The Boston University women’s lacrosse team has been led by its midfielders all season, and with the Patriot League Tournament upon them, this talented group stepped up to the challenge once again, leading the team to a second-place finish.
Paced by seniors Becca Church and Sydney Godett, who have combined for 33 starts this season, the Terrier (9-10, 5-3 Patriot League) midfield has been a source of consistency for BU coach Liz Robertshaw all season.
“The midfielders have been the core of our team all season long,” Robertshaw said. “They work so hard to stay in the shape necessary to be running back and forth across the field. It’s definitely a tall order, doing what we ask of them. But they play both sides of the field so well, they make it look easy.”
This balanced bunch has packed the statistic tables for BU across the board. Church is third on the team in points with 30, while holding the two spot in caused turnovers with 20. Meanwhile, Godett personifies efficiency, placing second on the team in shot percentage at 57 percent and committing a minimal 20 fouls on the campaign.
“It’s really sad to see these midis go,” Robertshaw said. “They’ve really had such great careers here … Sydney has made this unit a core for us all season. She gathers all the midfielders together before the game to talk about the gameplan and get them ready to play.”
Though the seniors’ leadership on and off the field cannot be quantified, it is a special group of underclassmen that will make the Terriers contenders in the Patriot League for the foreseeable future.
Sophomores Sofia Robins and Ally Adams have made the most of their time on the field this season. Adams has started seven games this season, contributing 11 points and 14 caused turnovers. The Severna Park, Md., native posted her first-career hat trick earlier this month versus then-No. 14 Loyola University–Maryland.
“Our sophomore class is fantastic,” Robertshaw said. “They’ve played extremely well this year and they bring an excitement and a work ethic and a real passion for winning. They’re going to be huge in keeping our tradition alive.”
Robins has also displayed a knack for the net over the course of this year, converting shots on goal at an 81 percent rate, the highest on the team of anyone with more than 10 shot attempts. However, Robins does most of her damage at half-field, scooping up 11 ground balls this season and winning six draw controls.
Despite the contributions of these underclassmen, they pale in comparison to those of classmate Jill Horka. She made 16 starts this season, putting up 25 goals on 61 shots while converting 55 percent of her free-position chances. On the defensive side of the ball, she dominated, leading the Terriers in ground balls (31), draw controls (41) and caused turnovers (24).
“I’m watching her grow up before my eyes it’s just really special,” Robertshaw said. “She still needs to work on some things. But she’s completely fearless, which you can’t teach.”
As BU entered its first postseason as a member of the Patriot League, its midfielders took control right from the start. In the first game against Lehigh University, Horka scored five of the Terriers’ 14 goals and caused two turnovers. Meanwhile, Adams and Robins contributed two ground balls off the bench.
In the semifinal game versus the U.S. Naval Academy, Church and Godett stepped up once again, combining for five goals and five ground balls. Horka posted another three points on the way to the Terriers’ second one-point victory over the Midshipmen (14-3, 6-2 Patriot League) this season.
Facing the Greyhounds (14-4, 8-0 Patriot League), BU’s senior midfielders did all they could against one of the elite teams in the nation. Church took four draw controls and caused a turnover, while Godett stole a ground ball and added two draw control wins. However, their efforts were not enough as Loyola rolled to the Patriot League title with a 18-7 victory.
“I’m so thankful to the seniors that they got us back into [the conference championship],” Robertshaw said. “We want to be there year in and year out and this was a great start.”
As the Terriers reflect on what can certainly be considered a successful inaugural run in their new conference, they will look on the accomplishments of their midfield this season, and they will hope to reach their goal of a conference championship next year on the backs of Adams, Robins and Horka.
“It’s going to be the same amount of work next year and the year after that,” Robertshaw said. “But I think we’re up to the challenge.”