine, the senior emphatically slammed her stick to the ground and took a few steps forward, as her teammates swarmed her.

Weeks’ mannerisms served as a representation of BC’s second-half performance: it was all business.

The Eagles went on to score 10 of the next 11 goals. Walker’s group was locked in on both sides of the field—no better exemplified than by a sequence of play at the 22-minute mark. As the Golden Griffins pushed the ball up the field, Miller forced a Brenna Shanahan turnover. Hart scooped up the ground ball and cleared it by delivering a pass to Kent. Without hesitation, Kent sprinted down the field. On a 3-on-2, she dumped the ball off to Apuzzo. VanLaeken charged Apuzzo, leaving the net open. As a result, Apuzzo found her partner in crime, Weeks, who scored the easy goal.

Selfless execution.

Weeks ended up scoring four goals in the half—enough to tie Stanwick’s single-season scoring record. And with Apuzzo’s final goal of the day, she became the first Eagle to score at least 100 points in a season.

Overall, BC’s ball movement was exquisite, and enabled the Eagles to control the pace of the game.

Additionally, Canisius’ offense was helpless. The Golden Griffins lost any rhythm that they had in the first half. The Eagles prevented Erica Evans—the nation’s leading scorer—from the finding the back of the net once. Whether it was forcing turnovers or collapsing on penetrating attackers, BC’s defense always seemed to step up.

Perhaps the biggest Eagles star in the second half was Lauren Daly. The backup goalie stood between the pipes for the latter portion of play, per usual. But she only allowed two goals—one of which came in garbage time.

The only Canisius attacker to have consistent success was Reininger, who scored four goals and capped off the team’s final scoring possession. But by that time, the game was far gone.

With the victory, BC advances to the second round of the tournament. The Eagles will play Syracuse—a team that they have fallen to in three-consecutive meetings, dating back to last season’s ACC Tournament. Just this February, the Orange defeated BC, 18-8.

It’s important to note the transformation that BC has undergone this season. Back in the winter, there were still questions concerning Apuzzo’s recovery from her ACL tear. Kent was playing hockey. And players like Hart and O’Connor had yet to showcase their true potential. It’s safe to say that Syracuse will be playing a different Eagles team on Sunday.

Featured Image by Celine Lim / Heights Staff

Statement Season: Ky Bowman’s Freshman Campaign Disproves Doubters

It was just like old times.

Boston College men’s basketball was back in Madison Square Garden—the site of its last conference tournament championship. A title that is now 16 years old.

For two and a half decades, BC made the annual trip to New York for the Big East Tournament. Competing among the likes of Syracuse, Connecticut, Villanova, and Georgetown, the Eagles took part in what is now the longest-running conference tournament at any one venue in all of college basketball. Win or lose, the atmosphere was unrivaled.

When BC left for the ACC in 2005, the program lost that aura.

But for one night, the Eagles got it back. Prior to the start of league play, head coach Jim Christian and Co. traveled to the Garden to play Auburn in the Under Armour Reunion game on Dec. 12, 2016. Coming into the contest, BC was riding a two-game skid and sat at a mere 4-5. Having already lost to Nicholls State and Hartford, the Eagles’ chances of defeating a Power Five opponent, let alone a winning one, were slim.

Yet, right from the get-go, BC looked like a changed team. And one player in particular looked especially different. Ky Bowman had dyed his hair a flaming-hot red. But that wasn’t all. Coincidence or not, for the first time all season, Bowman caught fire. The freshman guard—who was averaging just 6.6 points per game at the time—nearly doubled that mark by intermission. In fact, it was Bowman who teamed up with Jerome Robinson and A.J. Turner to score 10 of the game’s first 14 points.

“There was just a confidence about [Bowman] that was kind of spreading to the whole team in that particular game,” Christian said thinking back on that day. “It was his moment. You knew, ‘Okay, this is going to be the guy.’ He’s got something here.”

Although Bowman’s numbers slipped in the second half of that game, his impact was undeniable. After all, he was the one that set up Nik Popovic’s game-winning tip-in at the buzzer. With just a few seconds remaining in the game, Bowman sprinted into the lane and put up a contested layup. It missed by a matter of inches, but Popovic was there to put it back.

What’s telling is not that Bowman missed the shot, rather, it’s that he was the one taking it. One game removed from logging three points in nine minutes of play, Bowman had emerged as a go-to scoring threat. In essence, he had added another dimension to Christian’s offense.

And for the first time in over a year, a sense of optimism surrounded BC basketball.

“It’s a new beginning for us, and that’s what we were telling everybody in the huddle,” Robinson said in a Fox Sports postgame interview. “It’s going to be a whole different team.”

While it was a game reminiscent of the past, the future of the program was on full display.

***

As soon as Bowman arrived on campus this summer, the coaching staff knew it had something special. From the moment he took the court, his athleticism, speed, and scoring ability were evident. But when the regular season began, Bowman failed to produce. Suddenly, he wasn’t making the shots that he was draining in practice. The most routine of passes resulted in turnovers.

