To open up the season, the Boston University women’s lacrosse team traveled to Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday to battle No. 1 University of North Carolina. Unfortunately for the Terriers, they could not counter the 15 goals the Tar Heels scored in the first half and lost 18-8.
UNC’s first goal came early in the first half, as just more than a minute and a half into the game, with attack Abbey Friend firing an unassisted goal past senior goalkeeper Christina Sheridan. A mere 17 seconds later, the Tar Heels (2-0) notched another goal, this time from midfielder Maggie Bill.
Within the next two minutes, UNC made it a 4-0 game with a goal from attack Aly Messinger, followed by another goal from Friend.
The Terriers (0-1) answered back at the 25:27 mark with a goal from redshirt sophomore attack Mallory Collins, who played her first game since 2012 due to injury.
With just under 22 minutes remaining, Friend secured her third goal of the game, pushing the score to 5-1. Collins answered, scoring her second of the contest, making it a 5-2 game with 19 minutes left in the first half.
During an 11-minute stretch during the middle of the first frame, the Tar Heels put up seven goals, with two scores from attack Sydney Holman and Messinger, and one goal each from Friend, freshman Carly Reed and attack Molly Hendrick.
BU only got one past UNC goalkeeper Megan Ward during that time, with a shot from junior attack from Lindsay Weiner. BU switched goalkeepers with 12:07 left, pulling Sheridan for freshman Caroline Meegan.
With six minutes left before the intermission, the Terriers made it a 12-4 game with another tally from Collins.
The first half concluded with three unanswered goals from midfielder Carly Davis, Holman and Friend. At the half, UNC led 15-4 and outshot the Terriers 23-10.
BU coach Liz Robertshaw explained the necessity to switch goalies with 12 minutes left in the first half.
“Christina went down with an injury and we had to bring in Caroline,” Robertshaw said. “We had to keep UNC’s shooting to a minimum and bring a stronger defense.”
With BU heading into the break down by a sizeable amount, Robertshaw said the team looked to limit the potent Tar Heel attack.
“We were going to try to have to hold them and only allow the shots that we wanted to see,” Robertshaw said. “We had to keep fighting and not get down going into the second half.”
Robertshaw’s advice proved successful, as BU outscored UNC 4-3 in the second half of play. However, this was not enough for the Terriers to overcome the 15-4 deficit they faced at the start of the period.
Freshman Molly Hendrick, Messinger, and senior Taylor George all scored within the first ten minutes of the second frame to open things up for UNC.
With just more than 14 minutes left in the game, BU fired back with four unanswered goals. Collins started the trend with a goal with 14:23left, followed by goals from sophomore defender Remy Nolan, junior attack Kelsey Marafioti and freshman attack Taylor Hardison. Despite the late push, the game ended in an 18-8 victory for UNC.
Even though the Terriers succumbed to the top-ranked team in the country, Robertshaw said she was proud of her team’s effort.
“We matched them energy and fight-wise, but not execution-wise,” Robertshaw said.
“It was a great test for the first game of the season, I saw some great things. We need to make sure to focus on us and get better everyday. It’s tough to play the best team in the nation for the first game on their home field, but I thought we handled it very well.
“It’s too early to tell exactly where things will go, but there is an energy and fight in this team that I’m very excited about. If we go into every game of the season like this, great things will happen.”