Wednesday night’s matchup at Nickerson Field between the Boston University women’s lacrosse team and Harvard University was a game of several firsts.
It was the first time the two schools on opposing banks of the Charles River had squared off since 2014, and with the Terriers (4-6, 1-3 Patriot League) coming out with a 20-16 win against Crimson (3-7, 0-3 Ivy League), their first 20-goal game of the 2018 season.
It was also a game that saw a record broken.
BU sophomore attack Kailey Conry notched a career-high five goals and career-high eight assists for a total of 13 points for the Terriers, setting a program record for most points scored in a game by a single player.
“Kailey was great tonight,” BU head coach Liz Robertshaw said. “She was seeing some great goals, but I’ll tell you she liked those assists even better.”
Having lost their two previous games, the matchup was a much-needed win for the Terriers.
However, to start off the game, it was Harvard that drew first blood with a goal from senior midfielder Julia Glynn.
The Terriers initially struggled to get the ball into the net, as the Crimson maintained offensive possession for much of the early minutes of the game.
BU would eventually answer with a goal from Conry to make the score 1-1.
Harvard struck back with a goal from sophomore attack Hannah Keating, which was followed shortly by a tally from Terrier freshman midfielder Emily Vervlied, whose shot deflected off the post and met the back of the cage.
Although Harvard continued to maintain most of the offensive possession, the Terriers managed to follow each of the Crimson goals with a response of their own.
But BU’s dominance over ground balls would serve to give them the edge.
With the score knotted at five, Conry fired a no-look shot past Harvard senior goalkeeper Olivia Gundrum to make the game 6-5.
Terrier freshman midfielder Ryann Gaffney immediately followed Conry’s goal with another from the attack line after intercepting a clear from Gundrum.
Although Harvard would see the back of the net once again from junior midfielder Keeley MacAfee, two back-to-back goals from Terrier freshman attack Ava Barry and another from Conry gave BU the 9-7 lead at halftime.
The Terriers maintained their momentum as junior midfielder Kaitlin Belval opened the first five minutes of the second half with three goals.
“Belval was outstanding,” Robertshaw said. “She was all over the field. It was hard for me to take her off of the field because of how well she was playing even though I needed to give her a rest.”
Following a pep talk from their head coach Lisa Miller, the Crimson returned to the field with another goal from Glynn, ending the Terriers’ three-goal streak.
After starting off strong on the attack, the Terrier offense began to falter somewhat, and the defense had difficulty getting the ball out of their zone.
A failed clear from the Terriers gave senior defender Robyn White a scoring opportunity, which she capitalized on with a high-to-low shot that senior goalkeeper Christine Laible couldn’t get a stick on to make the game 12-9.
BU answered both Crimson goals with two of its own, one from sophomore midfielder Lexi Lewis and another from Barry to give them back the five-point lead.
Harvard would continue attempting to chip away at its deficit, but a pressing attack from the Terriers continued to tally up points on the board, and Harvard began to lose control of the game.
A fifth goal from Kailey Conry made the game 17-11 with 10:01 remaining in regulation on the man-up opportunity.
Two more points from Barry and another from senior attack Avery Donahoe gave the Terriers a mountainous 20-11 as the time on the clock dwindled down.
“We came off fast, we played hard,” Robertshaw said. “We felt the zone defense that Harvard threw at us. We felt pretty comfortable playing against it, we’ve seen it on film and I feel like the attackers were firing from all angles. It was great.”
Harvard, not willing to throw in the towel, put some points on the board in the final minutes of the game. But it was too little too late for the Crimson, though they managed to make it a more respectable 20-16 loss.
Although the finish may not have been perfect for the Terriers, Robertshaw said she sees no reason to dwell on it.
“I just tell them to enjoy the win,” Robertshaw said. “You know, we’ve got to play a lot of people and we need to protect our goaltenders better, but we’ll work on that. They worked really hard to get [the win] and when you get it, you should enjoy it.”