Not to mention that he struggled on the fastbreak. His speed—normally a strength—became his greatest weakness. Time and time again, Bowman zoomed past defenders while bringing the ball up the floor. But once he passed halfcourt, he was almost going too fast. His court vision was clouded and his ball control was erratic.

Throughout the first quarter of the season, Bowman looked raw. He looked like what he was: a kid who was playing his second full year of basketball.

Ready or not, Bowman, was faced with the task of learning a new system. Troubles at home made it even harder.

Since arriving at BC, Bowman has lost a handful of loved ones. To say the least, the transition to college was not easy. Hundreds of miles away from his hometown, Havelock, N.C., Bowman felt helpless.  

Assistant coach Scott Spinelli calls Bowman a “pleaser,” someone who always tries to do the right thing. So when it came to his family, Bowman took on the responsibility of handling what was going on back home.

But as soon as things were squared away, a huge weight was lifted off of his shoulders.

That’s when he broke out.

Bowman scored a career-high 15 points against Auburn, playing a major part in the Eagles’ first signature victory of the year. Less than a week later, he dropped 33 points and five assists in a loss to Fairfield. Bowman practically orchestrated BC’s second-half comeback by himself. He shot 9-of-12 from the field and tallied 21 points. Above all else, Bowman took no plays off—literally. He was the only Eagle to play the full second half.

After the game, Christian walked with his point guard back to the bus. Bowman turned to him and criticized his own performance—another career high. He took a jab at his defensive play, and declared that it must improve. At that moment, Christian knew what he had in Bowman.

“You know certain guys have it,” Christian said. “They’re playing for more than just this moment. They’re playing to get the most out of their ability. And that’s what he does.”

A few days later, fellow classmate and point guard Ty Graves was granted his release from the program. From then on out, it was all up to Bowman.

***

BC entered conference play, having not won an ACC game since March 7, 2015. But on New Year’s Day, the infamy came to an end. Its victim? None other than the then-reigning Midwest Regional Champion Syracuse Orange.

From tipoff, Bowman was on. With each shot, his light only got greener.

“I mean, after the second one, I feel like I can just let it go,” Bowman said.

Bowman sunk 7-of-8 shots from beyond the arc and eclipsed the 30-point mark for the second time in three games. Together, he and Robinson combined for a total of 52 points. And as a team, the Eagles made a Conte Forum-best 16 triples.

Even though he wasn’t on the team for the 2015-16 season, Bowman recognized how much the victory meant to those who were.

“Just being able to show that we can do it,” Bowman said. “Not that we’re one of the teams at the bottom, but that we’re actually one of the teams that everybody has to watch out for.”

In addition to showing that BC was a legitimate threat in conference play, Bowman had something else to prove: that all of the coaches who passed up on him were missing out. Especially when the Eagles started playing teams right in Bowman’s backyard.

Before the game against North Carolina State, talks of a Bowman-Dennis Smith, Jr. matchup resurfaced. During their high school days, everyone in the state wanted to see the two guards duke it out on the court. So when the Wolfpack traveled to Chestnut Hill, it was not surprising to see several spectators make the trek.

Bowman, an unranked football star-turned-basketball player, was up against someone he aspired to be. Smith, Jr. was someone that wasn’t overlooked—a five-star recruit and a potential NBA Lottery pick.

Based on their performances, you would have thought it was the other way around. Bowman scored 19 points, converting on more field goal and 3-point attempts than Smith, Jr.

“The one thing about Ky Bowman: the bigger the stage, the bigger he performs,” Spinelli said.

The stage was no bigger than when then-No. 9 North Carolina came to town. Bowman was originally committed to play football at UNC, prior to switching to the sport of basketball. And when the time came for Bowman to enter the basketball recruiting process, Tar Heels head coach Roy Williams wasn’t interested.

Bowman’s mother, Lauretha Prichard, distinctly remembers what her husband said to Bowman before the game.

“His stepfather told him, ‘All right, they didn’t pick you. So this is a personal thing. You take it to ’em,’” Prichard said.

He did just that. Bowman poured on another 33-point performance. In large part because of his outside shooting, the Eagles were still in the game well into the second half. BC may have lost, but Bowman had made his mark.

Prior to the game, BC athletics handed out Bowman-like headdresses to Eagles fans. Unlike many giveaways, this one was a hit. Everywhere you looked, there was red hair. The excitement was indescribable.

Even Williams took note.

“For a while, it was the Ky Bowman show,” he said in the postgame press conference.

***

Despite consistently playing teams close, the Eagles failed to win another ACC game. Bowman had never experienced such a dismal stretch. Still, he remained positive, and remembered Prichard’s words.

“You’re going to win some, you’re going to lose some, but as long as you go out there and take it, and do what you have to do, you’ve won,” Prichard said. “In your mindset, you’ve won.”

As time went on, Bowman, The Heights’ Breakout Male Athlete of the Year, improved in nearly every statistical category. He finished out the regular season with 12-straight double-digit performances. And he would have added to that streak if it wasn’t for an awkward fall in the first round of the ACC Tournament.

Bowman also made it a priority to involve all of his teammates on the floor. If it meant that BC would have a better chance of winning, he’d willingly turn down a 30-point game.

