Lacrosse, NCAA, Sports

Women’s lacrosse secures postseason berth with 19-15 win over American University

The Boston University women’s lacrosse team concluded the regular season with a 19-15 win against American University in Washington D.C. on Thursday afternoon.

Sophomore attacker Matty Spaeth (24) and senior attacker Lauren Kaye (18) in a game last year. The two each scored five goals in a game last Thursday against American University, culminating in a 19-15 win for the Terriers. ELIZA NUESTRO/DFP FILE

The result of this contest had playoff implications for both teams, but as the Eagles (6-10, 2-7 Patriot League) watched their season end, the Terriers (9-9, 4-5 PL) extended their schedule into the postseason.

“We talked about wanting to be in charge of our own destiny and our own fate. That definitely drove a lot of energy and focus from our group across the board,” head coach Lauren Morton said about the team’s mentality.

The win came off the back of career performances from three Terriers, as sophomore attack Matty Spaeth and senior attack Lauren Kaye both had five-goal games, while senior midfielder Claire Gola had four of her own alongside four assists on a career-high eight-point day. Junior midfielder Kendall Sims was tied for third on the team in shots with four and collected two goals and two assists of her own.

“Across the board, [including] Kendall Sims, our offensive production and efficiency was incredibly high,” Morton said. “We’ve continued to emphasize shooting and [getting opportunities].”

This dominant approach was clear in the first quarter as BU opened the game on a four-goal run before American could form a response.

After the opening period, the momentum began to shift between the two teams. The Eagles inched closer to the Terriers late in the second before taking advantage of a free position opportunity early in the third to tie the game at 10 apiece.

“[American] have fought in all four quarters most of their games,” Morton said. “We knew that they were going to keep coming back … so that allowed our team to stay engaged the entire game.” 

The Terriers went on a 7-1 scoring run starting in the middle of the third quarter before a man-up opportunity early in the fourth and multiple strong saves from Eagle goalkeeper Lexi Rakis presented moments of hope for American.

As the final 15 minutes of the game ticked down, however, BU befriended the clock with strategic possessions, preventing American from mounting another comeback late in the contest.

The Terriers reached their second-highest goal count of the season to clinch a position in the Patriot League tournament and end their regular season with a win.

For Morton, the win meant a lot after a less-than-impressive 2-15 finish in the 2022 season.

“This team and these leaders have put a lot of work in and we’ve looked at a lot of the different aspects of the program,” she said, “For them to have an opportunity to continue to spend time together and just earn another day together as a team, I’m really happy and proud of this group.”

After ending the season sixth in the Patriot League, the Terriers traveled to Annapolis, Maryland to face the third place United States Naval Academy, whom the Terriers beat 12-11 in regular season play. Morton noted that the team must focus on the future rather than past results.

“[In] the postseason, everyone starts out as 0-0 so it doesn’t necessarily matter what has happened in previous games,” said Morton, “Ultimately our goal overall is to … continue to get better and play our best lacrosse.”

The quarterfinal matchup saw BU fall 13-20 to Navy, eliminating the Terriers from the Patriot League Tournament and drawing the Terriers’ season to a close. Despite finishing in the middle of the pack in the conference standings, BU made improvements from last season by finishing with a .500 win percentage.

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