The Boston University women’s lacrosse team looks to build on its success from the 2013 season as it opens up regular season play Wednesday against the No. 12/14 University of Massachusetts-Amherst on Nickerson Field at 3 p.m.
BU went 11–6 overall and 6–0 in America East play last season, and went into the America East tournament as the top seed. However, the Terriers suffered a 15–9 loss against the University at Albany in the semifinal game, ending their season earlier than most expected.
The Terriers will be embarking on their final season as a part of the America East, as BU will be transitioning into the Patriot League for 2013-14. Due to the conference change, the Terriers are banned from the conference tournament at the conclusion of the regular season.
“We’ve had to shift some of our focus to making a little bit more of a challenging out-of-conference schedule to see about getting an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament,” said BU coach Liz Robertshaw on the tournament ban.
Senior attack Danielle Etrasco, who was recently selected to the Tewaaraton Award watch list, is bound to be a force to be reckoned with on the Terriers’ offense. The award is given to the most outstanding lacrosse player for both men and women, and Etrasco is making her second appearance on the list.
Last season, Etrasco started each of the Terriers’ 17 games and finished second in the conference with 80 total points on 58 goals and 22 assists. She was also second in America East in goals per game (3.41) and points per game (4.71). When it counted the most, she was at her best, tied for first in the conference with four game-winning goals.
Etrasco was also named an Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association Third Team All-American in 2012 and is a two-time America East All-Conference Team selection.
In January, Etrasco became the first Boston University player in history to be named to the U.S Women’s National Lacrosse Team. She will compete in the 2013 FIL World Cup.
“The sky’s the limit for Danielle,” Robertshaw said. “It’s going to be something where I want her to stay loose and have fun, but not feel the need to put all of the weight of the team on her shoulders.”
Other than Etrasco, the Terriers will return fifteen players from last year’s roster, including sophomore attack Mallory Collins, who was fourth in America East in goals per game (2.71) and also accrued four game-winning goals. Collins’s success as a freshman earned her 2012 America East Rookie of the Year honors.
Occupying the majority of time in the net this season will be junior goalkeeper Christina Sheridan, who started each of the Terriers’ 17 games last season and recorded a 9–5 record including a 11.98 goal-against average. As a team last season, BU had a goal-against average of 11.94, which was good for fifth in the conference.
At the beginning of last season, the Terriers got off to a slow start, dropping their first two games to UMass and Harvard University, each on the road. This season, they will start off with two straight home games — the first being against in-state rival UMass, and the second against Dartmouth College.
The Terriers will attempt to improve on their scoring after finishing third in the conference in the scoring department last season at just fewer than 13 goals per game.
But Robertshaw said her team is poised to succeed in 2013 after going undefeated in conference play in 2012.
“We want to build off of the confidence that a lot of our players have gained from last year,” Robertshaw said. “And then really take it to the next level, seeing how good we can be.”