Coming off two consecutive wins against Harvard University and American University, the Boston University women’s lacrosse team added another win to its record after beating the University of New Hampshire 16-13 at Nickerson Field Wednesday night.
The win streak marks a change in fortune for the Terriers (6-6, 2-3 Patriot League), who struggled earlier in the season, and added another year to the team’s now three-game win streak against the Wildcats (6-7).
Senior attack and co-captain Avery Donahoe notched half of BU’s goals, the most since Danielle Etrasco scored eight in one game in 2013.
The Terriers kicked off the game with a free-position goal from senior midfielder Caroline English, which the Wildcats followed up with a goal from senior midfielder Carly Wooters.
BU responded with a goal from freshman midfielder Ryann Gaffney with an assist from English.
Donahoe followed Gaffney’s goal with two back-to-back scores.
UNH struggled to get shots on BU as the Terriers dominated on the draw control, notching 15 wins to the Wildcats’ four in the first half.
BU head coach Liz Robertshaw said she attributes the team’s recent success to its improvement in this area.
“Draw controls have been our No. 1 thing,” Robertshaw said. “We’re now dominating games in our draw controls, and I think that just sets the tone that we know we can get the ball and that gives us confidence when we’re winning and when we’re on the comeback like UNH was today.”
Wooters kept UNH in the game, as she would go on to score two more goals against Terrier senior goalkeeper Christine Laible.
However, following the halfway point of the first, the cards largely fell in BU’s favor.
With the score 6-4 midway through the half, the Terriers began to pick up the pace on the goals, with tallies from Gaffney and Donahoe.
BU went on to add two more points to the board, causing the Wildcats’ head coach Sarah Albrecht to pull starting senior goalkeeper Kate Clancy and replace her with backup sophomore Amanda Gottlieb.
The Wildcats hoped to turn the tides with a fresh face in the net, but the Terriers continued to pelt the UNH cage with shots.
Junior midfielder Kaitlin Belval finished the half with a shot off the rebound that made its way into the cage to bring the score 12-6 for BU.
After a six-goal first half, Donahoe continued to increase the goal count with another pair early in the frame, one of them being short-handed.
This put her in striking distance of matching a program record for most goals scored by one person in a single game.
But following Donahoe’s goals, the Wildcats started to gain momentum as the Terriers played more sloppily, dropping balls and giving away possession on the clears.
UNH would then put up three goals within in a four-minute span.
Hoping to curb the Wildcat momentum as well as set a new program record, Donahoe made a mad dash for the cage and collided with an opposing player. She appeared to injure herself and was helped off the field.
At this time, it is unknown what injury she sustained or its severity, but it was enough to bench her for the remainder of the contest.
“She was having a great day,” Robertshaw said. “If it weren’t for her eight goals, we wouldn’t have won today’s game.”
With one of their key scorers now off the field, BU largely retreated on offense and played much more conservatively for the last portion of the matchup.
UNH continued to rake up goals and gradually chipped away at the Terriers’ lead.
Another Wildcats goal from Wooters with 3:06 left made the score 15-13, making for a potential upset win well within their reach.
However, Gaffney went coast-to-coast and got an unassisted shot at the empty net with 16 seconds in regulation to seal the 16-13 win and give herself a hat trick.
Now having three consecutive wins under their belt, it remains the Terriers’ longest winning streak of the season — a fact that Robertshaw hopes will help them maintain their momentum moving forward in Patriot League play.
“We need to have that confidence to go on a run,” Robertshaw said. “We have three games under our belt; we’ve done well. We want to keep that going as we get into the Patriot League tournament.”