FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The Navy women’s lacrosse team saw its historic run come to an end on Friday night as the Midshipmen (18-5) dropped a 16-15 decision to No. 14 Boston College (17-6) in the NCAA Tournament Semifinals at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The Mids became the first service academy to ever compete in the Final Four.
“It was a heck of a game tonight,” head coach Cindy Timchal said after the game. “I guess we kept the people in the stands. I’m certainly very proud of our Navy women’s lacrosse program. We fought to the end, came up short. We give credit to the really tough BC team we played tonight and wish them all the best moving forward to the national championship.
“This team plays with a lot of heart. All I can say is we’re just very proud of our program. All the players that competed tonight on the field, they really put it on the line.”
The Mids jumped out to a 9-6 halftime lead, but fell behind during a six-goal run by the Eagles. Navy trailed by as many as three goals with 6:42 remaining in the game, but got late goals from Julia Collins (Clarksville, Md.) and Kelly Larkin (Alexandria, Va.). Boston College won the final draw and was able to run down the clock to secure the victory.
Navy concludes its season with an 18-5 record, advancing further in the NCAA Tournament than any team in Patriot League Women’s Lacrosse history. Larkin (108) and Jenna Collins (Clarksville, Md. — 114) became the first teammates in League history to total 100 points in the same season.
The Navy offense was led by Larkin who scored a career-high six goals in the game. She was joined by Julia Collins (Clarksville, Md.) and Meg O’Donnell (Forest Hill, Md.) who each added two goals apiece. Je. Collins, Kayla Harris (Arnold, Md.), Andie O’Sullivan (Valley Cottage, N.Y.), Molly O’Sullivan (Centreville, Va.), and Morgan Young (Baltimore, Md.) also scored a goal apiece.
Je. Collins led the team with two assists, while Ju. Collins, O’Donnell, A. O’Sullivan, and Young each chipped in a helper each. A. O’Sullivan and Harris paced the team in ground balls, picking up three and two, respectively. Ju. Collins led the team with six draw controls, while Harris added three and O’Donnell notched a pair.
Defensively, Ingrid Boyum took the hard-luck loss. The junior played a full 60 minutes, recording 10 saves, while allowing 16 goals and picking up a ground ball. The team forced five turnovers with Larkin, Sarah Childress (Annapolis, Md.), Blake Smith (Sykesville, Md.), Lexy Smith (Towson, Md.), and Marie Valenti (Bechtelsville, Pa.) each causing a turnover.
The two teams played fairly event throughout the entire game. Navy posted 40 shots compare to 34 by Boston College. The Eagles edged the Midshipmen 12-10 in ground balls, while the Mids won the draw control battle, 18-14. The two teams were both perfect in clear attempts with Navy attempting 18 and Boston College attempting 16.
Boston College was the first team to score, scratching the scoreboard with just over a minute and 45 seconds off the clock, but Navy responded with a go by Young to tie the game at 1-1.
The Eagles notched back-to-back goals, but a three-goal spurt by the Midshipmen gave the Mids their first lead of the game at 4-3. Larkin scored the first two goals, while Harris ended the run with her first goal of the game with Je. Collins and Young each added assists on the goals.
BC scored to tie the game at 4-4, but Navy used a 4-0 run to take an 8-4 lead. Ju. Collins opened the run with an unassisted goal and had the assist on O’Donnell’s first goal of the game. Larkin and A. O’Sullivan each added goals to put Navy up four.
The final three and a half minutes saw Boston College score a pair of goal sandwiched around a Navy goal. The Eagles broke the Mids run with a goal, but Larkin answered with her fourth goal of the half. With just eight ticks on the clock, BC scored a goal to pull to within three at halftime, 9-6.
In the second half, Boston College opened the half by scoring seven of the first eight goals to take a 13-10 lead with 19:31 to play in regulation. The Eagles used a 5-0 run to start the half. O’Donnell scored a goal to end the Midshipmen’s scoring drought, but a pair of goals by the Eagle gave the designated home team a three-goal edge.
Larkin scored an unassisted goal to pull Navy to within two, but a BC free-position goal extended the lead back to three, 14-11. Je. Collins’ only goal of the game to close the gap to 14-12. M. O’Sullivan’s goal off a Je. Collins pass pulled the Midshipmen back to within two, 15-13.
Trailing 16-13, Navy’s Ju. Collins found the back of the net off a pass from O’Donnell. Larkin added a free-position goal with 1:10 remaining on the clock to give the Mids a chance at 16-15. Boston College won the final draw control and were able to keep possession and run out the clock to preserve the win.