The Boston College women’s lacrosse team swapped the lead and traded blows all second half long with #1-ranked, undefeated North Carolina, but in the end, their defense of their national title came up one goal short, as the Eagles fell to the Tar Heels 12-11 in Sunday afternoon’s NCAA final in Baltimore, Maryland.
BC and UNC were tied up 8-8 heading in to the fourth quarter, when both teams played well, but the Heels were ultimately able to make one more big play than the Eagles to pull out the victory.
After Belle Smith scored on a rebound to tie the game up 10-10 with 9:50 to go, UNC controlled the next passage of play. Sam Geiersbach scored on a second-effort opportunity to give UNC the lead with 5:26 remaining, and then another of UNC’s stars, Scottie Rose Growney, extended UNC’s lead to 2 with just 2:23 to play.
Cassidy Weeks scored a goal with just enough time left - 15 seconds - to give BC some hope, but they were unable to get control on the ensuing draw and UNC saw out the victory.
Senior goaltender Rachel Hall turned in a performance reminiscent of her heroics against UNC in last year’s Final Four, making eight saves including several showstoppers in the third quarter as BC jumped back in to the game.
Charlotte North and Cassidy Weeks also starred for BC, scoring 4 and 3 goals respectively.
The Eagles’ defense once again played well and with few exceptions made UNC work for every goal they got, and limited the nation’s top team to 12 goals — but the Heels were just as good in their own end and did enough to hold off the Eagles’ own potent offense.
The game marks the end of an era for the BC women’s lacrosse team, as Charlotte North, and other heroes of last year’s national title run, including Jenn Medjid, played their final games as Eagles.
This group of seniors climbed the ladder at BC, bringing the Eagles from plucky underdog to Memorial Day weekend fixture, with 5 straight appearances in the Final Four. Based on what we’ve had a chance to watch from Acacia Walker-Weinstein’s recruiting and teambuilding in recent years, it feels like that legacy has a good chance of being continued even after this group departs the Heights.
The national title for UNC was their third in program history, capping off an all-conquering 22-0 year.