The end to the regular season is in sight, and Boston College lacrosse is riding a wave of momentum toward the finish line. Having recently finished ACC play with a win over Virginia Tech, the Eagles were breathing down the neck of a 10-win season. As the team boarded the bus on Wednesday afternoon, there wasn’t much luggage, since the Eagles’ next game was a short road trip into Cambridge. Harvard, an all-too-familiar opponent, posed the only hurdle between the Eagles and the highly-coveted 10-win season.
For the Eagles, a fast and hot start propelled them throughout the first half, giving the team a big halftime lead. The Crimson, though, figured out its offense in the beginning of the second half, and staged a late rally to challenge the BC scoring machine. Ultimately, the late surge by Harvard (7-5, 3-2 Ivy) proved to be insufficient to overcome an early BC lead, as the Eagles (10-6, 2-5 Atlantic Coast) held on to win, 16-9.
Tess Chandler won the opening faceoff for the Eagles, as she did for nearly every draw in the first half. BC began the game hot on offense, and penetrated the Harvard defensive zone. The Eagle barrage led to a Kate Weeks goal to open the scoring. The scoring continued shortly after, as the Eagles continued to swarm and rush the Harvard defense. After catching a Chandler pass from deep inside the offensive zone, Sarah Mannelly shot a laser of a pass to Kate Rich, who scored on a wide-open opportunity. Ten seconds later, Rich struck again in an offensive transition on another open shot after a great pass from Weeks, giving the Eagles a 3-0 lead. Harvard didn’t stay down for too long, though, as its patient offense found a wide-open Keeley MacAfee, whose shot snuck by Ochoa on a point-blank bouncer.
The Eagle offense was not intimidated though, and continued to shine bright, as Kenzie Kent received a pass from Chandler behind the Harvard goal and made a great move to get out front of the net to find a wide-open Rich, who buried her third goal of the game a mere nine minutes into the game. A number of Harvard fouls created extra scoring opportunities for the Eagles. Because of several free-position shots, Kent was able to break free to find Weeks again from behind the net for an open goal, giving BC the 5-1 edge.
But Harvard responded, as Alexis Nicolia streaked down the field and broke the Eagle defense, scoring an unassisted top-shelf goal on Ochoa. BC’s juggernaut offense got right back to work and continued doing what it had all half, and packed on five straight goals—two each from
Mannelly and Margolis, along with one from Kent. The Harvard offense kept its slow and methodical offense despite being down by eight goals, but scored on a great cut by Maeve McMahon, whose shot narrowly beat Ochoa with 26 ticks left in the half, giving a halftime score of 10-3.
The second half featured a stronger showing from Harvard. Nicolia opened up the scoring for the Crimson 41 seconds into the half after Harvard won the opening draw. But Laura Frankenfield and Weeks responded for BC, scoring one goal apiece. Nicolia kept Harvard in the game though, as she scored two more goals within two minutes of each other, setting the score to 12-6. BC and Harvard exchanged goals for the rest of the game, as both teams scored six goals in the half.
The Eagles produced enough offense early on to seal the game despite a great second half comeback by the Crimson. Kent played an important role throughout the game, as she had one goal, but six assists coming from the X position behind the Harvard goal. Harvard has struggled against ranked teams this season, and BC proved just how good ACC competition can be, as it walks away with bragging rights this year.
Featured Image by Lucius Xuan / Heights Staff