Seeking its first win of the season, the Boston University women’s lacrosse team came up short again Wednesday afternoon, falling 9-7 to Dartmouth College on the road in Hanover, N.H.
The Terriers (0-4) entered their road matchup after having faced three consecutive nationally ranked opponents, including the current No. 1 and No. 3 teams in the University of North Carolina and University of Maryland. In their last game against No. 10 University of Massachusetts-Amherst, the Terriers fell by a score of 11-8 in a hard-fought defensive struggle.
“We’re seeing some nice improvements,” said BU coach Liz Robertshaw. “Our playmakers have begun to play the way we expect them to. The main issue for us is that we often get tripped up by simple mistakes. When we overcome those, we’re a completely different team.”
Coming into the contest, the Big Green (3-1) had lost their most recent game against Yale University after winning the first two matchups of their campaign by a combined margin of 11 goals.
The Big Green started off the game against BU quickly with two goals in the first five minutes of the game, including one from leading scorer junior Sarah Byrne. The West Hartford, Conn., native would go on to score two more goals in the game, pushing her season total up to 16.
The Terriers would respond with two goals of their own, tying the game up at the 22:54 mark in the first half on an unassisted shot from junior attack Lindsay Weiner. Weiner was one of five Terriers to score in the game.
With both teams struggling for offense throughout the game, the Terriers hurt their own cause by giving up three free-position shots in the first half. The Big Green converted on all three of these opportunities, which stretched their lead out to 4-2.
“Those shots were tough,” Robertshaw said. “I don’t think we were seeing the ball well in the first half, which led to those three [free position shots]. We just didn’t have the defenders there to make the stops we needed, which definitely cost us.”
These two goals opened the floodgates as the Big Green went on to score four more times en route to an eight-goal half. The final goal with 20 seconds remaining in the frame swelled the Dartmouth lead to 8-4 going into the break.
To start the second half, BU allowed nine shots, just two fewer than Dartmouth’s first half total, however, freshman goalkeeper Caroline Meegan stopped seven of them. The Terriers also held the Big Green to just a 25 percent conversion rate on free-position chances in the second half.
“Caroline [Meegan] played an outstanding second half,” Robertshaw said. “She made key stops to keep us in the game, which we emphasized during halftime.”
Both teams traded goals to open up scoring in the half, but the Terriers sustained their offensive intensity, scoring two more in less than a minute to cut the deficit to two with 18 minutes to play.
Junior attack Kelsey Marafioti scored the first off an assist from freshman attack Taylor Hardison. The second goal in this scoring stretch came unassisted from sophomore midfielder Jill Horka.
Despite having plenty of time to cut into the 9-7 Dartmouth advantage, BU could not overcome the Big Green defense. The Terriers did not help themselves by committing eight turnovers in the second half.
With the first conference game of the season on the bill for Saturday against American University, the Terriers will certainly be hungrier than ever for their first victory.
“We’re excited to start conference play,” Robertshaw said. “In order to succeed we have to fix our shortcomings and get back to the basics. We know that we’re going to have to really focus to get that first win.”