By: Marisa Ingemi
For the second straight season, Boston University women’s lacrosse will begin its season against Boston College.
This time, they’re looking for a different result.
“We have to control the tempo,” said head coach Liz Robertshaw. “They like to play fast and we need to slow that down. It also lets us get the younger players more comfortable and get their feet under them. The preseason was eye opening for them, so we want to get them settled soon, and not just the freshmen.”
This season’s team has a different look, with players like Jill Horka and Mallory Collins out of the picture. It’s a younger roster, but there are a few veteran players who can have big years.
Junior Mickenzie Larivee seems like a breakout candidate after scoring 34 goals last season.
“She’s a vocal leader,” said Robertshaw. “She has terrific game sense and helps people a ton.”
Other players looking to step up include Taylor Hardison who led the 2016 squad with 36 assists.
“We’re looking for big seasons from players like Hardison and Avery Donahoe,” Robertshaw said. “Other players like Kelly Matthews and Kaitlin Belval who had big pre seasons. They’re going to make some splashes leading the midfield.”
With one of the youngest rosters the team has fielded in years, they have confidence in their freshmen. Robertshaw said it will be freshman Mackenzie Howe out of Laconia, New Hampshire looking to replace Horka in draws, and she has looked comfortable from the X.
Another New England native, Needham’s Kailey Connery, has also impressed.
“Connery is a dynamic attacker,” said Robertshaw. “She just loves playing. She’s so creative and a fun player.”
Other freshmen who will see some time include Lexi Lewis and Christine Carugati.
Boston College opens its season ranked 13th in the nation and a favorite to make a postseason tournament run. They fell to Syracuse on Saturday after defeating Holy Cross and UMass on the road in back to back weeks so they’ve seen action before the Terriers have got on the field.
Led by 18 points from sophomore Sam Apuzzo, the Eagles are able to spread the ball around. Senior Kate Weeks has 14 goals to lead the team.
Both BC goalies have seen action this year with senior Zoe Ochoa and sophomore Lauren Daly splitting time.
BU has to contest with a team that’s had plenty of time to get off to a start, but they had five preseason games to prepare them.
“I think this team is excited to start,” Robertshaw said. “Preseason was a lot of beating up each other. I liked the effort and energy and the constant drive from each player.
“We need fine tuning, we need to be better in executing, which is typical with young players. But it’s good.”