Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Monday, April 23, 2018

Women’s lacrosse loses fifth consecutive game

Draw control plagues Eagles in 19-7 loss to Boston University

Women’s lacrosse loses fifth consecutive game

AU women's lacrosse coach Emma Wallace said BU's draw control was the "tale of the game" in her team's 19-7 loss Saturday at Jacobs Field.

The women’s lacrosse team fell behind early on a chilly day at Jacobs Field and were never able to recover, suffering their fifth straight loss 19-7 to Boston University Saturday. The Terriers (5-6, 2-3 PL) scored 24 seconds into the game and built a 5-goal lead 10 minutes into the game behind their dominance in the face-off circle.

“They were able to place [the draws] well and just had a quicker first step than us today,” head coach Emma Wallace said. “Their girls who were playing the circle were just able to get in, get the ball and track the ball better than our circle players.”

BU secured possession on 20 of the game’s 27 face-off draws, including 15 of 17 in the first half. Draw controls allowed BU to attack the Eagles (3-9, 0-4 PL) in transition and score before AU was able to set their defense. Wallace said BU’s pace and quickness in transition offense exploited a weakness for the Eagles.

“That’s something we’ve struggled with all season long,” Wallace said about the Eagles’ transition defense. “It’s something to learn from in terms of how to slow the ball down. But when you’re not getting possessions, and [the opponent] is getting constant goals, it does get a little tiring and wear on the defense.”

BU’s possession from draw controls allowed them to mount an early 5-0 lead. The Eagles battled back, however, and closed the lead to 3 goals from freshman midfielder Emma Vinall and sophomore midfielder Casey Harkins midway through the first half.

The Eagles had an opportunity to close the Terriers’ lead further but turned the ball over after a shot clock violation. The Terriers’ regained momentum with a goal from Ryann Gaffney and notched six consecutive goals to build a commanding 12-3 lead.

The Eagles slowed the Terriers’ offense in the second half by securing more draw controls, but were unable to chip into the Terriers’ lead.

Vinall was playing for the Eagles for the first time since March 9 against Gardner Webb, the team’s last victory. Wallace said Vinall’s return to the lineup should help the Eagles find more rhythm offensively.

“Having Emma Vinall on the field for us today was huge,” Wallace said. “I think just her presence as one of our best ball handlers was huge for us and pretty much every time she was on the field, we scored.”

Wallace said moving forward, the team needs to cut down opponents’ transition opportunities and improve its offensive efficiency. The Eagles were outshot 37-20 by BU and registered 15 shots on goal to BU’s 31.

“We just have to work on being consistent on both ends and getting a little bit more offensive production,” Wallace said.

The Eagles have a week off before their next game on the road against Colgate April 14 at 12 p.m.

vsalandro@theeagleonline.co


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