After all was said and done, he earned All-ACC Freshman honors and ranked as the fourth-leading scorer among his classmates in the conference. Two of the three above him—Jayson Tatum and Smith, Jr.—have already declared for this year’s NBA Draft. Eventually, Bowman sees himself joining them.

So do others around him. Spinelli sees a lot of similarities between Bowman and NBA players who he recruited before coming to BC—guys like Khris Middleton, Jake Layman, and Alex Len, guys who were originally doubted.

But right now, Bowman is focused on carrying BC back to its winning ways—like it was when it played in the Big East.

With the combination of Bowman and Robinson—the fifth-highest scoring backcourt in conference play among the Power Five—Christian and Spinelli’s path back to that point should be a bit easier. Both of the underclassmen guards serve as the staple of BC’s recruiting pitch.

“It’s no longer, ‘Hey we have these guys that can be good,’” Christian said. “No, we have these guys who are really good.”

Bowman may have made a statement this season, but he still has a chip on his shoulder. According to Spinelli, Bowman thinks he should have been selected as the ACC Freshman of the Year. And don’t think he’s forgotten about all of those coaches who ghosted him.

Bowman will always have a fire in him. Maybe not always in his hair, but in his heart.

Featured Image by Keith Carroll / Heights Staff

In Doubleheader, Eagles Walk Off Against Syracuse Twice

Twice on Sunday afternoon, Boston College softball found itself staring at a one-run deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning. Twice, hitters stepped up to make clutch plays and force extra innings. And twice, the Eagles managed to top Syracuse University with walk-off victories, extending their win streak to three games in a row and sweeping the Orange in the two-game series after Saturday’s game was snowed out.

BC (20-12, 6-2 Atlantic Coast) struggled offensively against Syracuse (17-11, 3-5) pitcher Alexa Romero for much of the second game in the doubleheader on Sunday afternoon, but still managed to top the Orange for a 2-1 victory.

Both teams played tough defense, but the Eagles surrendered a run in the second inning. Jordan Weed started the inning by walking Bryce Holmgren on four straight pitches. Holmgren advanced to second on a Faith Cain single, then took third on a passed ball. Kelsey Johnson singled to left field, driving Holmgren home and giving the Orange an early 1-0 lead.

Meanwhile, Romero almost completely stifled BC through the first six innings of the game. The Eagles didn’t record a hit until the bottom of the fourth, struggling to connect with Romero’s pitches in the early innings until Annie Murphy finally singled in the fourth. Murphy reached second on a groundout from Jordan Chimento and then took third as Tatiana Cortez reached first thanks to an error. With a runner in scoring position and just one out, it looked as though BC would tie the game up—but it was not to be. Cortez was thrown out at second while attempting to steal, and then Allyson Moore grounded out to end the inning.

Romero only conceded one more hit over the next two innings. Lexi DiEmmaneuele singled in the bottom of the fifth, but Syracuse managed to get out of the inning without any real damage. Romero’s luck ran out, however, in the seventh, as the Eagles tied up the game and forced extra innings.

Chloe Sharabba was the first batter for the Eagles in the seventh. She watched two pitches sail by her—both of them balls. But she liked the third pitch, and connected well. Sharabba drove the ball to center field for a homer, tying the game up at one apiece. BC failed to score again in the inning, sending the game into extras.

For a few minutes in the eighth, things looked dicey for the Eagles. Dreswick, who replaced Weed on the mound earlier in the game, started by hitting Alicia Hansen with a pitch, giving the Orange a baserunner right away. Up next, Sydney O’Hara singled and Hansen advanced to second. Holmgren popped out and the runners remained stationary, but then Cain grounded out and Hansen and O’Hara advanced to third and second, respectively, putting two runners in scoring position.

Dreswick escaped the jam, however, with a strikeout, leaving two runners stranded on base and preserving the tie as the Eagles took their turn at the plate.

Dani Thomas laid down a bunt and reached first, starting out the bottom of the eighth on a high note for BC. Taylor Coroneos grounded out, but Thomas advanced to second, then stole third. A passed ball offered the perfect opportunity to advance home for the game-winning run, and Thomas wasted no time in doing just that. With the run, she gave BC its second victory of the day.

Earlier on Sunday, the Eagles also rallied from behind to earn a 2-1 walk-off victory. Dreswick pitched the entire eight innings for BC in the first game, while Syracuse put O’Hara and AnnaMarie Gatti on the mound.

Unlike in the second game, the Eagles recorded hits early. Just like the second game, however, they couldn’t capitalize on anything until late in play. Coroneos and Murphy set the tone with two singles in a row, but their teammates failed to send them home, stranding the two on base heading into the second.

The Orange took the lead in the third thanks to a couple of errors. Dreswick walked Hannah Dossett to put a runner on base. Chimento, playing catcher, made an error that allowed Olivia Martinez to reach first and Dossett to advance all the way to third. Next up at the plate, Toni Martin hit into a fielder’s choice—Martinez was caught out at second, but Dossett safely reached home, and another error from Chimento allowed Martin to advance to second on the play.

