Coming off a double-overtime win on Saturday over the College of William & Mary, the No. 10 Boston University lacrosse team (2-0) will travel to the Carrier Dome to play No. 3 Syracuse University (3-1) today at 4 p.m.
Senior All-American Sarah Dalton led the Terriers in their last game, a 14-13 thriller, scoring a school-record eight goals. She also notched two goals and an assist in the Terriers’ first game, a win over the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. For her outstanding performances, Dalton earned honors as the America East Women’s Player of the Week.
Junior Xan Weitzel is also off to a fast start for the Terriers. She has tallied six points in each of the season’s first two games, including the game-winner against William & Mary, making her BU’s leading scorer with 12 points.
Even though the Terriers had a long game against William & Mary, BU coach Liz Robertshaw does not expect the Terriers to have a problem with fatigue. The team had the day off Sunday, and a snowed-in Boston provided an extra day’s rest on Monday.
‘It was nice to have the day off and not have anything to do,’ Robertshaw said. ‘Even with the overtime game, we’re well-rested.’
But the Terriers will face their toughest challenge of the season so far when they take the turf against the Orange today, the highest-ranked opponent on BU’s schedule coming into the season.
‘It’s a great opportunity to showcase our playing style and what we can do nationally,’ Robertshaw said. ‘But we need to shut down some of their marquee players, and our attack group needs to score a little bit more.’
Syracuse looks to rebound from a loss to the No. 4 University of Virginia in which senior All-American captain Katie Rowan and junior Christina Dove each recorded a hat trick. The two players lead the Orange’s high-flying attack with 20 and 17 points, respectively. Syracuse enters the contest averaging 16.25 goals per game, compared to BU’s average of 13.18.
Junior Rachel Klein will make her third start of the season in net for the Terriers and comes into the game with an 8.18 goals-against average. She hopes to improve on her previous 13-goal game and maintain the high level she played at against UMass, when she allowed only five goals.
For Syracuse, sophomore Liz Hogan will get the start in goal. She also looks to improve on letting in 14 goals against Virginia, far above her goals-against average of 7.84.
The Terriers fell behind 3-0 against William & Mary and 1-0 against UMass. Robertshaw said it will be crucial for her team to play harder and faster out of the gates today to avoid having to play catch-up against an elite opponent in Syracuse.
The Terriers fared well against ranked opponents last year, going 6-3 on the season, including tournament play. But the Terriers fell in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament to the then-No. 1 University of Pennsylvania, and Syracuse lost in the semifinals to Northwestern University. Syracuse needs a win to keep a top-five ranking, while a win for the Terriers would significantly boost the team in the polls.