The Boston University women’s lacrosse team got off to a rough start in its first Patriot League matchup of the 2018 season. However, despite the 15-8 loss to Lehigh University, the Terriers (2-4, 0-1 Patriot League) were able to rebound in the second half and create some momentum that they will look to carry moving forward.
Possession was a problem right out of the gate for BU.
The Mountain Hawks (6-3, 1-0 Patriot League) took advantage of their seven first-half draw controls, which put continuous pressure on the the Terriers’ defense.
“I think Lehigh is a good time,” BU head coach Liz Robertshaw said. “We knew they were going to come in here strong. We talked about that. For whatever reason, and we need to identify this, we weren’t on. We won the first draw control and turned it over uncaused, we got a couple more caused turnovers on the defensive end and then turned it right back over.”
Freshman attack Julianne Puckette opened the scoring just three minutes into the contest and Lehigh didn’t look back from there.
The Mountain Hawks managed to gain a commanding 8-0 lead before the Terriers were able to get on the board.
BU has shown this trend early on in the season, struggling in the first half then generating and capitalizing on more offensive opportunities as the game progresses. In five of their six games, the Terriers have scored more goals in the second half than in the first.
During BU’s season opener against then-No. 6 Boston College, the team also found itself down 8-0, but managed to create some offensive momentum in the second half. The team totaled 14 shots on goal, and four second-half goals compared to just two in the first.
In the game against Lehigh, BU only managed to net one goal in the first half. However, the team came out of halftime and outscored the Mountain Hawks 7-4 in the second half.
“By the looks of the games, I would say that we get more comfortable,” Robertshaw said. “People feel either a greater sense of intensity or a greater [sense] of comfort. I think it varies game by game which one it is. But [Saturday] I feel like we felt better in the second half with the looks that we wanted to have.”
A large factor that hindered the Terriers’ lack of possession was their 12 turnovers.
Lehigh was able to streak across the field following several of BU’s turnovers on its offensive side of the field. This created many scoring chances for the Mountain Hawks, while the Terriers’ offense struggled to create any consistent momentum of its own.
Robertshaw commented on some of those inconsistencies that she noticed throughout the game.
“We have to see what’s going on. We either don’t feel confident with the ball or we just have mental lapses,” Robertshaw said. “As coach, that’s what it looks like, that there are some mental lapses out there. We had way too many upperclassmen having too many turnovers and that’ll hurt you in a game that I thought would’ve been and should’ve been a tighter game.”
Despite the one-sided play in the first 30 minutes, the Terriers bounced back in the second, making the game much closer than it originally seemed.
In the second, BU led in shots, shots on goal and draw controls — all categories in which the team trailed in the first half.
While Robertshaw said she was happy to see her team learn from its mistakes on the field in the first half, she hopes BU will be able to find a way to create that momentum right out of the gate.
“I saw resilience,” Robertshaw said. “We fought back from a really bad deficit. So it was something that we could fight back. We’re still having some great caused turnovers. Right now, we just need to clean up that turnover after a caused turnover that’s really hurting us.”