Remaining perfect in Patriot League play, the Boston University women’s lacrosse handed the No. 14/19 U.S. Naval Academy its first loss of the season, snapping the Midshipmen’s 15-game Patriot League win streak, on the road in Annapolis, Md., Saturday afternoon.
The Terriers’ (3-5, 3-0 Patriot League) 9-8 victory over the Midshipmen (9-1, 3-1 Patriot League) is their first against a ranked opponent this year and their third win in their last four outings.
After the game, BU coach Liz Robertshaw credited the Terriers’ focus for the big win.
“Before the game I told them I wanted them to be more focused and to play harder,” Robertshaw said. “I wanted to see a strong and sharp team and I did.”
Navy came out strong, starting the scoring just six seconds into the game when sophomore Katie Gallagher beat BU freshman goalkeeper Caroline Meegan at the 29:54 mark of the first half. Sophomore Lizzy Rullan was credited with the assist.
BU answered quickly off of the stick of junior attack Kelsey Marafioti three minutes later with 26:54 remaining in the half.
The Midshipmen’s leading goal scorer, senior Jill Coughlin, buried her 25th and 26th goals of the year on unassisted tries to make it a 3-1 contest. After the two tallies, the Terriers would manage to keep Navy’s leading scorer off the board for the rest of the contest.
The Terriers would not led the Navy lead last though, as sophomore midfielder Jill Horka would cash in a free-position shot at 20:09, pulling BU to within one goal. Seven minutes later, senior midfielder Becca Church’s individual effort led to an unassisted tally and a 3-3 score.
The last five minutes of the first half were saw goals coming from both sides. Navy freshman Aislinn Probst started the back-and-forth play and broke the tie at the 5:50 mark, making it a 4-3 Midshipmen lead. Gallagher recorded her second point of the day with an assist on the goal. BU would tie the game at 4-4 less than a minute later when sophomore midfielder Sophia Robbins answered with an unassisted goal. Not even a minute after the Church marker, Navy senior Aimee Gennaro ended the flurry of goals at 4:17, which gave the Midshipmen a 5-4 advantage.
Navy looked to take its lead into the second half, but BU redshirt sophomore attack Mallory Collins had other ideas. Collins scored on a free-position shot with just one second remaining on the clock, knotting the game at 5-5 going into halftime.
Although Navy had a 13-8 shot advantage at the end of the first half, the Terriers held the momentum going into the break. Collins’ late goal at the end of the first sparked a four-goal run by the Terriers that continued at the start of the second.
Horka tallied her second point of the game when she assisted on senior midfielder Sydney Godett’s goal with 26:03 remaining in the half.
Not even two minutes later, junior attack Lindsay Weiner fed Church for the Terriers’ second goal of the frame. Collins finished off the Terrier run at the 19:03 mark and when Horka threw her a pass to set up the goal. The goal gave the Terriers an 8-5 lead over the Midshipmen with under 20 minutes left to play in the final half.
Navy freshman Morgan Young would end BU’s offensive run with a goal with 18:26 to go and another freshman, Kaitlan Moynihan, would score for Navy two minutes after the Young goal to cut the BU edge to 8-7.
BU looked for insurance, and got just that when Horka tallied her second goal and fourth point of the contest that gave the Terriers a strong 9-7 lead with a little more than 10 minutes left on the clock.
Sophomore Miranda Beal would answer with a goal on a free-position shot at 8:34 making it a 9-8 game, but the goal ended up being too late for the Midshipmen.
Despite being outshot 26-15, the Terriers held on for the 9-8 win. The offense was timely, but the play of Meegan in net helped the Terriers prevail down the stretch. Roberstshaw said the changes her goalkeeper made mid-game helped Meegan in her 10-save effort.
“She did great,” Robertshaw said. “Started off a little shaky, got adjusted and had a fantastic performance. She stood up and made some key saves.”
Robertshaw also commended senior defender Christie Hart’s game, along with the play of the entire defense to help close out the win.
“[Hart’s] a strong 1-on-1 player, she allowed the defensive unit around her to take risks and play great,” Robertshaw said. “The defense buckled down and made saves.”