Boston College lacrosse has yet to play a game in the 2023 NCAA Tournament, but this season has already been one for the record books.
After clinching the No. 1 seed in the ACC Tournament by defeating then-No. 1 Syracuse on April 20 and going on to defeat No. 3-seed North Carolina in the ACC Championship game on Sunday to earn its first conference title in program history, the Eagles have continued to rake in hardware.
On Wednesday, four members of the program were honored as ACC women’s lacrosse awards recipients: BC head coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein was named 2023 ACC Coach of the Year, midfielder Belle Smith was named Midfielder of the Year, defender Sydney Scales was named Defender of the Year, and goalkeeper Shea Dolce was named Freshman of the Year.
Walker-Weinstein was named the ACC Coach of the Year for the second time—her first selection came in 2018. Walker-Weinstein completed the 2023 season with a 16–3 record, but also led the Eagles to an 8–1 conference record, which tied Syracuse for the best in-conference record. BC is currently on an 11-game win streak, and is awaiting Selection Sunday to be seeded in the 2023 NCAA Tournament.
Smith started and played in every single game this season, racking up a variety of statistics from all over the field. Throughout the ACC Tournament, Smith notched 44 goals, 27 assists, 14 caused turnovers, 29 ground balls, and ranks fourth on the team in draw controls. She recorded a season-high six goals against ACC opponent Louisville and a season-high seven points in the Eagles’ pivotal win over ACC rival Syracuse.
On defense, Scales totaled 37 ground balls and 32 caused turnovers—she is the only player in the ACC with at least 30 of each. Like Smith, Scales has become an anchor for the Eagles, starting and playing in every game this season and helping hold BC’s last three opponents to under 10 goals. Against Notre Dame, she recorded five ground balls and four caused turnovers in BC’s fourth-quarter comeback.
Freshman goalkeeper Dolce was also honored in this year’s awards, earning Freshman of the Year honors. Dolce started the season as Rachel Hall’s backup, coming into six games to relieve Hall. But she ultimately won the starting position and never looked back. She holds a 12–2 record over her 14 starts and leads NCAA freshmen with an 8.64 goals against average and a .470 save percentage.
Dolce also played a major role in the Eagles’ ACC Tournament run, registering a staggering 13 saves against Notre Dame en route to the championship game.