Sports, Lacrosse, Spring

Eagles Dismantled by Tar Heels in 2022 National Championship Rematch 16–5

It isn’t often that Boston College lacrosse loses by double digits to an opponent. And before Friday’s contest against North Carolina, the last time it happened was in 2021—the year that BC won the National Championship—to none other than the former No. 1 Tar Heels. 

Despite rarely being blown out, that is exactly what happened to BC in what was supposed to be a highly competitive rematch of the 2022 National Championship game. No. 1 North Carolina (5–0, 2–0 Atlantic Coast) completely dismantled the No. 4 Eagles (3–2, 1–1) in their 16–5 loss. 

“I don’t think North Carolina psyched us out,” BC head coach Walker-Weinstein said. “I just don’t think we showed up ready to win.” 

Not only were the Eagles held to five goals—a season low—but they also allowed a season-high 16 goals. 

“Yeah, I think our whole team felt timid,” Walker-Weinstein said. “I think there were a lot of missing fundamentals.” 

North Carolina capitalized on this timidness, and it didn’t take long for the Tar Heels to prove why they are the No. 1 ranked team in the nation. 

North Carolina struck first 0:58 into the first quarter, as freshman Marissa White slipped the ball past Rachel Hall, and the Tar Heels never looked back. 

On the defensive side, North Carolina forced an early shot clock violation on BC at the 10:21 mark. 

After the violation, BC forced a Tar Heel turnover and regained possession of the ball, but Belle Smith lost it on a stick check, allowing the Tar Heels to march back down the field and pot their second goal of the quarter. 

“Again, I think I have to, you know, go back to the drawing board and figure things out,” Walker-Weinstein said. “But there were just a bunch of things that went wrong today in every unit and all facets and we weren’t ready to win. I’ll Make sure that doesn’t happen again.” 

The Eagles finally broke through the Tar Heels defense when Jenn Medjid drew a free-position attempt and slipped the ball by Alecia Nicholas to bring the Eagles back within one at the 3:44 mark of the first quarter, but this was the closest that the Eagles would come to UNC’s lead.

UNC returned the favor as the quarter wound down, scoring two free-position goals at the 2:36 and 1:16 marks, respectively, taking a 4–1 lead.

It looked like the Eagles would enter the second trailing by three, but Olivia Durks maneuvered her way towards the crease and shoveled the ball past Hall with two seconds remaining. 

In the second quarter, North Carolina picked up right where it left off, tallying two goals within the first five minutes before Kayla Martello stopped the run with 4:06 left in the first half. 

The Tar Heels responded with a wave of four goals in a span of less than two minutes and thirty seconds, and entered halftime with an 11–2 lead. 

In the third quarter, Shea Dolce replaced Hall in net to give the Eagles a new set of eyes, and the Tar Heels’ scoring frenzy slowed. 

The Eagles struck first when Belle Smith found the back of the net at the 12:19 mark. The goal was essential to build momentum, but it faded when a miscommunication with a referee’s whistle allowed North Carolina to score and extend its lead to 12–3. 

At the 3:11 mark, BC tallied its 14th turnover of the game.

The turnover allowed North Carolina to find another opportunity to score, and with 2:17 left in the quarter, Caroline Godine tallied her third goal of the game which extended the Tar Heels’ lead to double-digits. 

The fourth quarter stayed true to the theme of the game, as the Tar Heels notched their 14th, 15th, and 16th goals on a lost BC defense. 

With just over three minutes remaining, Lizzie O’Neill notched her first goal of the season between the legs of Nicholas, and with under a minute remaining, Belle Smith tallied her second goal. But the late effort was not nearly enough, and the revenge story was cut short. 

“Yeah, I told him that I was gonna take full responsibility that we weren’t mentally there today,” Walker-Weinstein said. “And that we have to get ready, you know, get back to work tomorrow morning and that we’d be back out there soon. Very simple message.”

March 4, 2023