January 8, 2013

#LMranks: No. 19 Boston College (Women)

Attacker Covie Stanwick lived up to the hype as a freshman. She and Boston College enter 2013 with a new head coach in former assistant Acacia Walker.
© Boston College Athletics

by Matt DaSilva | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter | Team Page/Schedule

Lacrosse Magazine is counting down its preseason rankings throughout the month of January exclusively on LaxMagazine.com.

Today continues a look at our NCAA Division I Top 20 rankings. For more, visit LaxMagazine.com/LMranks. Follow @LacrosseMag on Twitter and Tweet using the hashtag #LMranks. The countdown will resume Wednesday with profiles of the 18th-ranked teams in NCAA Division I men and women.

Power Ratings

Offense: 4*
Defense: 2
Goalkeeping: 2
Draw Controls: 2
* Out of 5

Top Returner

A Covie Stanwick (So.)
One of the nation's top recruits held up to the hype as a freshman with 28 goals and a team-high 27 assists. She forms potent 1-2 punch with former U.S. U19 teammate Mikaela Rix, a sophomore midfielder who scored 43 goals.


M Sarah Mannelly (Fr.)
Top recruit out of Connecticut set New Canaan High records for assists (138), caused turnovers (197), ground balls (124) and draw controls (158). Mannelly was all-state in soccer and basketball as well as a two-time All-American in lacrosse. That kind of athleticism can't be ignored.

What's New?

Former U.S. World Cup team member Acacia Walker takes the reins from Bowen Holden after two seasons as her assistant. Walker, who also had stints as an assistant at UMass and Northwestern, hired 2012 Northwestern grad Alex Frank to be one of her assistants — perhaps to keep the New England pipeline pumping. Frank's sister, Meredith, and mother Leslie both are influential high schools coaches in Massachusetts.

What's Not?

BC being ACC underdogs. Despite loftier expectations in 2012, the Eagles managed only to beat Virginia Tech in the conference. Since joining the ACC in 2006, Boston College is 7-28, with five wins over Virginia Tech and one upset each of North Carolina and Virginia.

2012 Recap

#LMranks WD1 Preseason Countdown

Monday: No. 20 Princeton
Tuesday: No. 19 Boston College
Wednesday: No. 18
Thursday: No. 17
Friday: No. 16

More: Countdown schedule | MD1 | MD2 | WD2 | MD3 | WD3 | JuCo | MCLA | WCLA

Record: 10-8, 1-4 ACC

In a Nutshell: A year after making its first-ever trip to the NCAA tournament, Boston College fell short of the expectations that came with the return of fifth-year senior and All-American Kristin Igoe and the arrival of the highest-profile recruits in program history, Stanwick and Rix. A 23-12 blowout loss to eventual NCAA finalist Syracuse in February foreboded the struggles of a defense that could not stay in step with elite offenses and the perils of a goalie timeshare. With Stanwick emerging as the primary distributor, the offense did its part in one-goal losses to North Carolina and Duke and a two-goal loss to Virginia. But the Eagles could not get the stops they needed in big spots. They finished 10-8.

High Point: An 18-9 win April 22 over crosstown rival Boston University. Boston College's offense flexed its muscle, as three players scored four goals apiece and two others scored two each. The Eagles dominated draw controls 21-7.

Low Point: A 23-12 loss Feb. 21 at Syracuse, two games into season in which Boston College entered as a top-10-ranked team. The Eagles hung around for a half before the Orange peeled off an 8-2 run on the strength of its draw control unit.

2013 Preview

Best Case: Stanwick and Rix pick up where Igoe and Brittany Wilton left off on offense, and the Eagles' defense gets a lift from second-year starting goalie Emily Mata, who puts together more performances like the 15-save gem she had against North Carolina last year. BC rallies around Walker, beats either Syracuse or Vanderbilt at home and then springs an ACC tournament upset. The Eagles make their second NCAA tournament in three years as an at-large pick in the new 26-team field.

Worst Case: Boston College's defensive woes continue, and the Eagles wind up with another 1-4 finish in the ACC. They refuel on offense, but have a more difficult time securing draw controls the way they did with Igoe and Wilton trolling the circle. Boston College stumbles through the non-conference portion of its schedule, which includes games against Vanderbilt, Ohio State, Northwestern and Syracuse. The Eagles struggle to a .500 finish.

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