In its final tune-up before it enters postseason play, the Boston University women’s lacrosse team celebrated Senior Day with an 11-9 victory Saturday over Bucknell University.
Before the contest, the Terriers (7-9, 5-3 Patriot League) honored all of its seniors on the field, including defender Nell Burdis, midfielders Becca Church and Sydney Godett, defender Christie Hart, attack Elizabeth Morse and goalkeeper Christina Sheridan. The seniors have been an integral part of BU’s success this season, as the group has combined for 52 of the Terriers’ 145 total goals.
“It’s such a special day for us,” said BU coach Liz Robertshaw after the game. “We took some time before the game to talk to the seniors about what it means to be a senior here. And it’s a day where we get the chance to honor their achievements and really play for them. It’s definitely one of my favorite days of the year.”
Following a rough stretch in the season during which they lost four straight games, the Terriers looked to bounce back versus the streaking Bison (4-12, 2-6 Patriot League), a squad that had won four out of its last five matchups following an 0-11 start to the season.
BU drew first blood when sophomore attack Jenny Thompson netted her first goal of the season off the assist from freshman attack Taylor Hardison at the 27:17 mark. A little over eight minutes later, Thompson would score again giving BU the early 3-1 advantage.
“She had a great week of practice and really showed us something new,” Robertshaw said. “She got the start over some players who had been playing a bit inconsistently lately. She certainly got some opportunities and she wasn’t afraid to take some chances. I think the biggest thing was that she never got complacent.”
The Bison responded, however, led by the duo of midfielder Emily Kookogey and midfielder Katelyn Miller. After the trading of goals between Kookogey and junior attack Jenna Boarman, Miller scored two of her five goals on the night and Kookogey scored one more to give Bucknell the 5-4 lead with 8:12 remaining in the first half.
“We let in a couple soft goals there in the first half,” Robertshaw said. “I think we could have also had some better one-on-ones defensively, but they’re a tough duo to stop. Facing them will definitely help us as we go into the [Patriot League Tournament].”
On the ensuing draw control, sophomore midfielder Jill Horka buried her 18th score of the season on an unassisted breakaway. To round out the half, Godett earned a free-position chance and converted, handing BU a narrow 6-5 lead going into halftime.
The Terriers continued their offensive push to begin the second frame. After conceding a goal to senior Sophie Kleinert, BU responded on an unassisted effort by Church. Just 16 seconds later, junior attack Lindsay Weiner got in on the action for her 15th goal of the season, helped out by Boarman.
With an 8-6 lead in hand, the Terriers softened the attack and the teams traded goals for the remainder of the game. Miller scored her team-leading 29th goal of the campaign with just over 11 minutes remaining, cutting the BU lead to one at 10-9. But a few minutes later, Godett responded with another free-position conversion to secure the victory for the Terriers.
With this victory in their last conference matchup, the Terriers clinched the No. 3 seed in the Patriot League Tournament. They will host No. 6 seed Lehigh University at home on Wednesday looking for a berth in the tournament semifinals. The teams last met at Nickerson Field April in a hard-fought matchup that took two overtime periods to decide. Eventually, the Leopards (7-8, 4-4 Patriot League) worked out a 12-11 victory.
“We just have to take every game one at a time,” Robertshaw said. “Earlier this season, we had a tough overtime game against Lehigh. We just have to do the best we can do against them and the rest of the conference.”