San Diego, California - San Diego State closes out its season-long homestand on Saturday, March 10, when it battles fourth-ranked Boston College at Aztec Lacrosse Field. Opening draw is set for noon PT. In addition to live stats, a link to streaming video will be available on GoAztecs.com. A free pair of Aztec socks will also be presented to the first 200 fans in attendance.
SDSU looks to keep the momentum rolling against the Eagles after extending its winning streak to three games with a 22-2 conquest of Presbyterian, followed by an 18-16 triumph over Niagara on back-to-back dates, March 5-6.
Against PC, the Aztecs' 22 goals matched the school's single-game record previously established on March 12, 2014, in a 22-6 rout of LIU Brooklyn. In addition, the 20-goal margin of victory equaled a program standard set the year before in a 21-1 pasting of the same LIU Brooklyn squad on March 10, 2013.
Individually, Grace McGinty netted all of her personal-best four goals in the first half, while Kirstie Greenlaw, Jill Haight and Lexi Tan added hat tricks. SDSU outshot the Blue Hose 39-9, including a 25-1 spread on goal, while dishing out a season-high eight assists.
The following night vs. Niagara, the Aztecs found themselves in a tight battle as the Purple Eagles rallied from an 11-4 deficit at intermission to pull within two on several occasions in the second half, including an 18-16 spread with 1:43 to go. However, the Scarlet and Black benefited from a late turnover and ran the remaining time off the clock.
Haight led the SDSU charge with four first-half goals, while Elizabeth Rourke and Morgan Taylor totaled three points apiece on two goals and one assist. Not to be outdone freshman Bailey Brown came through with a career-high seven draw controls, while Rourke collected a personal-best five ground balls to tie for game-high honors. Collectively the Aztecs maintained a 34-24 advantage in shots on goal, including a 43-34 spread in overall attempts. SDSU is now 4-0 on the year when attempting more shots than its opponents.
The Aztecs' 59 goals in their past three outings matched the team's highest scoring three-game stretch in school history. In March 2013, the Aztecs defeated LIU Brooklyn (21-1), Marquette (19-5) and Temple (19-12) in succession.
Entering the weekend, Haight leads the Aztecs with 20 goals, which ranks 18th nationally, while her team-best 5.34 draw controls per game (38 overall) is good for 34th in the country. In addition, the Milton, Ga., native tops the squad with 22 points, 14 ground balls and 10 caused turnovers.
After a superb all-round effort in SDSU's 19-3 thumping off St. Bonaventure on March 2, Haight was named the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation's Defensive Player of the Week. The Aztec midfielder tied for team-high honors with three goals against the Bonnies to go with three draw controls, two ground balls, two caused turnovers and one assist.
With her award, Haight gives the Scarlet and Black six MPSF weekly certificates already this year, including two by Harlowe Steele, who garnered consecutive accolades on offense Feb. 12-19, while Brown merited back-to-back rookie honors. For the season, Steele ranks second on the team with 17 points,14 goals and 12 ground balls while occupying the third spot with 16 draw controls. Similarly, Brown second on the squad as well this week with 24 draw controls while contributing four goals, seven ground balls and three caused turnovers.
Not to be outdone, goalkeeper Katy Sharretts received MPSF Defensive Player of the Week recognition on Feb. 26 after combining for 28 saves at No. 21 Denver and No. 20 Colorado. The Aztec redshirt sophomore established a career high with 14 saves in consecutive outings against the Pioneers and Buffaloes, which is tied for fourth on the school's single-game performance list. For the season, Sharretts leads the conference with 59 saves, which ranks eighth in the nation, while maintaining a .437 save percentage and a 12.59 goals against average in over 362 minutes of playing time.
As a team, the Aztecs occupy the fifth spot nationally with 17.00 draw controls per game, while their scoring offense (15.57 goals/gm) ranks 10th. In addition, San Diego State is 14th in the country with 25.00 shots on goal per contest and ranks 17th in scoring margin at plus-4.29.
