Thursday, April 25, 2019
Lacrosse Season Ends -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
LOUISVILLE LACROSSE FALLS TO BOSTON COLLEGE 15-4
(DAVID WATSON FILLS IN FOR PAULIE TODAY WITH THE THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE COLUMN)
The second season of Scott Teeter's stint as UofL head Lacrosse coach came to an end yesterday in a football stadium.
I know, the sport vs. facility doesn't quite match up -- but the home field for Boston College's gridiron squad (Alumni Stadium) was the venue for the ACC Lacrosse Championships. This isn't the regular location for BC LAX. The vast majority of their home games are played at the Boston College Newton campus on the Lacrosse and Soccer Field -- although the Eagles did play their final regular season game, also against Louisville, in Alumni Stadium.
Alumni is a much bigger, in terms of seating, spot to host the eight teams vying for the conference championship. From what I could see on the ACCNE broadcast of the event, though, the place was not nearly packed. Regardless of the attendance, though, the Eagles results against the Cards mirrored last week's match with BC taking a 15-4 win.
Boston College is the nation's #1 ranked women's lacrosse squad and also #1 seed in the tournament, so the Cards' work was definitely cut out for them before either team took to the pitch. Using the defensive skills that got them to an undefeated regular season, Boston College shut down any semblance of offense for Louisville and roared out to an 8-0 first half lead. It could have been 9-0 (who's counting at that point?) but an apparent Eagles score at the end of the half was reversed by the officials after reviewing the time clock and whether the shot got off before the clock went to 00:00.
Boston College has a knack for finding cutters in front of the opponent's goal and Louisville was also forced to play "a man down" for significant stretches of the half because of over-aggressive defensive tactics. The Cards may have been getting skunked on the scoreboard but they weren't being passive at all.
What do you say to a squad at halftime in a situation like this? One can surmise that Teeter implored his squad to continue to play hard, play smart and work the ball.
Louisville seemed almost tentative with their passing and shot attempts in the first 30 minutes and when you couple that with a Boston College goalkeeper that was stopping any Cardinal attempts to score -- the results are usually not going to be in your favor. B.C. was double-teaming UofL's leading scorer, Tessa Chad, as well -- to compound the Cards offensive woes.
The Cards did come out with a spark of energy in the second half and found success with Ally Hall in front of the goal. Her two scores in the first four minutes of action trimmed the Eagles lead to six. The Cards were passing the ball much better and getting some stops defensively.
The rally was short-lived, though. Boston College pushed the lead back to 10-2 before Kayla Marshall connected for Louisville. Caroline Blalock also found success for the Red and Black with six minutes remaining by mirroring what BC had been doing most of the game. She sprinted the length of the field with the ball and got off a shot with scant defensive coverage by the somewhat surprised Eagles and found the back of the net.
By then, though, the score was 11-4 Boston College. The Eagles dominated the final minutes of play after that, including two "rub it in" goals with less than 90 second to play. Yes, you play to the final buzzer, I get that and BC was a few goals short of their season average -- but Jeff Walz never runs it up at the end of games and one has to wonder if the B.C. coaches were doing so to punish the Cards for their aggressive "chippiness" earlier in the match. At 13-4 and 1:30 to go and with a 90-second shot clock in pay, why not just run the clock out with an 11 goal advantage?
The four goals wasn't Louisville's lowest offensive total of the season, the Cards managed just two goals in snowy Denver against the Pioneers back in February.
Other ACC Tournament action had Syracuse getting by Virginia 12-10, North Carolina beating Virginia Tech 19-9 and Duke squeaking by Notre Dame 14-13. The winners get a day off and will match up in the semifinals Friday. Syracuse faces Boston College and Duke gets North Carolina.
Louisville's season ends with a 5-13 mark. The good news is that Teeter gets everyone back next year but Chad. Let's not forget that he had to basically start from scratch with this squad two years ago in the toughest conference in College women's lacrosse and, as his recruits fill the program and they gain experience, the fortunes of Louisville Lacrosse will improve.
Chad was an invaluable leader and scoring machine in her two years at Louisville and will be hard to replace -- but hope springs eternal and it will be up to the returnees to improve, work hard in the off-season and sharpen their game and skills. To compare it to women's basketball, she was the Asia Durr, Arica Carter and Sam Fuehring of the Louisville Laxers.
It's good to be back with you on these pages once again while Paulie and Sonya take a few days away from the site. I especially enjoyed watching the contest with my daughter Abby, who played at the DI level, and was pointing out nuances, sets and schemes on the pitch that I never would have noticed on my own. She kept giving me examples of how lacrosse was similar to basketball -- with passing, zone defenses, fast-breaks, shots in the lane and other aspects. Yes, ol' Dave O learned something, remarkable that!
Best of everything to you!