Syracuse held onto its 1-0 lead for the next three and a half innings. During that span, the Eagles stranded four runners on base, but also played tough defense, denying the Orange any more runs. The scoreless streak would come to an end in the bottom of the seventh, as more late-game heroics sent it into extras.

With one out, Brenna Griesser poked the ball through a defense gap to her left, reaching base on a single. Thomas laid down a sacrifice bunt, allowing Griesser to advance safely to second. With two outs, Griesser stood on second and Coroneos stepped up to the plate. Coroneos doubled to center, driving Griesser home and tying the score at 1-1.

Dreswick dominated the top of the eighth, completely shutting the Orange down. She forced two groundouts and one fly-out, giving BC its chance to win the game.

The bottom of the eighth was rough at times, but ultimately resulted in the Eagles’ first walk-off victory over the day. Chimento, first up, worked a full count, but ultimately popped out to third. Cortez then walked, putting a runner on base for the Eagles. Sharabba doubled, but Cortez attempted to round third and reach home safely. She was thrown out at home, giving the Eagles two outs. Sharabba took third as the Orange gunned for Cortez at home.

In the end, Cortez being thrown out didn’t matter. Moore took a leaf out of Sharabba’s book, doubling to center field and driving Sharabba home, giving the Eagles a 2-1 victory over the Orange.

Featured Image by Shaan Bijwadia / Heights Staff

Just Like Krzyzewski, Men’s Hockey Will Bounce Back

Spring is finally here.

Yes, it’s official. All the signs of spring have arrived—the temperature climbing into the 50s, the snow melting, sunlight until later in the evening, and some damn good postseason sports to watch.

I’m not one for making a bracket, but I enjoy watching March Madness just as much as the next sports fan. I mean, it’s a pretty sweet gig for the fans—nonstop good basketball and, if you’re so inclined, the perfect opportunity to try to earn a few extra dollars through gambling. (For the record, I am not so inclined.)

If basketball just isn’t your thing, no worries there—you’ve still got hockey. Just don’t expect to see any players clad in maroon and gold hoisting up any trophies this year.

While Boston College women’s hockey lost in the Frozen Four, men’s hockey didn’t even qualify for the NCAA Tournament this year. It’s the first time since 2008-09 that the Eagles didn’t make the big dance, the third time since 2000, and only the sixth time in head coach Jerry York’s tenure on the Heights.

What does it mean for the Eagles moving forward? To make a basketball comparison, are the Eagles more like Duke or Syracuse—a temporary setback or a sign of things to come?

Duke men’s basketball entered the 2016-17 season highly lauded as one of the country’s most dangerous teams. It wasn’t totally smooth sailing for the Blue Devils, but they entered the NCAA Tournament as the ACC champs with a No. 2 seed and dreams of another national championship. That dream was abruptly ended by the University of South Carolina in the Round of 32.

Even when considering this season’s outcome, it’s unlikely that Duke will see a major drop-off in talent and production in the coming years. This was a momentary setback—sure, it’s disappointing for Blue Devils fans, but next season Duke will be just as good as it was this year. (And, as an added bonus, next year the Blue Devils won’t have to deal with the great tripping wonder, Grayson Allen.) And Duke has talent ready to light up Cameron Indoor Stadium next year—two of its three recruits, Wendell Carter and Gary Trent, Jr., are five-stars, while Alex O’Connell is a four-star recruit.

Syracuse, though, is a different story. The Orange has been to 38 NCAA Tournaments, six Final Fours, and three national championship games, winning just one. But recently the team has dealt with its fair share of adversity—an NCAA investigation, a self-imposed postseason ban, and a Final Four loss last year. This year, the Orange didn’t even earn a tournament bid. Instead, Syracuse played in the worst consolation prize ever, the NIT. Adding insult to injury, the Orange lost to Ole Miss in the second round. And just this past weekend, Mike Hopkins—Syracuse assistant coach, recruiter, and, supposedly, heir apparent to Jim Boeheim—announced he is taking the head coaching gig at Washington next year.

Unlike Duke, it’s fair to wonder whether this season represents the start of a down period for Syracuse. Sure, Boeheim is a fantastic coach—bringing his 10th-seeded Orange to the Final Four last year was impressive, to say the least—and just got extended with the news that Hopkins is leaving. But that move can be seen as reassurance to recruits who may have been alarmed at Hopkins’ departure. And with all of the adversity of the past couple years, Syracuse not making the tournament, an embarrassingly early loss to Ole Miss, and the loss of Hopkins, potential new recruits may not be as invested in the Orange as they might have been several years ago. If I were a recruit right now, I’d head someplace like Duke or North Carolina with the expectation that I’d have a crack at a national championship over my time there. I see no such guarantee at Syracuse right now.

The good news for BC is that it should be a Duke, not a Syracuse, in terms of its outlooking moving forward. That’s not to say it’s a guarantee—getting complacent would be disastrous. But York is more reminiscent of Krzyzewski than Boeheim. Krzyzewski and York both win championships—their resumes speak for themselves, with four each. Boeheim can make the tournament, but only has one national title, proving that he routinely fails when it matters the most. Winning is a part of BC’s culture just like it is a part of Duke’s culture.

