If history repeats itself, Boston College is hoping to avoid that.
Two years ago, the Eagles were taken down at home in the first round of the NCAA playoffs by Stony Brook. This year, the Eagles will host their playoff match again, but it will be a chance to go to the Final Four.
While BC is the home team, the SeaWolves have not lost a game all season.
While many think Stony Brook should have been a higher seed, they’ll have to head away from Long Island, and the path back goes through Newton.
“We’re really excited,” said attack Kaileen Hart. “The four and five seed, you can’t get more of a bigger rivalry. I still remember the bad taste in our mouth from the last time we played them here. We definitely want revenge, but we’re a 100 percent different team than the past year, and we’re the best we’ve ever been.”
The Eagles powered past Princeton in the second round in Newton, taking control early and never looking back.
But, Stony Brook is going to be a different animal.
“It’s a good team win,” said Eagles coach Acaica Walker following the game last Saturday. “I thought a lot of people stepped up. Tess Chandler, Kaileen Hart, it was really exciting to watch. We have Stony Brook coming up at home, and it’s perfect.”
In that win, the Eagles saw a combined two goals from leading scorers Sam Apuzzo and Dempsey Arsenault (New Hampton, NH).
But, Hart and Tess Chandler (Hopkinton, Mass) stepped up with a combined 10 tallies in a display of depth.
“It’s really important because a lot of team’s game plans are to stop our top players,” Hart said. “They study them the whole season, so it’s the opportunity for people like me and tess to step in and give them something that wasn’t scouted.”
Stony Brook is going to be their biggest challenge of the season. The lone Eagles loss came to conference rival North Carolina in the ACC Championship Game, but the SeaWolves haven’t seen the Eagles since that last playoff contest.
It’s going to take the same depth, but their top offensive players also need to make their mark.
“We knew we needed to step up, when teams stop Sam and Dempsey, that’s when we need to step up,” Hart said. “We felt like we didn’t do that in the UNC game. So we wanted to challenge ourselves.”