The Boston University women’s lacrosse team won its fifth straight game on Wednesday night 16-7 when it took on the College of the Holy Cross in a Turnpike Trophy matchup on Nickerson Field.
The Terriers’ (8-6, 4-3 Patriot League) victory against the Crusaders (5-10, 3-4 Patriot League) came in their final regular season home game.
BU head coach Liz Robertshaw contributed the the victory to an overall team effort from her players.
“We said we wanted to play a great game for our last one at home on Nickerson,” Robertshaw said. “I was really impressed with the defense, the style of play. The midfield transition looked really on point, draw controls were solid and we saw some nice goal scoring.”
Freshman attack Ava Barry led BU’s offense with a game-high five points while three other players notched three or more goals.
The Terriers, who have scored in the double-digits in four of their five consecutive wins, currently sit third in the Patriot League with 12.71 goals per game while Holy Cross is ninth with 8.67.
Junior attack Keely Connors, the Crusaders’ leading scorer, was stopped by the BU defense for most of the game, her only two goals coming from free-position shots.
Terrier senior goalkeeper Christine Laible backstopped her team with 13 saves, earning her ninth double-digit save performance of the season.
At game’s end, Laible was named the Turnpike Trophy MVP.
“She works tirelessly individually, in film sessions, and she just wants to be better,” Robertshaw said of Laible. “And you’re seeing it pay off. She has great saves. She’s playing rock-solid lacrosse so it makes our entire defensive unit really solid.”
The Terriers jumped out to the early lead, and refused to relinquish it for the remainder of the game.
Freshman midfielder Ryann Gaffney opened the scoring just over two minutes into the first half.
Gaffney played a key role in BU’s victory, providing a spark both on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.
The Huntington, New York native went on to finish the night with a hat trick, two ground balls and two caused turnovers.
“I thought she was great,” Robertshaw said of Gaffney. “Ryann’s just getting better and better. It just shows you how great she’s going to be when she gets a full season under her belt, but I love that she’s getting more confidence.”
Following a draw control win to gain possession, senior midfielder Caroline English found the back of the net and BU took the early 2-0 advantage.
The Terriers’ defense displayed continuous pressure throughout much of the night. The team caused 14 turnovers, taking advantage of the Crusaders’ mistakes, and limited the Crusaders to just 20 shots on goal.
Holy Cross kept the contest close through most of the first half. Senior goalkeeper Julia Maloney made seven saves in the first half while BU kept up its offensive pressure.
The Terriers encountered a bit of a scoring drought, going nearly nine minutes without scoring before Gaffney scored her second of the night, increasing the lead to 5-2.
Sophomore attack Kailey Conry tallied a goal in an unassisted effort, which was followed by a three-goal run for BU.
By the end of the first half, the Terriers had extended their lead to 9-3.
However, a slow start to the second half allowed Holy Cross to momentarily creep its way back into the game.
Turnovers by the Terriers allowed the Crusaders to gather some momentum on offense, as they rattled off three consecutive goals.
“We were just a little careless with the ball,” Robertshaw said of her team’s second half. “We had a couple too many turnovers. I think we started to force things and play a little frantic. We slipped a little bit, we just have to clean that part up.”
Sophomore midfielder Lexi Lewis ended the Holy Cross streak with her third goal of the night, coming with 18:22 remaining in the game.
The Terriers coasted for the remainder of the game, building a comfortable lead and earning their 10th victory against their Turnpike rivals.
“We wanted to play the best game we’ve played so far this year and I think we were close to it,” Robertshaw said. “We definitely had dips in the second half offensively, but that’s still to be expected. We’re still learning through some things.”