BC must continue to aggressively recruit the top hockey talent, however. There’s no saying what the organization might look like in a couple of years, but associate head coach Greg Brown and assistant coach Mike Ayers have been phenomenal recruiters thus far, and will continue to play a crucial role on the team moving forward. That is especially true after the loss of Mike Cavanaugh, who many thought would be York’s eventual replacement before he accepted the head coaching job at Connecticut. If the Eagles can continue to recruit top talent and keep the organization stable, there’s no reason why this year won’t ever be looked at as anything except a temporary setback.

Frankly, given the amount of talent that departed after last season and the youth of this year’s squad (the Eagles were the youngest team in the country), it isn’t even really surprising that the Eagles didn’t make the cut this year. After the season-ending loss to Lowell, York himself called preseason projections that BC would finish at the middle of the pack in Hockey East “accurate” and praised his team for exceeding expectations. Whether or not you believe York really thought his team wouldn’t make the tournament is up to you, but either way, he publicly said it.

Next year, the team will still be young, but the roster will have a season of experience with tough hockey under its belt. The loss of seniors Scott Savage, Chris Calnan, Austin Cangelosi, Matthew Gaudreau, and Ryan Fitzgerald—plus the likely loss of sophomore Colin White—will be tough, but this roster is deep. This young talent will want to step up to the plate and fill in the shoes left behind by their departed teammates.

J.D. Dudek, Michael Kim, Christopher Brown, and Casey Fitzgerald will all be juniors next year. Each of these players has the potential to step up as leaders for the team, especially given that, barring a transfer, the Eagles won’t have a single senior on the squad. Dudek and Brown, both forwards, may take on more goal-scoring responsibilities, while Kim and Fitzgerald will look to tighten the Eagles’ defense. Brown, notably, missed weeks of this season with mono. Having him healthy for a full season will only help the Eagles.

Current freshmen will also step up and play a huge role for the team next year. Joseph Woll has had quite a season as BC’s netminder—at times outstanding, at times patchy—but with a full season of experience will be, well, a wall between the pipes next year for the Eagles. David Cotton, already an established threat for the team, will only improve with more experience and age. Graham McPhee has the skill and potential to emerge as a dangerous threat to opposing netminders.

And that’s just looking at the current roster. BC has an impressive lineup of recruits set to arrive next fall, ranging from Shattuck-St. Mary’s product Logan Hutsko to Canada native Mitch Martan. BC’s top recruit from that class, Finland’s Eeli Tolvanen, is pegged as a high NHL draft pick and eagerly anticipated as one of the country’s best rookies. Each of the recruits is a forward, bringing more dangerous goal-scoring ability to Kelley Rink. Down the line, BC has recruits TJ Walsh, Patrick Giles, and Adam Samuelsson lined up. Walsh and Giles are both forwards, while Samuelsson, whose older brother Philip won a national championship with the Eagles in 2010, is an imposing defenseman. The recruits set to arrive in the next couple of years are as elite as always, proving that BC’s hockey future is still bright.

So allow yourself to be disappointed that the Eagles’ season ended early—but not for long. Like Jack in LOST, let the emotion in, but only for five seconds—then, feel free to push it away.

After all, this is BC men’s hockey, and winning is part of the culture. Like Duke men’s basketball, BC has a record of success both in the regular season and postseason, one of the greatest coaches ever to grace the sport, and world-class talent clamoring for the opportunity to play in maroon and gold.

A few years down the road, the 2016-17 season will be seen as nothing more than a momentary setback.  

Featured Image by Zoe Fanning / Heights Editor

Syracuse Deals BC First Loss of Season

Boston College lacrosse came into Syracuse looking to continue its hot start to the season, having won its first two games in commanding fashion. The game was the first of the season for No. 5 Syracuse, who made it to the NCAA semifinals last year before being eliminated by Maryland. The No. 17 Eagles came into this game with at least 18 goals in each of their last two games, but today they were on the receiving end of an offensive explosion in an 18-8 loss.

BC (2-1) started the scoring early when Mary Kate O’Neill put one past Syracuse (1-0) goalie Asa Goldstock just over two minutes into the game. Shortly after, Sam Apuzzo scored her fifth goal of the season to give the Eagles an early 2-0 lead. But this would be the Eagles’ final time with the lead all game. Two minutes after Apuzzo’s goal, Syracuse midfielder Mary Rahal scored her first goal of the season to get the Orange on the scoreboard. Syracuse then ran away with it, adding eight more goals over the next nine minutes. Rahal, Riley Donahue, and Emily Hawryschuk each scored two goals in this stretch, as the Orange took an 8-2 lead.

Shortly after, Kaileen Hart scored for BC to stop Syracuse’s run. Hart scored another goal minutes later to give the Eagles more hope as the first period wound down. Tess Chandler and Apuzzo then each scored their sixth goals of the season within 31 seconds of each other. But Syracuse halted BC’s momentum when Devon Parker scored with 18 seconds left in the first period, giving the Orange a 9-6 lead halfway through the game.

