On Sunday afternoon, #4 Boston College women’s lacrosse took on defending national champions North Carolina in the 2023 ACC championship game. Boston College went into this game seeking their first ever ACC championship in women’s lacrosse. Boston College came out on top over North Carolina in an exciting match that ended 11-9.
The game started hot for the Tarheels when they scored 4 of the first 5 goals to take a commanding 3-goal lead that they hovered around for the entire first half. BC struggled to get much going offensively early, losing the majority of first half draw controls and running into a hot goalie that saved most of their shots on goal.
The Eagles also saw two goals called back in the 2nd quarter. One called-back goal from Jenn Medjid was a close decision, but the other from Courtney Weeks absolutely should have counted. The ACC Network broadcast showed a definitive angle of the ball crossing the goal line, but the referees apparently did not have access to that angle and chose not to award the goal to BC. Those questionable goal calls were quickly followed by another blown call when a UNC player was defending without a stick, which should’ve resulted in a green card and BC possession, but was left uncalled by the referee crew and UNC took the ball the other way. That series of events took some of the gas out of the BC offense that seemed to be building momentum in the second quarter and instead left them down 7-4 at halftime. Without questionable referee intervention, it could have been a 1 or 2 goal game at that point.
Head coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein didn’t let those unfavorable calls affect the team after halftime, though. Boston College came out of the gate in the 3rd quarter with a lot of energy, getting a quick defensive stop and then putting two goals in the net within 41 seconds of each other. But the 6-time ACC defending champs UNC have been in spots like this before, and their experience showed through when they answered with 2 goals of their own to expand their lead back to 3 goals midway through the 3rd.
Then Boston College exploded. The Weeks sisters each scored a goal at the end of 3rd quarter to make it a one goal game, then Kayla Martello put 2 in the net on back-to-back possessions to take a 10-9 lead over the Tarheels. Another goal after that made it 5 unanswered for BC in a huge 4th quarter push. Boston College was able to dominate draw controls and get great cuts to the net to set up those goals, something they were struggling to do earlier in the game.
Defense took over from there on both sides. Neither team could muster a goal for a 10+ minute stretch in the 4th quarter. Multiple shot clock violations, offensive fouls, and costly turnovers kept this game very tight while BC sat on its 2 goal lead. UNC fought to the brink, but a yellow card with 30 seconds remaining sealed their fate and BC went on to win 11-9.
This victory marked the first-ever ACC championship for the Boston College women’s lacrosse program, and the second-ever ACC championship for Boston College in any sport. Head coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein has become an absolute mastermind in getting this team playing its best in the playoffs. It’s why they’ve made 4-straight national title game appearance and why they won the national championship in 2021. Despite the slow start this regular season and concern over the departure of the legend Charlotte North, BC WLax is as strong as ever.
Next up for BC WLax is the NCAA tournament, which will begin on Friday May 12. The selection show for the bracket is Sunday May 7, so we will not know their seed or opponent until that date.