Lacrosse, Sports

Women’s lacrosse beats Fairfield 11-10 in double overtime, Mathews with game-winner

Junior midfielder Kelly Mathews scored the game-winning goal in double overtime against Fairfield on Wednesday afternoon. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/ DFP FILE PHOTO

Following Tuesday’s snow day, the Boston University women’s lacrosse team traveled to Connecticut to duke it out with Fairfield University Wednesday afternoon.

In a harrowing double overtime finish, the Terriers (2-3) emerged victorious with an 11-10 win against the Stags (4-4) after a goal from junior midfielder Kelly Mathews. BU senior attack Avery Donahoe also matched her career-high goals with six on the day, five of which came in the second half of the matchup alone.

The game’s length and final outcome was a testament to how evenly matched both teams were.

The Terriers got off to a quick start, with freshman attack Bridget McCarthy drawing first blood with a goal less than two minutes into the contest.

Despite being shortly followed by a Fairfield goal from senior attack Brenna Connolly, BU dominated the earlier portion of the first half with a 3-1 advantage at 14:32.

However, the tables began to turn later into the frame with Stags junior midfielder Lily Crager firing a shot into the top right corner of the net to bring Fairfield within one goal.

The tally was followed by three more consecutive Stags goals, including another from Connolly.

Connolly, Fairfield’s leading scorer, remained a key component of the Stags’ attack and led her team with four goals during the game.

Following its initial strong start, BU’s offense struggled to get shots on goal against Fairfield.

The Terriers were, in part, hurt by the four fouls they committed in the first half and the Stags were able to convert three of their first four goals during their extra-man opportunities.

BU head coach Liz Robertshaw noted the strain the penalties put on the team’s defense.

“We need to look to limit our fouling,” Robertshaw said. “We had a lot of cards today, and that puts us in a man down situation, and we played a lot of man-down defense. That’s tough on the defensive group.”

By the end of the half, the Stags led the game 5-3.

For both teams, the second half was marked by constant back-and-forth between having the upperhand and being at a deficit.

BU came back on the field in the second half reinvigorated as Donahoe netted two back-to-back goals to knot the game early on.

Donahoe would go on to score three more goals in the remainder of the half for a team-high total of six and has scored in each Terrier matchup this season.  

“Avery Donahoe was killing it today,” Robertshaw said. “I think we had confidence in her scoring capabilities, and at the end of the game we drove a couple of plays her way and they worked.”

The Stags quickly responded with a pair of goals from senior attack Olivia Russell and sophomore midfielder Meaghan Graham to give themselves back the two-point lead.

The Terriers would follow up with four consecutive goals midway through the half, putting them in the lead again for the first time since the beginning of the game.

However, two more goals from Connolly had the score tied at nine.

With just 2:46 left in regulation, Donahoe scored an over-the-back shot into the top left corner of the net to make the game 10-9 in favor of BU.

The last two minutes of the game were characterized by the Stags frantically firing at Terrier senior goalkeeper Christine Laible, who made 12 saves overall, and BU on defense.

The scrum culminated in another goal by Graham, with just 1:51 left in regulation, to make the final score at the end of the half 10-10.

The Stags were unable to land any shots past Laible in the first overtime period, but kept the Terriers’ defense busy for the vast majority of the period.

The second round of overtime saw Mathews win the opening faceoff draw before scoring the game-winning goal off a pass from sophomore attack Kailey Conry to give BU the win.

Robertshaw attributed the Terriers’ success in part to their strong defensive performance.

“We played stellar defense today,” Robertshaw said. “Fairfield is a highly aggressive team and strong offensively and they got a lot of shots off. I thought our defense played really fantastic and stepped up to the stage.”

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