Through seven games last season, Boston College lacrosse was 5-2 with a plus-nine goal differential, narrowly slipping by unranked foes in Boston University, Connecticut, and Harvard. This time around, the No. 2 Eagles aren’t leaving any doubt that they’re a contender.
BC stayed undefeated on the strength of 11 first-half goals, coasting to a 14-2 win over Binghamton (3-2) on Friday afternoon amid brutal winds and relentless, darting rain. The Eagles (7-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) now boast an incredible plus-67 goal differential, the country’s top goal-scorer, and three of the top five in total points.
Suffice it to say, BC has picked up right where it left off at the end of its championship run a spring ago. The game was never up for grabs: Eagles’ attacker Emma Schurr scored at the minute and a half mark, and BC proceeded to rattle off 10-straight goals before the visiting Bearcats could get on the board.
Tess Chandler, who returned from a knee injury to play this season as a redshirt senior, continued to step up her game. After scoring a goal apiece in the Eagles first five games, Chandler netted two against Navy and followed it up with a second-half hat trick against Binghamton.
Paired with a four-goal effort from Sam Apuzzo, who furthered her convincing lead atop the national leaderboard, BC won by six-plus goals for the sixth time in seven games. The defense frustrated the Bearcats time and time again, while goaltender Lauren Daly stopped six of the eight shots she faced.
Meanwhile, Binghamton didn’t have an answer to the Eagles diverse attack. Allowing nine free-position shots didn’t help either, as BC converted five of them. Sheila Rietano also scored twice and added an assist for the Eagles, who built a 15-4 shots on goal advantage after the first 30 minutes of play.
Apuzzo scored three of BC’s first six goals, joining Rietano, Schurr, and Dempsey Arsenault as the group jumped out to a 6-0 lead after just 13 minutes. Five different Eagles scored the next five goals to close the half, as the likes of Brooke Troy, Tara Schurr, and Kaileen Hart got on board. Freshman Jordan Lappin, who had scored seven goals over the past three games, was held scoreless, but did chip in her first career assist on Rietano’s second.
The second half started slowly for both teams. An invigorated Bearcats team backup goaltender Taylor Passuello kept the Eagles off the board for the first 14 minutes behind backup goaltender Taylor Passuello, but, once again, its demise was a byproduct of costly fouls. Binghamton’s Kaia Gallop was charged with a foul, Chandler converted the ensuing free-position shot, and BC was off to the races. That sparked a mini-run for the senior, who found the back of the net off a Rietano assist just two minutes later.
After the Bearcats scored their second goal of the game, Chandler had an answer down the stretch. She completed her hat trick with 1:25 to go, sending Binghamton home in a convincing manner.
It was a decisive win to start the month of March for the Eagles, who enjoyed a stellar February. Not only did they go undefeated, but they beat three top-20 opponents (Notre Dame, Massachusetts, Navy), in-state rivals (BU, Holy Cross), and a Brown team that opened up the season playing some of its best lacrosse. It’s a credit to BC that not only did it go on the road against an ACC foe to open the season and win, but that it also defended its turf over the course of a four-game homestand against an array of respectable opponents.
The sledding only gets tougher from here. After five of their first seven were home, the Eagles now hit the road for a four-game stretch, starting with a spring break trip to California. It won’t all be fun in the sun, though—BC takes on No. 13 Southern California before a quick turnaround with San Diego State. Then, it’s back-to-back games against Louisville and Yale, both teams receiving votes for a top-20 ranking. Obviously, these are hard games—especially with a No. 2 bounty on its head, considering that every opponent is looking for that resumé-building win.
Still, if the impressive start is any indication of the collective talent the Eagles boast, this trip should allow them to continue to cement their place near the country’s pole position.
Featured Image by Bradley Smart / Heights Editor