On Thursday afternoon, Boston College women’s lacrosse faced the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the NCAA quarterfinals. The teams met for the third time this season, this time for the right to advance to the 2023 Final Four. The Boston College offense exploded to make it a clean 3-0 record versus ND this season, winning 20-6 and advancing to their sixth-straight Final Four.
The game began basically where these two teams left off the last time they faced each other in the ACC Tournament. Both teams played with an incredible amount of grit and physical toughness, forcing the opposing attackers to power their way through an aggressive defense and avoid sloppy mistakes. The referees recognized this tough style of postseason play and largely let the players be aggressive without many calls either way to start, but were forced to bring out a few yellow cards when Andrea Reynolds and Belle Smith each made contact with the head of Irish an player. Shea Dolce didn’t care, though, and stood tall to make some great saves to lead BC to a 5-2 margin through one quarter.
The Boston College offense was alive and kicking, which was the most exciting part of what the Eagles did against Notre Dame. After playing three straight postseason games without scoring more than 11 goals, BC found themselves with 10 goals by halftime of this game. Boston College’s Cassidy Weeks and Kayla Martello had a dominant second quarter, each scoring back-to-back goals themselves and extending the team’s lead beyond any margin they had over the Irish in the last game they played against each other. Leading scorer Jenn Medjid had plenty of production herself, making some gutsy cuts to the goal and keeping the ND defenders on their heels despite how physical they were playing. With some stellar stops on the defensive end, too, Boston College took a commanding 10-4 lead into the half.
The second half is when the flood gates really opened for Boston College’s offense. Draw control domination and a slew of goals from Mckenna Davis, Annabelle Hasselbeck, Ryan Smith, and Belle Smith just blew the lid off of Notre Dame’s defense as BC cruised to a 15-4 lead to open the 3rd quarter before ND finally scored. Their shot% went off the charts, scoring on 7/7 free positions and shooting 20/23 overall. The Eagles rode that lead and continued to score witrh ease for the rest of the game to finish with a dominant 20-6 victory over the #11 Fighting Irish.
Four different Eagles earned a hat trick in this game: Belle Smith (5), Jenn Medjid (4), Courtney Weeks (3), and Kayla Martello (3). It was an inspiring offensive performance for Boston College after they had been struggling in the postseason to pour it on like they typically did in the regular season, averaging 15 goals a game for one of the nation’s best scoring rates. The BC attackers are kicking back into gear at the perfect time as they enter the Final Four and vie for the program’s second national title. The defense, led by freshman goaltender Shea Dolce, has been red hot in recent weeks and look to continue that domination against one of the nation’s top offenses.
Next up is the Final Four down in Cary, NC against #2 Syracuse on Friday May 26th. The Eagles have faced the Orange one time already this season when they traveled to NY to break a 15-game win streak and spoil Syracuse’s perfect regular season in a thrilling 17-16 game. Cuse will look to enact their revenge on lacrosse’s biggest stage while BC looks to advance to their sixth-straight national championship game appearance. The two teams are familiar with each other and are playing at an elite level, so it should make for a very exciting match-up.