In its first game of the season, the Boston University women’s lacrosse team showed its scoring depth potential in a victory over the No. 12/14 University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
The game served as an early proving ground for BU (1-0), given the stifling defense against senior attack Danielle Etrasco. Etrasco — last season’s leading scorer and a recent selection for the U.S. national team — was guarded heavily by UMass (3-2) defenders for the majority of the match.
Additionally, an injury to sophomore attack Mallory Collins removes another scoring threat for the Terriers. Collins was named last year’s America East Rookie of the Year, finishing the season with 55 points on 46 goals and nine assists, second best on the BU squad.
Despite the lack of scoring opportunities for its top players, several other Terriers stepped up in support.
Sophomore attack Jenna Boarman consistently found herself in positions to score. She saw limited time her freshman year, but will be called on to take up some of the scoring duties this season.
“Jenna stepped up and took some great chances,” said BU coach Liz Robertshaw.
At 7:10 into the match and facing a 2-0 deficit, the Terriers were on the offensive, deep in the UMass zone. Junior attack Becca Church had the ball on the right side of the net and found Boarman, who fired the ball low past the goalkeeper for her first goal of the season and the third of her career.
Boarman had a huge day feeding off the attention on Etrasco. She finished with a total of six shots, two goals and an assist.
Coming off of a free position attempt 13:15 into the match, freshman midfielder Ally Adams controlled the ball for the Terriers and sent in a pass to freshman midfielder Sofia Robins, who was streaking towards the net and fired a shot past the goalkeeper for her first score of her collegiate career.
“It was huge that everyone stepped up,” Robertshaw said. “This was Sofia Robins’ first game, and for her to score that goal after getting saved the shot before, that was a big play.”
Adams, who assisted on the play, spent the majority of the game around the net creating shot opportunities for her teammates and finished the day with two assists.
At that point in the match, Etrasco, had not gotten a single shot opportunity. Upon receipt of the ball, she was regularly faced with multiple defenders and was forced to pass it away. This swarming defense on Etrasco freed up Robins for multiple shot opportunities. She finished the game with five shots on goal, compared to Etrasco’s two.
“We knew that if they were going to play a zone against us that we would have to put Danielle in the middle,” Robertshaw said. “It was going to take away some of her scoring looks, but it was for the good of the team and everyone stepped up well around her.”
Church was also a key player in the victory, and will likely have to continue to step up if the Terriers want to have a chance at the postseason. She finished with two assists and an unassisted goal with 46 seconds left to play in the first half that brought the Terriers within one goal of the Minutewomen, 4-3.
“We did a good job with other people showing that they wanted to put the ball in the back of the net,” Robertshaw said. “They really trusted themselves.”
With a final score of 9-8 after two overtime periods, the Terriers saw goals from seven different players, with two players scoring two goals.
Etrasco, who was blanketed for the majority of the game, still found a way to come up with big plays for the Terriers. Her two goals came within two minutes of each other in the second half. The first served as the go-ahead goal for the Terriers on an unassisted gem, and the second came off of a feed from Boarman that put BU up by two goals with fewer than nine minutes to play.
But with the attention Etrasco will demand from opposing defenses, the Terriers will have to rely on supporting players to get frequent, timely goals. If Wednesday’s performance is any indication, this shouldn’t be a problem.