Terrier Lacrosse Seeks America East Victory
Second-seeded BU faces New Hampshire in Friday’s semifinal
The Boston University women’s lacrosse team is back where it belongs — almost. After losing 4 of their first 6 contests, the Terriers have won their last 7 games in a row and 9 of their last 10. After defeating Stanford University, 12-9, at Nickerson Field on April 29, the Terriers (11-5 overall, 5-1 America East) made it back into the Top 20 — a fitting reward for their turnaround. This weekend, in Stony Brook, N.Y., the Terriers are going for broke, seeking the America East conference championship and a berth in the NCAA tournament.
In the semifinals on Friday, May 4, BU (number-2 seed) faces archrival University of New Hampshire (number-3 seed). “Every time we play them, it’s a dogfight,” says Liz Robertshaw, BU’s first-year head coach.
The Terriers and the Wildcats (7-9, 4-2) have jousted in the America East tournament final for five years straight. BU’s record, dating back to the 2002 championship, is 4-1. This year, they will meet a little earlier than usual in a match that promises to be worthy of a final. The winner will face either number-1 seed Stony Brook University (13-3, 5-1) or number-4 seed University at Albany in the Sunday afternoon finals.
“It’s an exciting game to have in the first round,” Robertshaw says. “I know we won’t be looking ahead.”
The teams met just two weeks ago in a 7-5 BU triumph in Durham, N.H. Erica Baumgartner (CGS’08) scored once and added two assists, and Sarah Dalton (CGS’07) tallied one goal and an assist to help lead the Terriers to victory in a game marked by strong defense from both squads. More of the same could be in store this weekend. Robertshaw says that Dalton, who leads BU with 54 points (47 goals, 7 assists), will need to maintain her aggressive play for the Terriers to be successful. “She has great speed and nice stickwork,” Robertshaw says. “We need her to have a big weekend.”
Traci Landy (CGS’08) (33 goals, 4 assists), recently named America East Rookie of the Week for scoring seven goals in BU wins over Dartmouth and Stanford, and captain Angie Martin (COM’07) (32 goals, 21 assists) will also provide scoring punch for the Terriers.
Defensively, Molly Collins (CAS’08) and Noelle Hopper (COM’07) will lead the effort to disrupt the Wildcat attack, led by sophomore Sarah Von Bargen (28 goals, 7 assists) and junior Moira Talbot (28 goals, 7 assists). UNH will be making a league-record 10th straight appearance in the conference tournament.
This weekend will mark the first taste of postseason play for a dozen BU freshmen. Conventional sports wisdom says that youth and playoffs don’t mix, which might not bode well for the Terriers. But this squad has been playing in a win-or-go-home mode for weeks, climbing back into the national rankings and sharing America East’s top spot with Stony Brook.
“The team has been getting better each day,” Robertshaw says. “The players had to fight for respect this year. They have respect for where the program came from, and they want to put their own stamp on it.”
An America East title will go a long way toward that goal.