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Road to the 'Ship: BC men's lacrosse vs. Sonoma State

The Boston College men's lacrosse team begins its quest for dominance in the MCLA championships in Greenville, South Carolina tonight at 7:30 PM against the Sonoma State Seawolves. Sports Editor Teddy Kolva chatted with coaches from both squads and gives his prediction on tonight's match-up.

The Match-up

Boston College Eagles (13-0, 6-0 PCLL)

The Eagles come into tonight's game with a victory over last year's PCLL champion, UCONN. They are led by a strong, reliable duo of attackmen, John Lambrecht and Joey Volk. The pair combined for 57 goals and 29 assists on the season. The first midfield line of Robert Van Fossan, Bud O'Hara, and Pete Kaloostian are another steady source of production, too. The line trails only Lambrecht and Volk in points per game and senior midfielder Bud O'Hara leads the team in assists with 20 on the year.

Defensively, the Eagles are giving up 7.2 goals a game. They have  played five games where the margin of victory is less than or equal to two goals--indicative of a bend-don't-break defensive unit that is led by goalie Nick Shea. A 1st team All-PCLL selection, Shea has one of the best save percentages in the nation at 66.8%.

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Sonoma State Seawolves (12-4, 6-0 WCLL)

Over 3,000 miles away from Boston College, the Sonoma State Seawolves are still very familiar with BC's strengths, defeating the same Texas squad BC beat earlier in the season, 9-8. They lost a close game to Stanford in the WCLL conference playoffs, but ended up in the MCLA tournament with a slew of strong victories against teams like Texas, Chico State, and Pitt.

Senior midfielder and team captain Ryan Heidrich leads the team in goals with 34, while the attack tandem of Matthew Gillan and Kyle Riddle trail with 28 and 26  goals, respectively.

Senior netminder Alexander Linder boasts a 68.4%  save percentage, a conference-best figure. The most goals the Seawolves have given up this year is eight.

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Quotables

Head Coach Kevin Orcutt (1st season at BC) on the team and their opponent:

"This year, we have found every way to compete--we've come from behind, we've maintained large leads, we've salvaged a win after a big comeback by the opponent--we've done it all. Sonoma State will be a challenge but we are confident we can advance to the next round. Our 'Thunder' line that consists of PK, Bud, and Van Fossan will be huge in propelling us to victory."

Head Coach Doug Carl (1oth season at Sonoma State) on what it means to play BC:

"Everyone has heard of BC, but no-one outside the MCLA knows who Sonoma State is--I'd be willing to bet no one at BC could find our campus on a map.  Everyone on our squad knows where BC is and what their helmets look like. I know neither team is looking past this matchup, though. On paper it looks like it should be a good game.  Both teams have really solid defenses anchored by big time goalies and opportunistic offenses.  As with a lot of games, I think It'll come down to face offs and goal tending."

Keys to the Game

BC is a fairly consistent squad. They go on streaks of strong offensive productivity and sturdy defense, never really letting up unless they have a considerable lead. Sonoma State should be a challenge to that, mirroring UCONN's style of play and featuring a talented goalie as well. My prediction: ultimately, BC overwhelms Sonoma State with their resilient defense like they did with UCONN, defeating them 10-7.

To watch tonight's contest at 7:30 PM, tune in online to this link.

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