By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/8/17
Even a week after her Boston College team ended a Cinderella season one step short of a championship, Wissahickon graduate Laura Frankenfield was feeling the disappointment of an unfulfilled goal.
“When you are in the Final Four, it’s hard to get a perspective,” said Frankenfield, whose BC Eagles fell to Maryland, 16-13, in the NCAA Championship 11 days ago at Foxboro, Mass. “I have been in this weird mourning period.”
Frankenfield (24 goals, 6 assists) was a starter on a team that never was considered a championship contender by most followers. But someone forgot to tell Boston College’s players.
BC, which finished fifth in the powerful Atlantic Coast Conference regular season at 3-4, made one of the most shocking post-season runs by defeating powers Syracuse, 21-10, and USC, 20-14, before edging Navy, 16-15, to reach the national finals against undefeated and top-ranked Maryland.
The Terps (finished 23-0) were a prohibitive favorite, but BC (17-7) never felt or played like an underdog despite making its first appearance in a National Final Four.
“Honestly, even looking back at the replays, we never felt like it was a David vs. Goliath type of thing,” said Frankenfield.
The game was in doubt much of the way, even after Maryland went out to a 5-2 lead. The Eagles came right back ad tied it 5-5, on Frankenfield’s goal late in the first half.
Maryland scored the first five goals of the second half – and most thought that the game could become a blowout. But BC again responded and pulled within 11-10 on a tally by standout Kenzie Kent (five goals, five assists). The Terps scored five of the next six goals to take a 16-11 lead, and still BC battled back to make it the 16-13 final.
“Obviously, Maryland is a very well established team and is very well respected,” said Frakenfield, who played club lacrosse for Ultimate. “But our team had no fear; we never feared any deficit and we were down a few times.
“We always dug our heals in. Being behind was not the best place to be, but it was where we felt the most comfortable. If some people wanted to make us the underdog, that’s fine – but no one on our team felt as such.”
Frankenfield said that BC coach Acacia Walker believes BC’s miraculous success cannot be tarnished by the loss.
“Coach said we will understand the magnitude of what we accomplished in a year,” said Frankenfield. “At the time all we cared about was that we had another week to be together. This team was closer than any team I played on and the whole team’s mentality was to win just so we could play together again.
“This senior class was super-tight and that translated throughout the team. Everyone was so close-knit; honestly they are all my best friends. I know that sound so cliche, but everyone in the locker room was excited to see each other that even when practice stunk, we’d say it was OK because we were with our friends for 2 hours.”
Did Frankenfield believe that BC could contend for a championship when she committed?
“I absolutely did,” she said, “When I committed to BC Covie Stanwick was a freshman and the program was on the upswing. We give all the credit (for our success) to our alumni. They laid the groundwork.
“Without them it’s hard to see we could have gotten as far as we did. It would have been easy to go to a program that had been there before, but it was great to make history and do something the program hasn’t done before
“I had faith. Acacia Walker is an unbelievable coach and this was a dream a long time in the works.”
Frankenfield, who graduated with a degree in Communications and a minor in Marketing, started working two days after the championship in a marketing job for project management in South Boston. She said her experience as a BC Eagle has helped her in many ways off the field.
“I think lacrosse teaches you a lot of life lessons,” she said. “Even in my marketing classes I already understood how to work in a team setting.
“Lacrosse helps your emotional intelligence. It taught me how to be a better human being and to look out for others and be there for others.”