The Boston University lacrosse team won its second straight game Saturday afternoon, ending a two-game road trip to northern California with an 18-9 win over Saint Mary’s University. For the first time this season, the Terriers are on a win streak.
“I think all of us were excited to come out of this week with two wins,” said BU coach Liz Robertshaw. “It’s always [challenging] on spring break because there’s a lot of distractions.”
BU (3-4) was only up 8-6 at halftime in the contest with Saint Mary’s (2-7), but scored six unanswered goals at the beginning of the second half to move well ahead of the Gaels of the West Coast Conference.
Saint Mary’s scored the first goal of the game off of an unassisted shot from midfielder Amanda Cross only 25 seconds into the first half. But the Terriers came right back with two three-goal runs, split by another goal from Cross.
Saint Mary’s followed BU’s run with a three-goal streak of its own. BU and Saint Mary’s exchanged a goal before senior attack Molly Swain notched the final goal of the half for the Terriers with 2:51 remaining.
Despite being on the lower end of the scoreboard at the end of the first, the Gaels led the Terriers in a number of statistical categories. Saint Mary’s outshot BU 15-9 in the first half, and won 10 draw controls, double BU’s total.
Robertshaw credited the Gaels’ play to a general sense of aggressiveness.
“Saint Mary’s came out and played a very strong first half,” Robertshaw said. “They came after us. They went really hard on the draw controls. They caused turnovers. They forced us [into] doing things we didn’t want to do.”
In the second half, BU began with the aforementioned six-goal run and never really saw much of a goal scoring threat from Saint Mary’s. The Gaels stopped the run with 17:10 to go with goal from a free-position shot by midfielder Rachel Minarovich, but BU scored four more times over the following eight minutes to put away the game.
Minarovich scored unassisted with 4:00 remaining and junior Caroline Mahony scored the final goal for the Gaels with 2:39 left to create the penultimate tally.
BU outshot Saint Mary’s 16-9 in the second half, finishing the game with a one shot advantage. The Terriers also picked up nine ground balls in the second, a category BU won throughout the game, 13-9. Draw controls in the closing frame were split at seven, with the Gaels holding a 17-12 advantage overall.
BU junior midfielder Kristen Mogavero led all scorers with five goals, followed by junior attack Danielle Etrasco with four and sophomore attack Hannah Frey and freshman attack Mallory Collins with three apiece. Junior defender Brittany Carlin picked up three ground balls and sophomore midfielder Sydney Godett won five draw controls.
Sophomore goalkeeper Christina Sheridan played 48:16, allowing six goals and making seven saves. Junior goalkeeper Kim Elsworth played the other 11:44, in which she allowed two goals.
Senior attack Catie Tilton set the program record for single-game assists in the victory with nine, breaking the previous mark of seven. Entering the game, Tilton had seven assists on the year. Last season, she recorded 23.
“Saint Mary’s was a little bit off and on in pressuring her and I think she handled it better,” Robertshaw said of Tilton’s play. “I think she saw the open looks from Hannah [Frey], from Kristen Mogavero, from Danielle [Etrasco], and she just fed the ball. For the first time this season, I really saw her play a game that I think she can play and I’m going to expect her to play.”
Cross, Minarovich and midfielder Mariah Walk led Saint Mary’s with two goals apiece. Minarovich won eight draw controls to lead the Gaels, and no player picked up more than one ground ball.
Junior goalkeeper Kathleen Worsdale played 47:24 in front of the cage, allowing 16 goals and making four saves. Sophomore goalkeeper Julia Holton replaced Worsdale in the second half and allowed two goals with one save during her 12:36 of play.
The Terriers are now on the verge of .500 for the second time this season and will face Yale University at Nickerson Field on Wednesday, a game postponed from Feb. 29. The game is BU’s last before conference games begin, though a few non-conference games will be played in the back half of the season.
During the rest of the non-conference part of the schedule, Robertshaw said she wants her team to work back to two themes she has emphasized all year long.
“I’d like to see this team come here and play with a little more confident style of attack from the start of games,” Robertshaw said. “I’d also like us to be a little more consistent.”