Lacrosse, Spring, Top Story, Sports

North Wins 2021 Tewaaraton Award

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Charlotte North is among college lacrosse’s elite, often heralded as the best player in the sport—men’s or women’s. And after receiving the 2021 Tewaaraton Award on Saturday at a special ceremony at Gillette Stadium, North’s upper-echelon status is only further confirmed. 

As she stood on the stage, trophy in hand, during the announcement of the men’s Tewaaraton winner, a member of the growing crowd in the stands shouted, “Give it to Charlotte!” And with the record-breaking season she had this year, that might not have been out of the realm of possibility.

The senior attacker led the Eagles to a feat that plenty of her predecessors had tried—and failed—to reach: a National Championship. Though the Eagles reached the title game three consecutive seasons prior to this year, even with 2018 Tewaaraton recipient Sam Apuzzo leading the charge, Boston College fell short three straight times. Not only did North lead her squad to the program’s first-ever National Championship, but she was also named the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.

Still, even as the recipient of college lacrosse’s most prestigious award, North opted to shift the focus away from herself.

“It’s special, but you know, the trophy we won last week was awesome, and it’s much bigger,” Charlotte said of the National Championship title.

The senior, a transfer from Duke, was among an elite group of finalists, including Lizzie Colson (Maryland), Taylor Moreno (North Carolina), Jamie Ortega (North Carolina), and Izzy Scane (Northwestern). En route to BC’s first national championship, North and the Eagles took down a stacked UNC team with two Tewaaraton finalists, and six of this year’s 10 finalists across men’s and women’s lacrosse are from ACC teams.

With 102 goals to her name, she broke the record for goals in a single season of 100, set by Courtney Murphy of Stony Brook in 2016. And with 29 goals in the NCAA Tournament, she also broke the record for goals in a single tournament. 

North, hailing from Dallas, Texas, is a member of a small group of players from her home state to reach such an elite level. She is the first player from the Lone Star State to take home the Tewaaraton Award.

“I learned so much from Texas people who have come before me,” North said of her fellow Texan lacrosse players. “We’re an incredibly close community, and I think we take pride in where we’re from because [lacrosse] is growing for sure. … And if I can inspire the youth down there, that’s the dream.”

Even without the NCAA Championship on her laundry list of accomplishments, North’s stats would stand on their own. From the Eagles’ very first game of the season—almost an entire year after the 2020 season was cut short—North established herself as the player to watch with eight goals and an assist in a win over Albany

With that statement, however, came heightened security from the opposition, often opting to faceguard North for the majority of every contest. Louisville found the key to shutting down the nation’s most prolific scorer, holding North to one goal in the teams’ first meeting and scoreless in the second just two days later. The only other team to hold her scoreless was Syracuse in late March, when the Orange torched the Eagles under the Carrier Dome.

Still, opponents quickly discovered that there is no secret formula to keeping North quiet on offense. She differentiates herself from the rest of women’s college lacrosse with a sidearm shot made much more difficult by the lack of depth in the netting of women’s sticks. She extends her arms away from her body and drops her stick low, ripping shots off that hit the net seemingly before the goalie even sees it leave her stick.

With that dynamic attack, North finished the season with 102 goals (first in the NCAA), 174 draw controls (third), and a staggering .63 shot percentage (eighth) from 102 goals on just 162 shots. No one with a higher shot percentage exceeded 125 shots, and the top three in shot percentage were all in single digits. Her whopping 174 draw controls also broke Apuzzo’s program record of 163 and are more than any of the other Tewaaraton finalists.

The crown jewel in North’s near-perfect season was a 10-goal showing against Virginia Tech, breaking Apuzzo’s program record of nine goals in a single game. Like so many teams this season, the Hokies had no answer for North’s dominant play style. 

North is just the second Eagle ever to earn the “Heisman of lacrosse,” and the first, Apuzzo, spent the season on the Eagles’ sideline as an assistant coach, helping North break all the records Apuzzo had set just a few years prior.

Even in the stacked ACC, which comprised the entire women’s Final Four and is arguably the toughest conference in college lacrosse, North set herself apart from the crowd. After just one full season on the Heights, North has cemented herself as one of the greatest to ever play in maroon and gold, and her legacy is still growing.

“I wouldn’t be here without our team, our incredible coaches, and the run we put together was so special,” North said. 

Featured Image by Greg Fiume Courtesy of NCAA Photos

June 6, 2021