Any hopes of a comeback were extinguished early in the second period, as Syracuse went on another scoring run. The Orange added six goals in the first half of the period, including hat-trick goals for Rahal, Donahue, and Hawryschuk. The Eagles got back on the scoreboard when senior Kate Weeks scored her 14th goal of the season. Weeks had been off to a very hot start this season, with 13 goals and an assist in the first two games, but she was limited to only one goal against Syracuse.

Weeks’ goal still prevented the Eagles from getting any momentum, as Hawryschuk answered with her fourth of the game to put Syracuse up 16-7. Although the Eagles managed to get one more goal—the second of the game for Chandler—the Orange scored two more to seal the 18-8 win. The final goal of the game came from Donahue, who finished with four goals and three assists, the most points for any player in the game. Apuzzo led BC with five points, and she now leads all BC players in points this season with 18 in three games. Apuzzo, Chandler and Hart each finished with two goals for the Eagles.

The Eagles were only outshot 30-26, but Goldstock played very well for the Orange, managing 10 saves in the first start of her NCAA career. BC goalie Zoe Ochoa struggled, finishing the game with a .250 save percentage, which is much lower than in her other performances this season. Lauren Daly, who came in for Ochoa, also finished with a .250 save percentage.

The Eagles had their lowest shot total of the season by 11 shots today, and they also allowed more shots than in any other game this season. This game was an early challenge for this Eagles’ team, giving them an opportunity to play against a top five team. The Eagles will need work on playing well even against highly-ranked teams like Syracuse if they want to return to the NCAA tournament and have a chance at advancing.

Featured Image by Taylor Perison / Heights Staff

Peterson, Syracuse Torch BC in Blowout

Alexis Peterson caught the ball at the top of the arc. She paused and considered her next action. Then, gracefully, she launched a perfect 3-pointer, yet another early nail in the coffin for Boston College women’s basketball. Just five minutes into play, Syracuse University held a 15-2 lead over the Eagles.

It didn’t get any prettier for BC after that. The Eagles had to play catch-up all game, weighed down by the slowest of slow starts, and never managed to make the game competitive. Peterson, Briana Day, and Brittney Sykes dominated the scoresheet, while Georgia Pineau was the only Eagle to finish with double digits in scoring. Syracuse extended BC’s losing streak to 10 consecutive games after dominating the Eagles for a 70-47 win.

Syracuse (17-7, 8-3 Atlantic Coast) controlled the game from the very beginning, jumping out to a quick 10-0 lead before the Eagles (8-16, 1-10) could find the basket. BC finally broke into the game more than three minutes into play when Mariella Fasoula laid the ball into the hoop.

But Fasoula’s basket did not spark an offensive flurry for the Eagles. Syracuse went on another run, outscoring BC 12-4 over a four minute period. Peterson contributed seven of the Orange’s 12 points over this stretch, knocking down a three, a layup, and a couple of free throws.

At the end of the first quarter, BC trailed 26-9. Already the Eagles had allowed the Orange to collect eight offensive rebounds and score nine second-chance points—a tendency that would follow BC throughout the rest of the game.

“Syracuse’s ferocity on the boards, I thought was the difference [in the game],” head coach Erik Johnson said after the game.

The second quarter was the most competitive part of the game for the Eagles. Syracuse entered the quarter holding onto a 17 point lead, but BC managed to cut into the deficit early in the quarter as the Orange struggled to score for three and a half minutes. Pineau, who finished as the Eagles’ leading scorer, opened up the quarter by shooting 2-for-2 from the charity stripe. Fasoula scored next for BC, followed by another couple of free throws for Pineau. Emma Guy’s layup officially brought the Eagles back to trailing by single digits.

But after that, Day and Peterson contributed a layup and a three, respectively, to break Syracuse’s scoring drought and cushion its lead. Over the remainder of the second half, the Orange outscored the Eagles 11-4, bolstered by accurate 3-point shooting from Peterson and Julia Chandler. Heading into the locker rooms, Syracuse led 40-22.

At halftime, Peterson’s statistics were already impressive. She was perfect from beyond the arc and from the free throw line. She had 17 points, four assists, six steals, and four rebounds. None of her teammates had scored more than six points in the quarter. All together, the Orange hauled in 24 rebounds in the half, including 10 offensive boards for 11 second-chance points.

In the second half, Syracuse began to break away in earnest. Sykes, Day, and Peterson scored all of the points for the Orange in the third frame. Syracuse showed off its offensive rebounding prowess throughout the third quarter, including one possession that saw four straight offensive rebounds from Sykes, Day, and Peterson. With four minutes to go, the Orange had jumped out to a 52-30 lead.

The final four minutes of the quarter were slow as both teams struggled to score. Sykes and Peterson contributed a three and a jumper, respectively, and Pineau drove through the lane for a layup, but that was the total offensive output from both teams in the final minutes of the quarter. Despite Syracuse’s relatively slow stretch, the game was already far out of reach for BC. Heading into the final quarter of play, the Orange led 57-32.

Nothing changed for the Eagles in the fourth quarter. Chandler made two straight 3-pointers early in the quarter to boost Syracuse’s momentum even further and put BC in even bigger of a hole. Pineau continued to be the lone bright spot for the Eagles in the period, but her efforts could not make the game competitive again. As time expired, trailing by 27 points, Martina Mosetti attempted a 3-pointer that didn’t fall. The buzzer went off, and mercifully BC was spared from any more time playing against Peterson and Co.

