Whether it was due to the intensity of playing No. 4 Syracuse or the spirit of the Red Bandanna Game, all the pieces were in place for Boston College lacrosse on Friday night.
In the Eagles’ last game of the regular season, No. 3 BC (14–2, 6–2 Atlantic Coast 6–2) defeated Syracuse 15–13. With the victory, BC moves to 14 wins on the season, one more than its regular season record from the 2021 season.
Friday’s game was a rematch of the 2021 National Championship game, during which BC defeated the Orange 16–10 for its first national title. For BC head coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein, however, past games were out of her mind on Friday.
“Honestly, we weren’t talking about last year at all,” Walker-Weinstein said. “We put Duke behind us. We put last year behind us.”
The Eagles started the game in control. Charlotte North won the opening draw, and Caitlynn Mossman took the first shot of the game, but Syracuse put the first point on the board.
A few minutes later, however, North capitalized on a free-position shot and tied the game at 1–1. The Eagles outshot Syracuse 9–5 during the first quarter, though the score was tied 4–4 by the end of the first 15 minutes.
The second quarter ended with the Eagles ahead. Belle Smith scored her third goal of the game with three seconds left on the clock to put the Eagles ahead 7–6, marking the first hat trick from a player on either team.
“I think it was maybe late in the second half when we started really hitting the transition goals and creating some momentum for us, which was exciting, and I think it built the confidence of the girls,” Walker-Weinstein said.
Smith led the Eagles’ offense with five goals, tied for her season high. Her other five-goal outing came in BC’s 19–12 victory over Pittsburgh. Kayla Martello ended the game with a hat trick, scoring twice in the first quarter and once in the third. North added three goals and three assists to pass the 400 career points, becoming just the seventh player in NCAA history to do so.
After outscoring Syracuse 5–3 in the third quarter, the Eagles entered the final quarter up by four goals. Smith scored 35 seconds into the quarter, giving the Eagles a five-goal lead, their largest of the game.
Syracuse, however, scored four quick goals in the middle of the quarter, and the Eagles’ 13–8 lead quickly became a one-point lead. But the defending National Champions continued to do what they had been doing all game—playing strong defense and executing at necessary moments—until the final buzzer rang, and the Eagles came out on top.
“I’d say all of the sparks came from the defensive end, and the offense did a nice job of having their back by scoring,” Walker-Weinstein said.
The win over Syracuse was the Eagles’ last game ahead of the ACC Tournament next weekend. Walker-Weinstein said she is confident in her team ahead of the postseason.
“I think that was one of the closest games to 60 minutes of focus that we’ve had all year, so that’s right where we want to be,” she said.