No. 15 Louisville hasn’t won an ACC game since 2017. As one of the most stacked women’s lacrosse conferences in the country, the ACC is a gauntlet, and Louisville hasn’t come out unscathed. The Cardinals’ conference record over the last four years, however, is not indicative of their level of competitiveness. Case in point: going toe to toe with No. 5 Boston College on Friday.
With the sun setting over Alumni Stadium, Louisville arrived in Chestnut Hill with the intention of breaking its conference losing streak, and the Cardinals came much closer to doing so than the Eagles (6-1, 2-1 Atlantic Coast) may have liked. In the Eagles’ most nail-biting game of the season, they eked out a 14-13 victory over the Cardinals (4-4, 0-3) with just seconds left in overtime.
BC won the first three draw controls and scored the first three goals of the game, with Courtney Weeks putting two in the back of the net and Jenn Medjid contributing one. As would be the case all game long, Louisville quickly responded with a goal just seconds into its first position without even giving BC time to set up a defense.
As the first period progressed, Louisville was aggressive on defense, resulting in two yellow cards in the first 10 minutes of the half. The penalties did not slow the Cardinals down, however, as they kept the Eagles scoreless for over nine minutes and cut BC’s lead to one.
Belle Smith broke BC’s scoring drought with her first two goals of the game, bringing some momentum back to the Eagles’ offense and expanding BC’s lead to 5-3.
In net for the Eagles, Rachel Hall continued her dominant streak with four saves before halftime.
Combine lockdown defense with two quick goals from Cara Urbank, and the Eagles held a four-goal lead as the half wound down. BC never quite ran away with the game, though, and the Cardinals potted three goals while BC’s Annie Walsh responded with one, bringing the score to 9-7 as the teams entered the locker room.
Despite Eagles’ unbroken first-half lead, the Cardinals still had a fight in them, scoring the first two goals of the second half to make it a tie game.
The Cardinals continued to pressure BC, forcing turnovers and winning draw controls, allowing them to completely change the tide of the game and score three more goals, earning a three-goal lead at 12-9. With less than 15 minutes left in the second half, the Eagles had yet to find the back of the net.
A large part of the Eagles’ difficulty scoring was the face guard that Louisville was implementing on Charlotte North. North is BC’s top scorer this season and has been a powerhouse for the Eagles, but Louisville almost completely removed her from the game, and the Eagles struggled to fill the gap that she left on the field.
After 19 minutes, Walsh ended the Eagles’ scoring drought with her second goal of the game, putting BC back on the scoreboard and narrowing the gap Louisville had created. This goal brought momentum back to BC, and Smith scored her third and fourth goals of the game, tying the game once more.
Weeks gave the Eagles the lead again with her third goal of the day, until Louisville responded once more, tying the game for the third time.
With only 27 seconds left in the half, the Eagles found themselves at the top of the 12-meter fan with possession of the ball. They worked the ball to North in a last-ditch attempt to come away with a win, but BC couldn’t find the net and headed to the sidelines to prepare for its first overtime of the season.
Despite being shut down on offense for the duration of regulation play, North came up clutch in overtime, winning the draw control and giving BC its most important possession of the day as the overtime clock wound down. Then, just when it was looking like the Eagles were going to run out of time on the shot clock, the ball made its way to North, who quickly rolled the crease to score her only goal of the game, keeping Louisville winless in the ACC for at least a little longer.
Featured Image by Kristian Lamarre / Heights Staff