After losing the first two games of the season to No. 1 University of North Carolina and the No. 3 University of Maryland, the Boston University women’s lacrosse team will take on the No. 10/11 University of Massachusetts-Amherst Wednesday at 3 p.m. on the road at McGuirk Stadium.
Led by two goals from junior attack Jenna Boarman, the Terriers came away with a thrilling 9-8 win in overtime last year against UMass (3-0) during the season-opening game. Although BU won the last matchup, UMass holds a 12-9 edge in the all-time series between the two.
Even though the game will be the team’s third road game, part of six straight road contests to start the year, BU is looking forward to playing in Massachusetts for the first time this season.
“We are excited that the travel is shorter and closer to home,” said BU coach Liz Robertshaw. “It will be good for the girls that some of the local parents will be there to watch and support.”
The game will also be BU’s third consecutive match against a ranked team, but Robertshaw said the elite competition improves the team’s focus.
“[It was good to] get settled on what we want to do on attack and defense [in the first two games,” Robertshaw said. “[It’s good to] play teams of a similar caliber so our girls are focused on competing and battling every moment.
“[We are] looking for everybody to step up. We will gain success once everybody is a threat … [We want] to see more out of the sophomores, like [sophomore midfielder] Ally Adams and [sophomore defenseman] Remy Nolan, and more from seniors [midfielder] Becca Church and [midfielder] Sydney Godett on an offensive standpoint.”
So far this season for the Terriers, redshirt sophomore attack Mallory Collins had the led offense, scoring five goals through the first two contests. Additionally, freshman attack Taylor Hardison has notched three goals and one assist to hold the second spot on the team in total points.
“Taylor Hardison has been fearless and I’m really happy with what I’ve been seeing from her,” Robertshaw said. “Mallory Collins has been doing great too, but I know she can give us more. She knows she can give us more. We’re not going to find success from just two or three girls.”
UMass on the other hand comes into tomorrow’s game a riding a three-game winning streak. The Minutewomen were victorious in their games against Vanderbilt University, the University of Connecticut and the College of the Holy Cross.
Junior goalkeeper Rachel Vallarelli has started all three games for the Minutewomen and has been strong in doing so. Her goals-against average sits at 5.12 and she also boasts a .517 save percentage. At the other goal, the Terriers will look to freshman goalie Caroline Meegan, who owns a 16.45 goals-against average and .349 save percentage in the early part of the season.
The UMass roster holds eight of its top 10 scorers from last year and nine starters, including leading scorer and 2013 Atlantic 10 Conference Player of the Year, senior attack Katie Ferris. During her junior year, the New York native tallied an impressive 52 goals and 23 assists to lead the team. Thus far in 2014, she has posted eight goals and 10 assists.
Not only are they ranked as one of the top teams in the nation, but the Minutewomen are also favored to win the Atlantic 10 championship this year, which they have won the past five seasons.
Despite the snow that is scheduled in tomorrow’s forecast, the game will be played regardless of the weather conditions.
“[The game] is going to be a battle,” Robertshaw said. “The weather is never nice and we are prepared for that. The ranks don’t matter. We’re excited and want to go out and follow our game plan.”