Despite holding an early edge, the Boston University women’s lacrosse team fell 11-8 to the No. 10/11 University of Massachusetts-Amherst on the road Wednesday afternoon.
“We knew what to expect with this team,” said BU coach Liz Robertshaw. “We felt really good about the game plan and executed it well, but we did not have the confidence to keep the game going in our favor.”
The loss marks BU’s (0-3) third consecutive defeat of the season, all of which have been against ranked opponents.
The Terriers hopped out to a quick lead in the first two minutes of play, with two goals coming from sophomore midfielder Sofia Robins. The first score was assisted by junior attack Jenna Boarman, while Robins’ second goal was unassisted.
The Minutewomen (4-0) answered back with 25:37 left in the first with a tally from senior Sam Rush on an assist from senior Melissa Carell to make the game 2-1.
Redshirt sophomore attack Mallory Collins put up another goal for BU about three minutes later, extending the Terrier lead to 3-1.
But by the 19:58 mark, UMass notched its fourth goal in a row to take a 5-3 lead. The first score came from Rush. Sophomore Erika Eipp did the rest, following up the Rush goal with a hat trick, scoring the next three goals within six minutes of play.
“Eipp stepped up huge today, she had a big day,” Robertshaw said. “That’s what makes this team hard to play against. They have people who step up and they don’t just need one person in order to get the win.”
BU finally ended the UMass run with a goal from Boarman that was assisted by junior attack Lindsay Weiner with just 1:06 remaining in the half.
The first frame came to end with the Minutewomen leading 5-4, outshooting the Terriers 14-9.
BU opened up the second half with a goal at the 28:45 mark from junior attack Kelsey Marafioti, tying up the game at five.
The Minutewomen quickly answered the Terrier goal with two of their own from sophomore Kate Farnham and senior Katie Sheridan with 25:53 in the game.
With 16:41 remaining in the game, UMass put two more marks on the board with goals from Rush and reigning Atlantic 10 Conference Player of the Year Katie Ferris to bring the score to 9-5.
In an attempt to get back in the contest, Marafioti found the back of the net with help from Weiner, cutting BU’s deficit to three with 15:53 left. Weiner then scored a goal with just over 11 minutes remaining to bring the score to 9-7.
The Minutewomen responded with two more goals — one from redshirt sophomore Katie Ott and the other from Eipp, who ended the game with four scores — to give the Minutewomen a cushion and an 11-7 lead with 6:00 of play remaining.
With a little over two minutes left, Robbins added a goal for the Terriers, but it was not enough for BU to overcome the deficit, and the Minutewomen came away with the 11-8 win.
Even though the Terriers lost the match, the early lead gave Robertshaw confidence that the team will have what it takes to compete against high-caliber squads for the rest of the season.
“I believe [the team] can do it and the players believe they can do it,” Robertshaw said. “They just have to put in the work to get it done. It’s as simple as finishing a play and getting it to our attackers. They have it in them to play against big teams and get big wins”
Robertshaw also said she saw improvements in the team and will look to use this better play next time out against Dartmouth College.
“Our attack was much more composed today,” Robertshaw said. We were solid on defense. [Goalkeeper Caroline] Meegan was good in the cage with nine saves. All those things looked good. Hopefully we can learn a lot from today and keep getting better and win the next game.”