The Aztecs are 5-0 this season when scoring first and leading at the half. In addition, SDSU is 5-1 on the year when posting more draw controls than the opposition, having won three straight. The Scarlet and Black is also 4-0 at home for the first time since 2015.
San Diego State has faced Boston College on one previous occasion, dropping an 18-11decision at Aztec Lacrosse Field on March 8, 2014. The Eagles represent SDSU's highest ranked opponent since suffering a 20-7 setback on the road to No. 2 North Carolina on Feb. 14, 2016. The Aztecs have battled two ranked teams earlier this season, falling to No. 21 Denver and No. 20 Colorado on the road by identical 17-12 scores last month.
With its dramatic 14-13 victory over Arizona State on Feb. 17, SDSU has won five straight games decided by one goal dating back to last season and has improved to 12-10 in one-goal encounters since the team's inception in 2012. It also marked just the second time in program history that the Aztecs have recorded consecutive one-goal wins after downing Saint Joseph's (13-12) and New Hampshire (12-11) last year. Last month, the Scarlet and Black emerged triumphant with another 12-11 nail-biter in its season opener at California on Feb. 11.
Despite losing its top five scorers from a year ago, including Kristen Hickey (34 goals), Kayla Deitz (30 goals) and Alex Watson (27 goals) SDSU returns an experienced core of 20 veterans, led by tri-captains Mackenzie Lech, Harlowe Steele and Natalie Peel. Lech and Elizabeth Rourke are the two lone seniors this season on a roster that features nine juniors, 12 sophomores, 12 true freshmen and one transfer.
Rourke is enjoying a tremendous 2018 campaign, leading the Aztecs with nine assists to go with 12 ground balls, which is tied for second on the team. Peel, meanwhile, has converted a team-high 8 free-position shots this year for an average of 1.14 per game, which ranks 45th nationally.
For the first time in program history, SDSU will play host to the MPSF Championships, slated for April 27 and 29. With the Pac-12 Conference sponsoring the sport of lacrosse for this time this season, five teams (Cal, Colorado, Oregon, Stanford, USC) have withdrawn from the MPSF, leaving behind the Aztecs, Fresno State and UC Davis. As a result, the MPSF tournament format will pit the second and third seeds in the semifinal game, with the winner advancing to the championship final against the No. 1 seed.
The program’s only coach after lacrosse became the 19th intercollegiate sport at San Diego State in 2012, Kylee White begins her seventh season at the helm of the Aztecs. She has transformed SDSU’s fledgling program to a strong competitor on the West Coast, highlighted by a school-record 10 victories last year. In November 2016, White was inducted into the London (Ontario) Sports Hall of Fame after becoming the only women’s lacrosse player to represent Canada in each of the last three decades. In 1995, she played on the inaugural U-19 Canadian National Team and later served as an assistant for the squad in 2007. White also played for Team Canada at four IFWLA World Cups (2001, 2005, 2009, 2013), helping the 2013 team to a silver medal. A four-year letterwinner at Ohio State, White was a four-time Buckeye scholar-athlete pick and an Academic All-Big Ten performer on three occasions. She co-captained the 2002 squad to an 11-5 record and a runner-up finish in the American Lacrosse Conference, helping Ohio State claim its first NCAA berth.
White also added assistant coach Nikki Boltja to her staff in the offseason. A former star player at Louisville, Boltja spent the last two seasons as an assistant at Stetson University (2017) and Baldwin Wallace University (2016). While at Louisville, Boltja merited IWLCA All-America distinction on two occasions for the Cardinals, earning third-team honors in 2013, before receiving first-team recognition in 2014. A three-time all-region and all-conference selection, Boltja was the unanimous Big East Offensive Player of the Year during her senior campaign in 2014 after leading Louisville to its first NCAA Tournament berth and top 10 national ranking.
Following Saturday's showdown, the Aztecs will hit the road for a pair of games in South Carolina next week when they face Furman on Friday, March 16, before battling Wofford on Sunday, March 18.