Peterson finished as unquestionably the game’s best player. She scored 26 points, dished out eight assists, grabbed eight rebounds, and recorded six steals. Day finished with a double-double, scoring 11 points and recording 11 rebounds. As a whole, Syracuse finished with 44 rebounds, including 20 offensive boards.

While BC looked lost on the court against the Orange, it’s important to note that the Eagles actually outperformed some of Syracuse’s past opponents. Syracuse leads the nation in forced turnovers, averaging 23 per game. The Eagles’ ball-handlers protected the rock well, finishing with just 16 turnovers. Regardless, it wasn’t a pretty game for the Eagles.

“Syracuse showed why they are a legitimate top-20 team,” Johnson said.

Featured Image by Celine Lim / Heights Staff

BC Cannot Replicate Shooting Frenzy in Syracuse Rematch

On New Year’s Day, Boston College men’s basketball rung in the new year with its first Atlantic Coast Conference victory since March 10, 2015. Thanks to a scorching shooting performance from the field, the Eagles crushed Syracuse, 96-81 at Conte Forum. Two weeks later, these two long-time rivals clashed again at the Carrier Dome. BC looked to build off its upset win over North Carolina State, while the Orange sought to avenge its previous defeat against the Eagles.

Unfortunately for head coach Jim Christian & Co., BC couldn’t keep the momentum going on the road against Syracuse, turning the ball over 20 times in a 76-53 loss.

The Eagles (9-9, 2-3 Atlantic Coast) and Orange (11-7, 3-2) traded baskets for the first eight minutes of the game. A Ky Bowman 3-pointer with 13 minutes remaining in the half gave BC its first lead of the game, 13-12. The Eagles would soon learn, however, that this Syracuse team made some adjustments with its signature zone defense. Syracuse would go on a 14-2 run over the next nine minutes, a span where the Eagles were held without a made field goal. While Syracuse’s zone appeared significantly better than  a couple weeks ago, the Eagles shot themselves in the foot with their sloppy play.  

In the first matchup between these two teams, BC had 13 turnovers. On Saturday, the Eagles coughed up 15 turnovers in the first half alone, leading to 14 points in transition for Syracuse. Even when the Eagles held onto possession, the shots weren’t falling either. BC shot 36.4 percent from the field and 36.8 percent from three-point territory, generating only four assists. Overall, the Eagles offense lacked the same effectiveness and flow that we saw in the first meeting against Syracuse. In addition to all of these woes, BC found many of its key players in foul trouble in the first half. Bowman, A.J. Turner, Mo Jeffers, and Garland Owens each had two fouls, leading to limited minutes and a free throw disparity. After a rough 20 minutes, the Eagles found themselves down by 13 at the break.

The second half brought many of the same miscues that hurt the Eagles in the first half. BC continued to turn the ball over and have many poor offensive possessions. The backcourt of Bowman and Jerome Robinson struggled to get anything going all game. Bowman finished with three points and Robinson with nine points as they shot a combined 4-for-20 from the field. The Eagles shot just 40 percent from the field. BC’s zone defense also did not show the same effectiveness as the Syracuse zone. Although the Eagles held the Orange largely in check in the first half, Syracuse’s offense tacked on in the second half. Syracuse pulled away from the Eagles and, with a 20-point lead built up in the second half, coasted to the finish line.

The common theme for the Eagles this season is that their success depends on the success of Bowman and Robinson. Since emerging into the starting lineup, Bowman has taken over as the team’s point guard and playmaker alongside Robinson in the backcourt. The freshman has improved over the course of the season, but was held to just one three-point field goal in the loss. The Syracuse zone also shut down Robinson, who came into the matchup with eight consecutive 20-point games.

While both Bowman and Robinson need to perform at their potential for the Eagles to be successful, other players like Turner, Connor Tava, and others need to step up to create a more consistent offensive attack. Nik Popovic was one of the lone bright spots in the blowout loss. He stepped up and led BC with 13 points and seven rebounds in the effort. Although his production was encouraging, the Eagles need more players to contribute on a consistent basis offensively to produce positive results going forward.

Despite bad early losses to teams like Nichols State, Fairfield, and Hartford, BC has shown reasons for optimism based on their conference play thus far. With upset wins against Syracuse and North Carolina State, the Eagles have proven that they can compete with some of the teams in the conference. Although they had a setback in the loss to Syracuse, Bowman and Robinson’s emergence should encourage BC fans about the potential with this team later this season and for years to come.

Featured Image by Nick Lisi / AP Photo

Turnovers Prove Costly for Eagles in Loss to Syracuse

In sports, turnovers are costly—and Boston College women’s basketball just learned that lesson the hard way.

The Eagles traveled to the Carrier Dome in upstate New York to play Syracuse University on Sunday, fresh off a loss to the University of Pittsburgh earlier in the week. And despite strong performances from Kelly Hughes, Georgia Pineau, and Emma Guy, the Eagles fell to the No. 25 Orange by a score of 79-52.

