Northwestern Drops Tight Contest Against Top-Ranked Boston College
By Jack Lido
Northwestern was prepared for the reigning player of the year. Unfortunately, they couldn’t prevent the 20 goals she didn’t score. 2018 Tewaaraton winner and 2019 favorite Sam Apuzzo only scored two goals, but with the help of her Boston College teammates, the Eagles topped the Wildcats by the score of 22-17 in front of a sell-out crowd at Ryan Fieldhouse.
Boston College (8-0, 1-0) was atop every women’s lacrosse poll coming into the game, but Northwestern (4-3) gave them a fight for 60 minutes. The Wildcats, ranked No. 5 in the IWLCA Coaches Poll, scored the first goal of the game thanks to Liza Elder, but after the Eagles took a 2-1 lead, they never gave it up.
Boston College opened up a four-point lead after nearly 20 minutes of back-and-forth action, taking a 7-3 advantage with 12:29 to go in the first half. They did it thanks in large part to Apuzzo’s prowess in the draw control circle, as the Eagles won 9 of the game’s first 11 draw controls.
Northwestern fought hard in the final five minutes of the first period, scoring four of the final five goals of the frame including a buzzer-beater from Lindsay McKone, assisted by Selena Lasota, to make the score 9-8.
Lasota, who scored a team-high five goals, opened up the second half with an unassisted goal, knotting up the score at nine. The game would stay within two for the first 10 minutes of the second half.
However, the story of the game was the duo of Dempsey Arsenault and Kenzie Kent, who combined for 12 Boston College goals. Arsenault and Kent are two of the team’s four members on the Tewaaraton watch list, and they showed why the Eagles are still the best team in the country, even when Apuzzo has a quiet game. Arsenault scored three in a row late in the second half, making the score 21-14.
The Wildcats shot extremely efficiently, converting on 61% of their shots and 81% of their shots on goal. Boston College goalkeeper Abbey Ngai was only able to get her stick on four shots, while Northwestern keeper Julie Krupnick had 10 saves, but the Eagles overpowered the ‘Cats in the draw control circle, outdrawing Northwestern 25-14 and turning that advantage into 40 shots.
Lindsay McKone found the back of the net three times and dished one assist for the Wildcats. Northwestern also got solid contributions from underclassmen, with two goals and two assists each from sophomore Lauren Gilbert and freshman Izzy Scane.
Acacia Walker-Weinstein, an assistant at Northwestern from 2005-2008, out-coached her former mentor, Kelly Amonte Hiller, for the first time. Amonte Hiller’s Wildcats have beaten Walker-Weinstein’s Eagles twice before, once when Walker-Weinstein was an associate head coach in the 2011 NCAA Tournament first round, and once in Walker-Weinstein’s first year as a head coach in the 2013.
Northwestern is now 0-3 versus top-5 opponents and will hope to get back on track on Thursday, March 14th, against Rutgers.