Lacrosse: No. 4 Northwestern falls short against No. 1 Boston College Saturday, earning first loss of season


Daily file photo by Joshua Hoffman

Graduate midfielder Jill Girardi takes the ball down field. Girardi played a pivotal offensive role in Northwestern’s weekend wins.

Skye Swann, Newsletter Editor

In the first game of the 2021-22 campaign, Northwestern had a big challenge in No. 1 Boston College. 

The 2021 NCAA Division I Lacrosse Champions returned a majority of their starters and welcomed the team to Newton, Mass. to kick off the season. But the Wildcats were not able to get the upset over the National Champions.

NU (0-1, 0-0 Big Ten) lost to No. 1 Boston College (1-0, 0-0 ACC) 9-18 Saturday after a hard-fought effort in the first half of the contest. Behind four goals and eight draw controls from graduate student midfielder Jill Girardi, the Cats’ first game back highlighted the learning curve the team will have to go through with senior attacker Izzy Scane’s absence. 

The Eagles started the game with an offensive run, taking a three-point lead within the first three minutes. Although NU responded with a goal, the Cats were searching for their rhythm in the first quarter. They struggled to find an offensive pattern against Boston College’s backer defense, missing the Scane piece to the offensive puzzle. 

Amid offensive woes, NU relied heavily on its strong defensive presence. The Cats kept the Eagles to only six goals in the first quarter — an unusually low number for the high-attacking Boston College offense.

In the second quarter, the Cats gained their composure and played their game. Girardi stole the show offensively, putting three more goals on the board to cut the Eagles’ lead. But NU couldn’t keep their opponent silent for long — Boston College responded with its own goal before halftime.

Heading into the third quarter, the Cats were still struggling to find their offensive ground but sophomore attacker Erin Coykendall and graduate student attacker Lauren Gilbert got on the board and attempted to get back into the matchup. Despite the deficit, NU’s defensive presence was solid for most of the quarter, contributing to Boston College’s eight-minute scoring drought. 

Even though the squad’s offense went on a run in the third quarter, the Cats’ momentum halted in the fourth quarter. They made careless mistakes inside the eight-meter arc, causing turnovers and losing possession of the ball. 

On the other hand, the Eagles kicked into another gear, picking up more draw controls inside the circle and denying any NU scoring opportunity on the defensive end of the field. Boston College went on an offensive run, extending the lead to six goals before the Cats got on the board again. 

Gilbert contributed to NU’s rebound back to the scoreboard with a fast-pace transition goal, but the quick relief wasn’t enough to stop the Eagles’ consistent intensity on both ends of the field. The Cats’ last-minute efforts to come back into the matchup by the end of the period were unsuccessful. 

With the game under their belt, NU travels back to Ryan Field to take on Marquette Monday in hopes of getting its first win of the season.

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