17 Sep

No. 2 Syracuse fails to combat No. 6 Boston College’s slow pace in 10-9 home loss

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 28, 2015 at 5:55 pm Contact Chris: [email protected] | @ChrisLibonati Boston College head coach Acacia Walker turned around, walked away and put both hands on her head. BC midfielder Mikaela Rix bobbled the ball and had nearly lost it. In the midst of a four-minute possession, it was crucial that BC kept holding the ball. Rix came down with the pass, though. The Eagles had stalled and Syracuse tried to pressure BC, but SU goalie Kelsey Richardson vacated the crease to guard an open player and the Eagles’ Caroline Margolis scored to make the game 10-8 with 1 minute and 28 seconds left. “When the team’s trying to stall and spread out the field and pass it around, that’s probably the hardest to play.” SU defender Mallory Vehar said. “You know last minute you know you need the ball back and busting your butt. Yeah, definitely frustrating.”BC’s possessions stretched minutes at a time throughout the game, and No. 2 SU (5-1, 1-1 Atlantic Coast) was unable to get the ball away from the Eagles in the final minutes. For the first time since March 30, 2013, Syracuse lost to a team other than Maryland, as No. 6 BC (4-0, 1-0) held on for the 10-9 win. 

Vehar said SU’s game plan was to allow BC to hold the ball and pack in the defense, and the Eagles obliged.“The game plan was to be really smart with our possessions and to try to lengthen the possession time, so we could wait for the right opportunity,” Walker said, “… if you get into a shootout with Syracuse, you’re going to lose every time.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWith five minutes left in the game, SU head coach Gary Gait tried to get the ball back, so he deployed Syracuse’s backer defense, a zone defense designed to pressure ball-handlers. When that didn’t work, the Orange ran a matchup defense with defender Brenna Rainone face-guarding Rix. SU defender Kathy Rudkin also played one-on-one against Rix. “We practice a lot with Mikaela being shut off,” Walker said, “so we just told her to use her power and strength to not allow her to get shut out of the game.” Gait said he had thought about running a pressure defense earlier, but the game was tied, so SU only needed one stop. After Margolis’ goal, Syracuse did get a goal back. Riley Donahue took a shot on the right side of the crease and the ball trickled on the left side of the goalie and into the net. As she scored, it looked as if she had been pushed into the goalie, who fell on her side.Gait stormed down the side of the field, pointing and yelling at the referees, furious that there was no push called as Donahue was shooting. “They said it was a held flag,” Gait said. “I thought she got fouled on the shot, which would give you possession.” Despite the goal, SU lost the final draw and BC once again held the ball. Orange attack Kayla Treanor nearly got the ball back when she checked the ball out of Boston College defender Molly Erdle’s stick, but a referee deemed the check a dangerous check with 18 seconds left and BC kept the ball.Margolis held the ball until the final seconds when she overthrew a pass that rolled out of bounds in the corner with no time left on the clock. Boston College players spilled onto the field, running to goalie Zoe Ochoa and a celebratory mosh formed on the field. BC’s players eventually lined up facing the stands and ran from the far hash toward fans that had shown up for the game. “I think we had a good game plan, and it worked,” Vehar said, pausing. “For the most part,” she said, pausing again. “Until we lost.” Commentslast_img read more