Sports, Spring, Lacrosse

No. 2 Eagles Fall Short to No. 8 Notre Dame in 2024 Red Bandanna Game

The story of Welles Crowther is ingrained in the Boston College community as a whole, but it especially hits home for BC lacrosse, as Crowther played lacrosse at BC.

Every year, the team wears its special red bandanna jerseys and plays a game “For Welles,” as is stated on the back of the uniforms in the annual Red Bandanna Game. 

“It was one of the most special moments for me, today, but the last four years I’ve been here, it never gets old,” Ryan Smith, who was selected to wear the honorary No. 19 jersey, said. “I really do think that it’s super special that it’s a lacrosse thing, right. Welles played Boston College lacrosse, and I think that speaks so much to what we build our culture around, so it’s really special for us.”

Despite putting forth a valiant effort against rival Notre Dame in the 2024 Red Bandanna Game, Notre Dame’s Mary Kelly Doherty scored with 15 seconds left in the game, spoiling BC’s celebration and handing the Eagles a heartbreaking loss. 

No. 8 Notre Dame (7–2, 2–2 Atlantic Coast) defeated No. 2 BC (8–2, 3–1) by a score of 15–14 thanks to four goals each from Abby Maichin and Doherty, as well as 10 saves from goalie Lilly Callahan.

“Oddly enough, I think we got better probably with our X’s and O’s and also experience-wise, like going in, you know, at the end of the game like that is a good experience,” BC head coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein said. “Obviously you want to come out on top but I was proud of the team.”

The game started off as a goalie duel in the first quarter, with both BC’s Shea Dolce and Notre Dame’s Callahan standing on their heads to keep their teams in the game. Each goaltender made three saves, with Dolce allowing one goal and Callahan letting two in.

The second quarter was a different story, however, as it saw 10 combined goals. Rachel Clark completed a first-half hat trick with 8:14 left in the second, then Kayla Martello put BC up 6–3 1:13 later, but the rest of the frame was all Notre Dame.

“[Clark] is just a piece of the offense, and today was her day, but you know, it can really be anybody’s day with this group, so I think the offense worked really hard,” Walker-Weinstein said. “Everybody did their job, and for Rachel, it was a shooting day for her. I mean, she was scoring everything she shot so I’m really happy with that.”

In the last 3:48 of the half, the Fighting Irish scored four unanswered goals, with two from Maichin and one each from Doherty and Jackie Wolak. The flurry of goals started in Notre Dame’s own end, however, when Callahan made a big save with 4:33 left to shift the momentum toward the Irish.

The third quarter proved to continue the back-and-forth theme of the game, with the Eagles tying the game up twice. BC found a way to respond to Notre Dame in the fourth quarter, too, and tied the game up three separate times.

Clark found the back of the net with 2:32 left in the game for her sixth goal on the day, tying things up at 14 and giving BC a chance to take a late lead. But the Irish defense held strong, forcing Cassidy Weeks to take a tough shot as the shot clock was expiring, which Callahan stopped.

After taking a timeout, Notre Dame got the ball to Doherty, who beat Dolce low for her fourth goal of the game to deliver a road ACC win for the Irish.

Turnovers were a thorn in the side of the Eagles all day. They committed 14 as a team throughout the contest.

“I just think we had some mental lapses that sort of crushed us in the beginning of the game,” Walker-Weinstein said. “I just think we sort of beat ourselves with some of those turnovers, and they continue to be the focus.”

March 16, 2024