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Women’s Lacrosse Patriot League Home Opener Today

Youthful team looks to rebound from early losses

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The women’s lacrosse Terriers’ Patriot League home opener today at Nickerson Field pits them against Colgate, a team with a matching 1-1 conference record.

The Terriers, with a youthful roster of seven freshmen and five sophomores, have endured the rigors of a tough preconference slate that saw them go 2-4. But those early games have helped them begin to iron out some growing pains, says head coach Liz Robertshaw.

“I think we’ve had to learn a little bit about grit and toughness and how hard we’re willing to fight for things,” Robertshaw says. “I think we just really want to get the confidence of our younger players up. We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores on the field for us, and we want to make sure that they’re playing at the level our juniors and seniors are playing. I think they’re doing a good job, but we need to continue to push them.”

The preconference schedule included two ranked teams, as BU opened against Boston College and made a trip west to take on a top-10 University of Southern California squad. While her team emerged from the first month with a losing record, Robertshaw says the degree of difficulty early in the season was intentional.

“I feel like it was set up in order to challenge us and see where we are. The fact that we do play some of those ranked teams is challenging, both from a travel perspective and because of the teams we’re playing,” she says. “I think it’s good for us to see what areas of our game need work before we get into conference play.”

It paid off in their Patriot League opener at Bucknell, where the Terriers came away with a 13-8 victory. However, a blown first-half lead in their most recent game, at Loyola Maryland, highlighted the need for improvement.

“We need to get better every single day,” the coach says. “Once our entire team feels comfortable, both with the game plan and with competing for 60 minutes, I think you’re going to see the games go in our favor in a lot of ways.”

Terrier tri-captain Taylor Hardison is tied for the team lead in points this season, with 20. Hardison, who plays the crease, says her position has helped mold her into an effective leader.

Terrier tri-captain Taylor Hardison (CAS’17, Questrom’17) is tied for the team lead in points this season, with 20. Hardison, who plays the crease, says her position has helped mold her into an effective leader.

Tasked with leading the team are tri-captains Taylor Hardison (CAS’17, Questrom’17), Janelle Macone (CAS’17, Questrom’17), and Charlotte Castronovo (Questrom’17). Hardison, who plays the crease for BU, is tied for the team lead in points this season, with 20. She credits her offensive success to a simple philosophy.

“Having a fearless mind and the grit to be willing to do whatever it takes,” she says. “If the team needs a goal or the team needs an assist, it’s taking it upon yourself and saying, I need to do this for the team. It’s been working so far.”

She credits the different strengths of this year’s captains with having a positive impact on the rest of the team. “The position I play has kind of forced me to become a leader as I’ve been here, just having to call in plays and be behind the net seeing everything,” Hardison says. “Charlotte and Janelle, my cocaptains, have done a really good job. We play different positions, so it’s good to have that full range over the field.”

While Hardison has stepped up as a senior leader, Robertshaw cites the team’s overall defense and freshmen Kailey Conry (CGS’18) and Mackenzie Howe (CAS’20) as being particularly impressive in the early going. Conry has matched Hardison’s 20-point output, and Howe has been adept at taking draws for the Terriers.

“As the games have been going, I feel like I’ve gotten more confident as an individual and in playing with the team,” Howe says. “I’ve been able to make more of an impact, and I hope to keep that going.”

The Terriers play seven Patriot League contests and just one out-of-conference game, at New Hampshire April 26, before the regular season ends April 29. Tabbed to finish fourth in the Patriot League Women’s Lacrosse Preseason Poll, the team is capable of big things, Hardison says.

That’s true, however, only if they begin by focusing on the finer points. “We know that we’re young and we know that we can do a lot of great things,” she says. “It’s just having the will to actually do them and taking all the little things and building them into this one win or this one moment. We have to focus on finishing every single little thing to build to the bigger picture.”

The BU women’s lacrosse team takes on Colgate tonight, Wednesday, March 29, at 5 p.m. at Nickerson Field, 285 Babcock St. Tickets are free for students with a sports pass and $5 for faculty, staff, students without a sports pass, and the general public.

Taylor Raglin can be reached at traglin@bu.edu.

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