No. 18 women’s lacrosse off to 2-0 start after winning home opener

by Kaitlyn Lees | 2/24/20 2:15am

The No. 18 Big Green women’s lacrosse team continued its strong start to the season with a 16-8 win over Boston University Saturday afternoon at Scully-Fahey Field. Dartmouth put the pressure on the Terriers early and was able to keep it up the whole game. The 2019 Ivy League champions return to action next weekend at Brown University in its first conference game of the season.

After a quiet seven minutes, Claire Marshall ’21 put the first goal on the board for the Big Green. This started an offensive run for Dartmouth, which found itself up 4-0 a few minutes later with goals from Sophie Turchetta ’20, Katie Bourque ’20 and Ellie Carson ’20. BU scored the first time at the 18:11 mark. Two more goals from the Terriers put them within one with a little over ten minutes left in the half.

“Right off the bat, we knew BU was going to be a scrappy team,” said Dartmouth head coach Alex Frank. “In that first half, every little play that we didn’t finish they came up with and capitalized, so we just had to keep battling hard to make sure we were finishing those plays.” 

On defense, that meant focusing on picking up ground balls and on offense working to finish shots. The Terriers and Big Green traded goals to bring the score to 5-4. After the home team put one more up, the Terriers scored with a free position shot to remain within one. However, this was the closest BU would come to overtaking the Big Green for the rest of the game. After getting the ball back, Dartmouth scored twice within the last two minutes, with Mimi Lazore ’23 securing her first career goal.

The Big Green set the tone of the half early with three goals in the first eight minutes. Bourque, who has been an All-Ivy selection twice, thought the team did well at slowing the game down on offense and finding openings. Despite a close exchange between the two teams in the first half, Dartmouth maintained its comfortable lead throughout the second. A goal from Marshall assisted by Lazore put the home team ahead by seven. The Dartmouth defense was able to keep BU to just two goals during the second half. Meanwhile, the offense provided four more goals in the last 12 minutes. As the clock wound down, the Big Green ended the day with a 16-8 win against the Terriers.

Bourque said that playing the first home game of the season was a strong motivating factor in the team’s success. She added that she thought they worked really well as a team. Indeed, Dartmouth’s 16 goals came from seven different players.

The Dartmouth offense outshot the Terriers 35-18. This was eight more shots than the team took in its last outing. The Big Green also racked up 14 drawn controls compared to 11 against UMass. The defense had 11 caused turnovers, up from seven against UMass, and only allowed Boston four free-position shots which they only converted once. Meanwhile, BU only had five caused turnovers and 15 overall. Dartmouth also had 17 ground balls to BU’s 11. After the UMass game, Frank, in her first year as head coach of the Big Green, said the team focused on transitions and preventing turnovers. This week, the Big Green was able to cut its turnovers in half from twenty-two last week to eleven against BU. 

“It’s always good to see that when you focus on something and it’s able to be executed,” Frank said. 

Turchetta said that the team worked on playing smart this week. Bourque had one of her best games with five goals, seven points and seven drawn controls. Turchetta had three goals, while fellow senior Tori Chenenchuk ’20 had four points and three assists. Marshall, Carson and Veta Mayer ’21 each secured two goals for the Big Green as well. Goaltender Kiera Vrindten ’20 had four saves on the day. Dartmouth is now 7-2 against BU since 2010.

Last week, the Big Green triumphed over No. 13 University of Massachusetts 15-11 in its first game of the season. This gave them a significant boost in the national rankings. Turchetta thought the team played well against UMass, but there remained room for improvement.

Dartmouth now heads into conference play next weekend. Despite the dominant win, Frank said the team has areas to improve on and will look at the game film to address them before the start of Ivy League play. 

Dartmouth will head down to Providence, RI for its first conference game of the season against Brown University next weekend.