Lacrosse, NCAA, Sports

Women’s lacrosse opens April schedule with home-win over Lafayette

The Boston University women’s lacrosse team cruised to its second-consecutive win of the season Sunday. The Terriers pulled off a 18-7 victory over Lafayette College at Nickerson Field, improving the team’s record to 3-4 overall on the season.

The Terriers had remained undefeated in its past seven matchups against the Leopards before coming into Sunday’s game. BU’s staggering offense and defense proved to be too much for this Leopards unit and the streak continued.

mckenzie irvine of boston university in a lacrosse game
Senior attacker Makenzie Irvine in a March 27 game against the College of the Holy Cross. The Terriers defeated Lafayette College 18-7 Sunday. ROBERT BRANNING/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

“Just a group that believed and fought really hard … which has been a big goal,” BU head coach Lauren Morton said in a press conference Sunday. “Top to bottom, I think this was just such a phenomenal team win for us.”

The home team entered Sunday’s game missing 15 players from its roster. Morgan said she believed the victory was still possible knowing her squad would have the key players on the frontlines.

The presence of BU’s pivotal players was felt from the opening face off, as sophomore midfielder Jennifer Barry –– who currently ranks No. 10 nationally in draw controls per game –– was able to snatch the opening draw.

However, after two minutes of grit and grind between both teams, Lafayette sophomore attackman Meghan McLachlan was able to find the back of the net, putting the away team on the board with the game’s first point.

The Terriers responded with an offensive surge, led by the team’s leaders in points, goals and assists: seniors midfielder Emily Vervlied and attackman Makenzie Irvine.

Irvine had a total of six goals in the first half alone and accompanying her was Vervlied, who had three goals and six assists by the end of the first half. The aggressiveness initiated by Barry, Vervlied and Irvine allowed the team to dictate the pace of the game, despite it being neck and neck at 5-4 about midway into the first half.

Key players from the Leopards unit, junior attackman Olivia Cunningham and senior defenseman Mia Magarro, were able to anchor an effective response of their own. Cunningham found the back of the net twice in the first half, keeping her team afloat. Magarro and the Leopards’ defense attempted to capitalize on the Terriers’ aggressiveness by pushing them into foul trouble that forced Morgan to make some adjustments at halftime.

The Terriers opened the second half with an air-trapping defense anchored by senior attacker Megan Hickey, who debuted as goalkeeper Sunday, holding the Leopards to only one goal on six shot attempts throughout the half. The defense held the Leopards scoreless in the first 20 minutes of play, and BU senior attackman Bridget McCarthy would eventually score two consecutive goals to seal the game for the Terriers.

Morton highlighted some of the adjustments made at halftime that eventually sparked the second-half defensive triumph.

“Defensively we did a great job, I mean, limiting seven shots in the second half is just great team defense,” Morton said. “I think that we had talked about just at halftime just giving up some of the three second calls and some of our fouling … that was a big goal for us.”

The offensive impact of Barry, Irvine and Vervlied was felt throughout the entirety of the game, as they combined for 12 goals.

“Ultimately our goal is for our players to be dynamic,” Morton said. “I think to be able to feed and to be able to dodge, so that they’re not necessarily one-dimensional. I think it also allows us to be able to just offensively have a number of different threats.”

Despite missing those15 players, the Terriers managed to come out with a win in home territory. The Terriers now sit third in the North Division of the Patriot League and will have a week of preparation for their next match in Worcester, Massachusetts against the College of the Holy Cross.

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