University at Albany showed off its best and its worst women’s lacrosse performance, all in one game.
After dominating the first half in one of the best 30-minute sessions of the year, the Great Danes collapsed in the second half, as Boston University rallied for a 16-11 America East Conference victory Saturday afternoon at John Fallon Field.
In a battle of conference powerhouses, the Terriers improved to 4-0 in the league and 8-4 overall, while the Great Danes suffered a major setback to their title aspirations by dropping to 1-2 and 8-3.
UAlbany, the defending conference champion coming off a stellar 18-1 campaign, resembled last year’s stellar team in the first half with balanced scoring and some excellent defense en route to a 9-4 advantage at the intermission.
But the Terriers, who had won 11 of the 13 previous meetings, rebounded in the second half by scoring nine of the next 10 goals and 12 of the 14 scored in the final stanza.
The Danes were outplayed on both sides of the field and appeared listless.
“We lost our energy,” said UAlbany senior attack Amanda Pollock. “Mentally, we just lost it. We needed to stay mentally strong when they made that run, and we didn’t. We’ll have to win every game from here on out if we have any chance of winning the title again.”
UAlbany head coach John Battaglino praised his team’s first-half effort, but admitted it was a completely different story in the second half.
“Which team do you want to talk about first?” he asked. “The first half was the best we’ve played all year. We spread out the offense, didn’t force anything and weren’t tentative at all.”
But things changed dramatically after intermission.
“In the second half, we made bad decisions, and we didn’t execute. We had four or five opportunities in a row to score, and we didn’t execute,” he said.
“They [the Terriers] are a streaky team, and you can’t give good teams like that an opportunity to come back like that. We tried to jam the ball in when that wasn’t the play. We kind of played like we have all year, in spurts. They flicked the switch on us, and they seized the momentum. We just let it slip away. I think we had some mental lapses out there, which can be contagious.”
Battaglino admitted that his team lacked energy late in the game.
“They were exhausted in the second half. Our bench is limited, and we had to use a lot of our starters for most of the game. They were trying very hard on both ends, but they were very tired at the end.”
Mallory Collins and Danielle Etrasco, who combined for 71 goals entering the game, scored five and four goals, respectively, for the Terriers, although that prolific duo found the net just once in the first half.
Ariana Parker and Pollock scored three goals apiece for the Great Danes, who also got two tallies from Mel Rorie.
BU coach Liz Roberthshaw said her halftime pep talk was simple.
“I told them we needed the ball on our sticks,” she said. “I told them we had to pressure UAlbany more in the second half. In the first half, the ball was in our defensive end about 80 percent of the time. This game is a game of momentum, and we grabbed the momentum in the second half. Our players became more aggressive, and that led to our defense becoming more confident, as well. We played with a purpose.”
UAlbany, which held a 14-7 shots advantage in the opening 30 minutes, ended up being outshot, 23-22, by the Terriers, who won despite scoring on just one of seven free-position shots, which are almost like layups in basketball. UAlbany also made nine turnovers in the second half after committing just four in the opening 30 minutes.
UAlbany heads to New Hampshire on Saturday and returns home April 21 to host another league power, Stony Brook.
Boston University 4 12 — 16
UAlbany 9 2 — 11
Boston University scoring: Mallory Collins 5-1, Danielle Etrasco 4-2, Kristen Mogavero 2-1, Annie Stookesberry 2-0, Hannah Frey 1-0, Molly Swain 1-0, Becca Church 1-0, Catie Tilton 0-3, Elizabeth Morse 0-1, Christina Sheridan 0-1. UAlbany scoring: Ariana Parker 3-1, Amanda Pollock 3-0, Mel Rorie 2-0, Jess Antelmi 1-1, Rachel Burek 1-1,
Brianna Day 0-1, Nichole Eamer 0-1.
Goaltenders: Boston University, Christina Sheridan, 4 saves; UAlbany, Anna Berman, 6 saves.
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Categories: College Sports