In shocking fashion, the Boston College women’s hockey team lost to rival Harvard on Friday night by a score of 2-1 in the semifinals of the NCAA tournament. After an incredibly prolific season, during which the Lady Eagles spent a vast majority of time as the unanimous No. 1 team in the country, the girls fell short of the ultimate prize—a national championship.
Ending the season with a 34-3-2 record, the 2014-2015 Lady Eagles will likely be remembered as one of the best BC women’s hockey teams that ever took the ice at Conte Forum. Consider just what they did this season.
On average, our girls scored 5.0 goals per game, while their opponents managed only 1.2; they averaged 40.4 shots per game, while their opponents only took 19.3; and the team won 60 percent of its faceoffs.
Seven Lady Eagles scored 30 or more points, while another twelve scored 20 or more. The entire team managed 521 points (195 goals), compared to their opponents’ 117 (47 goals). And finally, between three goaltenders—Katie Burt, Taylor Blake and Gabriella Switaj—the Lady Eagles managed an overall save percentage of .938, against their opponents’ .876.
In short, the team was always three steps ahead of its competition. One could write for eons about how the Lady Eagles dominated nearly every team in every dimension of the game (if you’re interested, check out the team statistics). Not only did the group eviscerate its enemies, but they managed to do so with arguably the most challenging NCAA women’s hockey schedule out there.
Yet, despite a truly magnificent season, the ladies fell short to the only team, other than Boston University, that defeated them earlier in the season. The Lady Eagles painfully learned that a near-flawless season can be undone in the matter of one winner-takes-all game. Harvard built and put the nail in the team’s coffin, all in the matter of 60 minutes. After such a stinging loss, the hope of ever winning a national championship is now surely a hopeless dream—certainly a thing of the past for Boston College.
Or is it?
With only four seniors—Erin Kickham, Emily Pfalzer, Emily Field and Kate Leary—leaving the team, the squad should remain largely intact. Undoubtedly, losing these key role players will shift the team’s dynamic, but many of the team’s top scorers, several of the team’s top defensive players, all of the team’s goalies, and the team’s coach, Katie King-Crowley, are staying. Add in a dynamite recruiting class, and one shortly realizes that all is far from lost.
In fact, SuperFans can expect to see a very similar team next season—one that is balanced, well coached and dominant on offense, defense and in the net. Though it may be difficult to churn out another 34-3-2 record (or a record even close to it), the Lady Eagles will likely see themselves in the NCAA tournament again next year.
For now, let’s enjoy having an undefeated women’s lacrosse team and a men’s lacrosse team that will begin its run in the NCAA tournament shortly. But when 2016 rolls around, all eyes may again fall on the BC women’s hockey team—a team that, with a chip on its shoulder from the 2014-2015 season, may be poised to win its very first national championship.
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