Turnovers in the first quarter prevented BC (8-8, 1-2 Atlantic Coast) from jumping out to a strong start. The first turnover occurred less than 15 seconds into the game, as Kailey Edwards lost possession of the ball. It took BC almost a minute and a half to score its first points of the game, coming in the form of a jumper from Martina Mosetti. But despite scoring efforts from Mosetti, Guy, Hughes, and Emilee Daley, the Eagles couldn’t build up a lead. Throughout the quarter, Syracuse (12-5, 3-1) forced the Eagles into 10 total turnovers and dominated play, so that the first quarter ended with Syracuse leading 21-14.

The Eagles managed to cut down on turnovers in the second quarter, but still lost possession of the ball six times. Hughes continued to lead the way for the Eagles, shooting well from behind the arc. She would finish the game 4-for-7 from 3-point range with 12 points total. While BC outscored Syracuse 17-15 in the quarter, the Orange’s lead entering the period meant that it still held a 36-31 advantage at halftime.

Syracuse opened scoring in the third quarter with a 3-pointer from Brittney Sykes. Taylor Ortlepp sank a trey of her own only seconds later, bringing the deficit back to five points. But the Orange dominated scoring in the third quarter, scoring 27 points to BC’s nine and pulling out of reach. Because of this, BC stared at a 63-40 deficit entering the fourth quarter.

The Orange only extended its lead in the final quarter of play. Syracuse’s Briana Day scored the first five points of the quarter for her team before Abby Grant sank a trey to increase Syracuse’s lead to 71-43 with just about eight minutes to go in the game. Although the Eagles would go on to outscore the Orange during the final eight minutes, the damage was done as the Orange secured its third-straight conference victory.

Featured Image by Amelie Trieu / Heights Editor

Women’s Hockey Continues Home Winning Streak Against Syracuse

With its first game of the new year, Boston College women’s hockey was looking to continue its Kelley Rink domination of the past years. Since Oct. 19, 2013, the Eagles have amassed 58 consecutive victories at home, an NCAA record. Their game against Syracuse saw that 2017 started with more of the same: BC walked away with a 4-3 win.

The beginning of the first period began with the Eagles (13-3-3, 10-2-1 Hockey East) controlling the puck and taking a shot on Abbey Miller less than a minute into the game. Goaltender Katie Burt didn’t sit still during the first period. BC was caught in a tough position when Burt was caught on the right side of the post after a shot from Stephanie Grossi. Burt quickly made her way to the left to block the rebound attempt by Savannah Rennie, saving the Eagles from falling behind early.

BC took the first penalty of the evening, with Grace Bizal sent into the box for hooking. The Eagles showed why they have only given up six power-play goals thus far this year, as they easily kept the puck in Syracuse territory and quickly killed the Orange’s advantage.

Soon after, the Eagles were given an advantage of their own when Larissa Martyniuk was sent in for tripping. But they couldn’t capitalize and the power play ended without a BC goal. After all five Syracuse players returned to the ice, Laurence Porlier’s shot on goal rebounded off Burt’s pad and Morgan Blank was able to bury the puck into the back of net, giving the Orange the first goal of the game. BC was left in unfamiliar territory as Syracuse nabbed a second point 18 seconds before the end of the period when the Eagles were caught going back on defense, and Alysha Burriss shot the puck just under Burt’s glove. The Eagles headed into the locker room in an unusual hole, trailing Syracuse by two goals.

The Eagles came out with a chip on their shoulder in the second quarter. BC had its first chance when Megan Quinn was called for interference. With an advantage on the ice, Kristyn Capizzano caught a deflection in front of the goal and snuck the puck behind Miller and into back of the net just as the power play was ending. After a rocky start in the first period, the Eagles were finding their leg, as Burt robbed Syracuse of multiple chances to get a third goal.

Capizzano cut the lead with her second goal of the night less than 10 minutes into the period. Skating fast into the goal without any defense in her way, she was able to get the puck into the back of the net after a deflection off of Miller’s pad. Soon after her goal, Emily Costales was whistled for cross checking. After a pass from Andie Anastos, Kenzie Kent buried the puck in the back of the goal, giving the Eagles three straight goals in the second period. After the game returned to full play, Capizzano passed the puck to Kent, who passed it back to Capizzano in front of the goal for the finish and her first career hat trick. The Eagles headed back into the locker room more comfortable than before, with a 4-2 lead on Syracuse.

The third and final period was more aggressive, as Syracuse was looking to narrow BC’s lead. Switching up its goalie, they put in freshman Ady Cohen, who was making her first collegiate showing. After a penalty on BC for too many players on the ice, the Orange packed on the pressure and Grossi got the puck behind Burt and capitalized on the power play. BC was handed a second penalty during the third period when Erin Connolly was called for hooking, but the Eagles showed again why they have the country’s best record on the kill, not allowing Syracuse to score during the power play. Syracuse pulled Cohen in the last minute of the game to try to gain an advantage on the Eagles, but the final period ended without another goal and BC won its 59th in a row at home.

Featured Image by Kaitlin Meeks / Heights Staff