Down by double digits with 17 minutes left in the second half, hope seemed to return to Boston College lacrosse as Courtney Weeks put two quick goals in the back of the net for the Eagles’ first scores of the half. Despite Weeks’ offensive run, as the half progressed, it became clear that Saturday’s game would not end in the Eagles’ favor.
Ultimately, No. 11 BC (3-1, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) fell to No. 1 North Carolina (6-0, 2-0) by a final score of 21-9, the Eagles’ first loss of the season. The Eagles have dominated each game they’ve played up until Saturday, never allowing more than 12 goals in a single contest. But within minutes of the first whistle against the top team in the country, it was evident that Saturday’s game would be the Eagles’ toughest test yet.
Despite a close start to the game, BC fell apart in the second half, looking like an almost entirely different team, which allowed UNC to pull dramatically ahead on the scoreboard and build a momentum that the Eagles just couldn’t break.
Less than a minute into the first half of play, UNC put its first point on the board, showing the Eagles that the Tar Heels’ offense meant business. BC quickly responded, however, with Charlotte North, Caitlynn Mossman, and Jenn Medjid each logging a goal within minutes of each other, putting the Eagles ahead 3-1.
But, the lead quickly flipped back to the Tar Heels, who logged three unanswered goals of their own.
Medjid then recorded her second goal of the game, tying up the score at 4-4. North tacked on another, and freshman Belle Smith continued her hot streak with a quick goal off a cut through the 8-meter arc.
As the half progressed, UNC logged six more goals compared to BC’s three, and after 30 minutes, North had already recorded her third hat trick of the season. The two teams entered the locker room with UNC ahead 10-7.
In the second half, the Tar Heels reminded BC just why they are ranked No. 1 in the nation. Their offense kicked into gear, leaving BC in the dust. The first seven goals of the half belonged to the Tar Heels, cutting off any hope for a BC comeback. Despite North’s dominance on the draw controls, winning nine of the 14 in the second half, UNC’s defense remained strong and shut down the Eagle’s offense.
With the changing tide of the game, UNC took control of the pace of the game, slowing things down on defense and forcing BC to run down the shot clock. The Tar Heels caused eight second-half turnovers and forced the Eagles into inopportune shots. The Eagles’ offense is full of an arsenal of weapons that has been detrimental to their opposition’s defense this season, but the Tar Heels seemed to figure out how to manage such a strong roster in the second half, only letting in two goals.
BC’s defense, on the other hand, lost its footing in the second half of play, leaving players open on cuts, turning over the ball, and repeatedly fouling the opposing Tar Heels. UNC’s Jamie Ortega fed off BC’s depreciating defense, scoring four of her six goals in the second half, bolstering her spot as the nation’s leader in points. UNC continued to pressure on offense, finding the back of the net 11 times in the second half to secure a landslide victory.
Featured Image Courtesy of BC Athletics