Sports, Spring, Lacrosse

No. 3 BC Tops Louisville 17–14 In Third-Straight ACC Win

It only took 1:13 for No. 3 Boston College lacrosse to take the lead against Louisville—and to never look back. 

Despite the Cardinals’ Kokoro Nakazawa scoring the first goal of the afternoon just 33 seconds into the matchup, her goal marked the first and last time Louisville maintained a lead over the Eagles, as BC (7–1, 2–0 Atlantic Coast) ultimately defeated Louisville (3–4, 1–1) 17–14 on Sunday afternoon.  

“I think we had some important defensive stops that led to offensive opportunities,” BC head coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein said. 

Less than a minute after Nakazawa’s goal, BC’s Rachel Clark sprinted with the ball, faking Cardinal defenders as she switched her stick from her right hand to left hand, and fired an upper–left hand corner shot past Louisville’s Sara Addeche. 

Clark was not done—she went on to score another five goals in the game, and tallied an assist. 

Seven other Eagles registered goals in the matchup. Four came from Kayla Martello, Ryan Smith scored two, and the Eagles got one each from McKenna Davis, Cassidy Weeks, Emma LoPinto, Shea Baker, and Molly Driscoll. 

“It’s been so refreshing coming into a team where everyone is such a threat,” Clark said. “Everyone wants to win. Playing with this team, it’s amazing. It’s a dream come true.” 

Walker-Weinstein expressed a similar sentiment. 

“I think it goes to show any of our girls can take the team on their back,” Walker-Weinstein said. “We hope that is exactly what our offense looks like because anyone can score at any time. I loved seeing how many different scorers we had, but again, I think it is a really good example of how deep the offense is.” 

The first period was a close contest between both the Eagles and Cardinals. While BC ended it with a 5–2 lead, Louisville remained on the Eagles’ heels. 

This continued for the majority of the second quarter, as Louisville converted on 10 draw controls compared to the Eagles’ five. 

“I think Louisville was prepared for our strategy with all of our centers, and they came to play,” Walker-Weinstein said. “Their center was tall, athletic, and strong, and she was able to keep the ball out of our control. It became a mini 3-on-3 battle. Louisville had a really good fight, and gave it all we could handle.” 

With 10:46 to play in the second quarter, Louisville’s Nicole Perroni received the ball, sprinted toward the net, and launched a shot between the legs of Shea Dolce. The scoreboard now read 6–4. 

But the Eagles persisted, and entered the half with a 12–9 lead over Louisville.

It wasn’t until 6:49 into the third quarter when the next goal was scored for either team. After earning a free position shot, Ryan Smith ran toward the crease and shot the ball into the Cardinals’ goal, giving the Eagles a 13–9 lead over Louisville. 

“Ryan Smith’s ability to dig deep, play defense, play offense, and run so much was a stabilizing factor, and a big reason why we were able to win,” Walker-Weinstein said. “When your senior captain plays like that, I think that the team rallied, and I am really proud of her for that.” 

An Emma LoPinto goal with 3:33 left in the third brought the Eagles to 14 goals in the afternoon, while the Cardinals entered the fourth quarter with 11 goals. 

During the final fifteen minutes of play, BC added another three goals to its lead—two of which came from Martello. Following a yellow card on Nakazawa with 10:28 left to play, Martello delivered a goal during an Eagles’ man-up. Less than two minutes later, she tallied another goal off a Davis assist. 

The win extended BC’s win-streak to three games and sustained its undefeated record in conference matchups.  

“We have a lot of major ACC games coming up,” Clark said. “We haven’t shown our true potential yet. These big games will show who BC lacrosse is, and I think we still have a lot we need to prove.” 

March 10, 2024