Boston College lacrosse didn’t skip a beat in its first game since winning the 2021 NCAA Championship. Facing No. 4 Northwestern, which made a trip to the Final Four one season ago, the Eagles picked up right where they left off.
BC (1–0) jumped out to an early lead and sealed the deal with a powerful fourth quarter for a season-opening, 18–9 victory over Northwestern (0–1).
The 2022 season is the first to feature a quarter system rather than halves.
“It’s a big momentum changer,” Charlotte North said about the quarter system. “But what we talk about as a team is really wanting to be able to come out of timeouts and come out of those quarter breaks taking over and sending that first punch right from the get-go.”
BC scored six goals in the first quarter and eight in the fourth, but the Eagles’ momentum slowed through the middle two frames. Northwestern goaltender Madison Doucette was the driving factor in slowing the Eagles down, as she finished with 12 saves. BC netminder Rachel Hall was similarly dominant, recording eight saves.
“She loves playing at the highest level, and when you’re playing Northwestern, I think you know you’ve got to bring your best game,” BC head coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein said of Hall.
BC won the game’s first three draw controls, setting up three quick goals for the Eagles—two from Caitlynn Mossman and one from Belle Smith—to go up 3–0. BC never relinquished that lead despite Northwestern fighting to get back in the game.
Near the end of the third quarter, Northwestern clawed its way back to just a three-goal deficit—its lowest since the beginning of the first quarter. North finished the quarter with an unassisted goal to go up 10–6, but Northwestern came out swinging in the fourth.
Lauren Gilbert flew down the field with the ball in her stick, gunning toward Hall like a heat-seeking missile. She let a shot rip toward Hall’s right foot, but it rang off the pipe. A BC defender corralled the ground ball and sent it the other way, setting up a goal from Cassidy Weeks and creating a turning point for the Eagles just as the Wildcats began to gain momentum.
North, who set the NCAA scoring record with 102 goals last season, led all scorers with seven goals. Smith and Mossman each finished with a hat trick, and Annie Walsh added two for the Eagles.
“We have a lot of the same players, but we’re working on being different,” Walker-Weinstein said. “I think a lot of people think we may be the same version as last year. We don’t want to be that at all. We want to be different.”
Featured Image by Chris Ticas / Heights Staff