The No. 10 Boston University lacrosse team could not sustain a halftime lead yesterday, falling on the road to No. 5 Syracuse University, 17-8, for its first loss of the season.
The Terriers (2-1) built a 7-5 lead by halftime, thanks to junior McKinley Curro’s hat trick and a pair of free position goals from junior Traci Landy.
But in the second half, the Orange (4-1) outscored the Terriers, 12-1, led by four goals from junior Christina Dove, a hat trick from senior Megan Mosenson and four points apiece from seniors Bridget Looney and Katie Rowan.
‘It was the tale of two halves,’ BU coach Liz Robertshaw said. ‘I was pleased with the output in the first half. Our attacking end did a nice job of really taking it really hard to Syracuse and putting up some nice points on the board to give us a lead.
‘Second half, pretty much the opposite [was] true. The attackers shut down and stopped attacking the cage, had more unforced turnovers. We were losing the draw controls a lot throughout the entire game, but definitely in the second half when we needed them.’
In the first of three consecutive matches against ranked teams, the Terriers struck first, something they did not achieve in their first two games. The visitors opened up a 4-0 lead in the first 11 minutes of the bout on the wings of two goals from Curro and one each from Landy and sophomore Mandy Rogers.
‘It shows that we can go out hard and get a lead on a team like Syracuse,’ Robertshaw said. ‘I think, also, it shows that when we shot well and shot hard, we were very good shooters. McKinley is a great example of that, and Landy also.’
Yet the home team answered with four straight goals of its own. BU remained undeterred, as Landy and Curro added another goal each, with freshman Hannah Frey also scoring in her third-straight game, working up a three-goal lead with five seconds left in the half.
But it all went downhill from there. Senior Bridget Looney tallied an unassisted goal to close the gap to two, and the Orange broke out in the second frame, rolling with eight straight goals before the Terriers’ lone goal by Rogers, who registered her first career multiple-goal game, at the 8:33 mark. Syracuse exhausted the defense further with four more scores by the final buzzer.
‘I thought we played a solid game [defensively],’ Robertshaw said. ‘Some really nice one-on-one defense from [sophomore] Corcoran [Downey], and [junior] Jenny Martin had some nice plays. But we were on defense a lot, and I just think it started to wear on our one-on-one defenders, and they definitely took advantage. They’re a good team.’
Two standout players from BU’s previous wins were not as strong yesterday. Senior captain Sarah Dalton, fresh off a program-record eight-goal game, collected four ground balls, but recorded no points. Junior goalie Rachel Klein stopped eight shots, but was a victim of a tiring defense, as the Orange outshot BU in the game, 33-18.
‘We kind of hung [Klein] out to dry defensively [in the second half],’ Robertshaw said. ‘We let them have a lot of shots inside. We let them see a lot of shots and openings. It’s hard to ask our goaltender to come up with all those big saves. She came up with some great ones, but I don’t think defensively we held out those attackers well enough.’
The Terriers sought a statement game against an elite team, but instead received a reminder of the work they have left to do.
‘We definitely wanted to come in here and prove a point that we could play with a top-five team and we should be there,’ Robershaw said. ‘But I think it just shows that we have a ways to go in terms of our personal commitment to possession time, to getting the ball and to finishing a game . . . It just shows the things we need to work on if we want to be playing our best lacrosse later in the spring.’