Sports, Lacrosse, Spring

Eagles Dethroned by Tar Heels in Front of Packed Home Crowd

Inside Alumni Stadium during Boston College lacrosse’s matchup against North Carolina on Sunday, the crowd jumped to its feet as Cassidy Weeks drove to the net with only 1:07 left on the clock. The Eagles trailed by two goals. She dished it off to Kayla Martello, who quickly found the back of the net, bringing BC within one goal of the Tar Heels. Excitement filled the air, as fans held their breath, waiting to see if the Eagles could pull off a six-goal comeback and retain their No. 1 ranking. 

Excitement soon would lead to disappointment, though, as No. 1 BC (8–1, 2–1 Atlantic Coast) came up short against No. 2 North Carolina to lose its first game of the season, falling 16–15 to the Tar Heels. 

The last time BC faced North Carolina was in the semifinals of the 2021 NCAA Tournament, during which BC secured an 11–10 victory. The Tar Heels entered the game with just two losses since 2019, both to BC—in the 2019 and 2021 NCAA Tournament semifinals. 

From the first draw, it was clear that both teams were prepared to fight for the coveted No. 1 spot in the nation. The Eagles logged the first two goals of the game, but North Carolina quickly recovered with two of its own. The first quarter ended with the Eagles leading 4–3. 

The Tar Heels pulled away in the second quarter, as they went on a four-goal unanswered streak. North Carolina’s defense stole the show, limiting BC to only five shots in the second quarter, three of which were off target. The Eagles entered the locker room at halftime down 7–4.

BC head coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein attributed the second-quarter slump to her team lacking urgency.

“It was almost as if we just needed a wake-up call to play really hard,” Walker-Weinstein said after the game. “We can’t be inspired by that, you know, we have to be inspired by doing what we want to do.”

With the support of a crowd of nearly 6,000 people, the Eagles regained their footing in the third quarter, overcoming a challenging North Carolina defense, and closing the gap between the two teams to just two goals. But the damage had already been done, and North Carolina ended the quarter up 13–9. 

BC had the entire stadium holding its breath throughout the fourth quarter, and both its defense and offense woke up. The Eagles’ defense limited North Carolina to only three goals, while its offense scored six, finally giving the Tar Heels a run for their money.

“You can’t wait 45 minutes into the game to play like you are expected to play,” Walker-Weinstein said. “Unfortunately, we did that today, and we had to climb out of a rut—and against a good team.” 

With five minutes left to play, the Eagles found themselves down by two goals and within reach of victory. Despite the efforts from BC’s offense, the rut was too deep, and BC failed to overcome the Tar Heels, earning its first loss of the season.

By the end of the game, six BC players scored at least one goal, with Charlotte North logging four, Jenn Medjid and Kayla Martello each earning a hat trick, Caitlynn Mossman and Belle Smith each scoring two. Mckenna Davis scored once. 

“We were just trying to stick to our game plan, but again, they’re an incredibly talented team,” North said. “Top to bottom, especially on the defensive end, I wish we could have had that one back, but we gave it all we had.” 

Featured Image courtesy of Nicole Wei / Heights Staff

March 20, 2022