McNelis: Finality of BC's Season, My Senior Year
"Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it. " – Greg Anderson
What a year it has been for the Boston College women's lacrosse team. Not only did we have the best record in program history, but we also made it to the Elite Eight for the first time...ever. Unfortunately, we fell short of a final four bid by falling to Syracuse 11-9 this past weekend. Despite this tough loss, I could not be more proud of my team and what we have accomplished this season and during the NCAA tournament.
Our first round of NCAA tournament play began on Friday, May 9 against Bryant on our home turf. Not only were we seeded in the NCAA tournament, but we were also hosting for the first time ever. We started the game off a little slow (a few nerves here and there), but ended up pulling away with a 17-9 victory. This victory marked the first time in program history that a Boston College team made it past the first round of the NCAA tournament, and we could not have been more excited to "survive and advance," as our team liked to say.
On Sunday, May 11, we were set to play Loyola, who had just defeated UMass, in the second round of the tournament. We knew Loyola was going to be a very tough team to beat, but the passion, heart, and hustle our team showed during this game allowed us to pull out an 8-3 win. This game was the absolute best our team had ever played, from defense to the midfield to offense. We had spectacular performances from freshman goalkeeper Zoe Ochoa and junior attacker Covie Stanwick.
As our team "survived and advanced" to the third round of the tournament, we had five days to prepare for our next opponent, ACC foe Syracuse. After falling to Syracuse 11-9 during out first matchup in February, we mentally and physically prepared to make this game go in our favor. Game day came and went, and we unfortunately lost this game despite a 3-0 lead in the beginning of the first half. The fight our team showed was second to none, but we fell short to "survive and advance" to the final four.
As my lacrosse career comes to a close, I could not be more grateful for the experience, memories, and the long lasting friendships I have made along the way. I will never forget making the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history in 2011, beating Duke in 2013 and 2014, playing on BC's Alumni Football Stadium for the ACC Tournament, or making it to the Elite Eight. I am going to miss waking up everyday training and playing lacrosse with my 27 best friends. I am going to miss the pre-game dance moves by Sarah Mannelly, the away trips, and the team dinner toasts. The Boston College women's lacrosse team holds such a special place in my heart, and I am so lucky to have been part of this team. The bond my team shares is second to none, and one I will cherish forever. I have been playing lacrosse since I was six years old, and it is hard to believe it is actually over.
I cannot thank my family, teammates, coaches, trainers, mentors, and friends enough for supporting me throughout my lacrosse career. I thank all of the readers for allowing me to share my experiences as a Boston College lacrosse player with all of you.
To my senior class: Kara, Cali, Kate, Claire, Carly, Moira, and graduate student Brooke, I wouldn't have wanted to spend the past four years with any other group of people. And to my 2013-2014 team, thank you for making my final season one I will remember forever, love you guys.
BC Lacrosse is destined to do great things, and I cannot wait and see what they will have in store next season.
"You will never win if you never begin." – Robert H. Schuller