Women's Weekend Watch: BC Enters Another Test with Virginia

No. 7 Virginia travels to Newton to face the undefeated Boston College Eagles on Saturday.


Is Virginia the next unwitting victim, or will it be the first to pull the shocker?

Since a three-goal win against USC on March 1, the Eagles (11-0, 2-0 ACC) have steamrolled their competition by a margin of 8.4 goals per game. That competition includes the likes of No. 3 North Carolina, No. 8 Northwestern and No. 13 Navy. When asked if the team’s play has been turned up a notch in recent weeks, senior attacker Dempsey Arsenault was matter-of-fact about it.

“Yeah, definitely,” She said. “We still have a lot of work to do so hopefully we keep our momentum going.”

The Cavaliers (9-3, 1-3 ACC) have stumbled in league play, but possess plenty of firepower to disrupt the Eagles attack. Virginia has three wins in their last four including five-goal victories over JMU and Duke since a tense 10-9 loss against Notre Dame. Last season, BC needed a five-goal run to pull away late in a 15-12 victory in Charlottesville.

“It was a battle,” Arsenault recalled. “They’re a really strong team, very aggressive offensively. We have to bring our A-game for sure. Whenever we play them it’s a dog fight. We’re gearing up for that again for Saturday.”

NO. 7 VIRGINIA AT NO. 1 BOSTON COLLEGE
WHEN: Saturday, March 30, 1 p.m.
WATCH: ACC Network

Now halfway through her senior year, Dempsey and this heralded class that’s made two straight national championship appearances is remaining focused in the moment. It’s something that coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein has instilled in her players.

“[A national championship] is not something we really talk about,” Arsenault said. “I think it’s about the mentality of staying one game at a time, just controlling what we can do. We can’t control anything too far in the future so we work each day.”

Plenty of hard work goes into a team that features six players with at least 20 points. While attention is generated toward the big three of Arsenault, 2018 Tewaaraton winner Sam Apuzzo and graduate student Kenzie Kent, Arsenault cited another attacker who should garner more recognition.

“It’s Cara Urbank,” Dempsey said of the junior. “She’s a grinder, working hard off the ball and setting people up as a dominant threat, which opens up the dodging lanes for other players. She goes all-out, she’s giving it her all, sacrificing her body for the ball and the team.”

Another area that Dempsey has been concentrating on is on the draw. The Eagles have doubled up in draw controls (215-107) winning the category in every game but one, which happened to be the USC game. Virginia ranks 53rd nationally in draw control percentage (50.6), while Boston College ranks third (66.8). With the likes of Apuzzo, Arsenault and defender Elizabeth Miller on the circle, BC practices are hyper-competitive.

“It’s always intense,” Arsenault said. “We study a lot of draw work. Having Kayla Treanor as our draw coach is special. We’re just trying to dominate the draw because if you win that you most likely win the game.”

Despite being undefeated deep into another season, Arsenault can feel the earnestness of a final season.

“Overall we have this sense of urgency and this want to win,” Arsenault said. “I just think we know it’s our last year together and last year playing lacrosse.”







Other games highlighting the weekend include:

  • No. 3 North Carolina at No. 6 Notre Dame
    Sunday, 1 p.m., ACC Network Extra

    A pair of teams coming off disappointing results last week will look to gain the upper hand in the likely fight for second-place in the ACC. The schedule makers did Tar Heels (9-2, 2-1 ACC) no favors with three straight conference road games: UNC was at Virginia Tech Wednesday night and will have back-to-back flights to Notre Dame and Louisville over the next two weekends. Carolina was handled by BC last week in a game that was never closer than three goals in the second half. On the other bench, how Notre Dame (9-1, 2-1 ACC) responds from its heartbreaking loss at Syracuse last week will be interesting. The Fighting Irish, who played UNC to a one-goal loss last year, have a complete week to prepare for the Tar Heels. 

  • No. 5 Penn at No. 8 Northwestern
    Sunday, 2 p.m. ET, BTN Plus

    A March game that will have important implications comes May as it pertains to seeding in the NCAA tournament. The nation’s top scoring offense, Northwestern (19.11 goals per game), will go against the 8th-ranked scoring defense, Penn (8.11 goals against per game). The Quakers (8-1, 2-0 Ivy) are comfortable in close games (5-0 in games decided by fewer than three goals), so if their defense can contain the Wildcats (6-3, 1-0 Big Ten) even a little bit, they may find a favorable outcome. Penn will get more looks on goal than they’re accustomed to as Northwestern ranks 96th nationally in scoring defense (14.11 goals against per game). If this turns into a shootout, the Wildcats will be happy.

MORE GAMES ON OUR RADAR

All times are listed in ET. For a full list of broadcast games, please visit our US Lacrosse TV listing page.

FRIDAY, MARCH 29

8 p.m.

No. 12 USC at Cal

10 p.m.

Arizona State at Stanford (Pac-12 Plus)

SATURDAY, MARCH 30

12 p.m.

No. 4 Syracuse at No. 14 Duke (ACC Network Extra)

No. 15 Johns Hopkins at No. 9 Michigan (BTN)

Holy Cross at No. 13 Navy (Patriot League Network)

No. 17 Florida at Temple (American Digital Network)

Georgetown at Butler 

1 p.m.

UMass Lowell at No. 19 Stony Brook (AmericaEast.tv)

2:30 p.m.

Old Dominion at No. 18 Denver (Pioneers All-Access)

5 p.m.

No. 2 Maryland at Rutgers (BTN)

San Diego State at No. 11 James Madison (MadiZone)

SUNDAY, MARCH 31

1 p.m.

Boston University at No. 10 Loyola (Patriot League Network)

4 p.m.

No. 12 USC at Stanford (Pac-12 Plus)

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