When the Boston University lacrosse team fell behind 4-0 early in its game against Stony Brook University, everything seemed to be following recent trends. The Terriers have made a habit of manufacturing comeback wins so far this season, something they did again on Saturday to capture at least a share of the America East regular-season title.
Backed by a four-goal effort by senior attack Hannah Frey, a nine-save performance by junior goalkeeper Kim Elsworth and a game-winning goal from freshman attack Mallory Collins with just over three minutes remaining, BU won its matchup with the Seawolves 15-14 at Nickerson Field.
“It feels great. It was a goal that we set three weeks ago with our team of really going out and establishing the new BU lacrosse,” said BU coach Liz Robertshaw. “We’re not done, but I think this is a great step.”
Stony Brook (11-4, 3-1 America East) began the game on a four-goal run in the first four minutes, getting two goals from attack Claire Peterson and a goal and an assist from Janine Hillier. However, once BU (9-5, 5-0 America East) substituted in Elsworth for sophomore starting goalkeeper Christina Sheridan, the game took a turn in BU’s favor.
The Terriers scored five out of the next six goals in the game to tie the contest up 5-5 with 13:25 remaining in the first half. Frey was the star of the scoring trend for the Terriers, netting three goals in that span.
Stony Brook midfielder Amber Kupres scored one of her two goals of the game to give the Seawolves another lead, but then a free-position goal from senior Molly Swain and a rebound goal off another free-position shot from Swain by junior attack Danielle Etrasco gave BU the 7-6 advantage.
Midfielder Michelle Rubino netted back-to-back goals to close the half and give Stony Brook another lead.
The teams traded the lead six times throughout the game, including three times in the first half.
The beginning of the second half was the opposite of the first, as BU scored five of the first six goals in the half to take a 12-9 lead with 16:02 remaining in the game. The Terriers had four different goal scorers during that five-goal stretch, a testament to the balanced scoring throughout the game.
“[The spread out scoring] is why we won,” Robertshaw said. “We won because if you take out two of our scoring threats our other ones were going to step up. Everyone stepped up when they needed to, including our middies getting draw controls and our defenders getting two to three charging calls. That was huge.”
Stony Brook stormed back though, answering with four goals of its own and taking a 13-12 lead with 11:19 remaining in the game. Senior midfielder Annie Stookesberry tied the game just over two minutes later though, setting up an even game with less than ten minutes remaining.
Midfielder Amber Kupres scored with 6:22 remaining in the game to give Stony Brook the initial advantage, but a timely goal by junior midfielder Kristen Mogavero followed by the Collins game-winner with 3:12 remaining in the game propelled BU to a 15-14 win.
With the capture of at least a piece of the America East regular-season title, BU has earned the rights to host the America East tournament in the postseason.
“We said [before the game] that there is a spot in the trophy case for a regular season title,” Robertshaw said. “We got it.”
As for winning another close game, Robertshaw said that she enjoyed that style of match more than one that had a greater goal differential.
“This is fun. This is why I do it,” Robertshaw said. “I love coming out and coaching game days, I love trying to outcoach the other coach and find a way to motivate my own team. I like the tight games. I have more gray hairs, but it’s ok.”