Boston College lacrosse’s National Championship title game told the tale of two very different halves. The back-and-forth, hard-nosed battle of the first half, complete with five lead changes, became a distant memory when BC emerged from the locker room to control the game on both ends of the field in the second half. After leading by just one at halftime, BC emerged victorious with a 16-10 win, good for its first ever NCAA Championship. Here are five pivotal moments in the Eagles’ program-defining win:
Urbank Hits Pipe, and Syracuse Goes on 3-0 Run
When Charlotte North opened the game’s scoring with her 97th goal of the season, all signs pointed to a dominant game for BC. Still, that goal was within the first three minutes of the game and there was plenty of lacrosse to be played. With BC up 3-1, Cara Urbank fired from the top of the crease, and the shot rang off the post into the stick of Syracuse goaltender Asa Goldstock. Goldstock vaulted the Orange in transition, and Emma Tyrrell cashed in on the other end of the field. That hit post was all Syracuse needed to break out on a 3-0 run and take its first lead of the game at 4-3.
Emma Tyrrell Gets Second Yellow Card
For most of the season, Syracuse went without two of its stars. After Megan Carney and Emily Hawryschuk went down with torn ACLs earlier in the season, Syracuse was left without two standouts. What resulted was a balanced offense built around five different 40-plus goal scorers—one of which was Carney before her injury. Tyrrell was one of those most reliable scorers. But under 20 minutes into the national title game, officials handed down Tyrrell’s second yellow card of the game, ejecting her from the contest and deflating a Syracuse offense that had just started to find traction against BC. The Eagles then had a player-up opportunity, and Jenn Medjid capitalized on it. Belle Smith followed Medjid with another goal, and all the momentum Syracuse had built up in its 3-0 run disappeared.
Ward Scores With Seconds Left in First Half
After a back-and-forth first half in which BC and Syracuse traded the lead five times and were tied six times, BC finally began to look like it was pulling away just before halftime. The Eagles had taken a two-goal lead thanks to consecutive goals from North and Caitlynn Mossman, but Orange freshman standout Emma Ward earned an opportunity from the free position. With one step, she ripped a shot into the back of the net, and with 23 seconds on the first-half clock, it appeared that the momentum had swung to the Orange heading into halftime. Though Syracuse still trailed by one, Ward’s goal fired up the Syracuse bench and the crowd behind it.
BC Opens Second Half With 3-0 Run
Whatever BC head coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein said to her team in the locker room at halftime must have worked, because though the Orange went into the break with momentum, the Eagles had it when they returned to the field. Within the first three minutes of the second half, Medjid had given BC its two-goal lead back, and the Eagles didn’t stop there. Fifty-nine seconds later, Courtney Weeks found the back of the net, and the energy from BC’s sideline was palpable. The Eagles were jumping off the bench, and the crowd of BC fans opposite them was rowdier than it had been all game long. Less than a minute later, BC had its third straight goal, and the Eagles led by the widest margin they had all game long at 12-8.
North Records Goal No. 100
The final goal of the 3-0 run to open the first half was momentous for more reasons than one. Not only was BC suddenly in the driver’s seat of the game with no signs of slowing down, but it also marked a milestone in North’s storied season. With the third goal in that run, North tied Stony Brook’s Courtney Murphy’s record for goals in a single season with 100. In her signature fashion, North wrapped around the net, dropped her stick at her side with her arms extended out, and whipped a shot so fast it looked like it might break through the back of Goldstock’s net. Though North said in the postgame press conference that the record was the furthest thing from her mind, spectators both in the stands and watching on TV had been counting down the seconds until lacrosse’s most electric player finally reached the milestone. North went on to score two more, breaking the record and putting a BC title out of doubt.
Featured Image by Greg Fiume Courtesy of NCAA Photos