By R.L. Bynum
After years of Boston College losing at the hands of North Carolina in the ACC Tournament, the Eagles finally broke through for their first ACC women’s lacrosse title.
No. 4-ranked and No. 1-seed BC ended UNC’s streak of seven consecutive ACC championships with an 11–9 victory Sunday in the ACC tournament championship at American Legion Memorial Stadium in Charlotte. The Eagles’ 10th consecutive victory, keyed by a late 5–0 run, avenged a regular-season loss to the Tar Heels.
Too many turnovers and not enough shots doomed the No. 6-ranked and No. 3-seed Tar Heels (14–4), who got off only one fourth-quarter shot and were held scoreless over the last nearly 23 minutes. UNC had won the previous six ACC titles.
Even with the loss of stars from both programs, UNC-BC continues to be the best rivalry in the sport but one that the Tar Heels have dominated until Sunday. Last season, Carolina beat BC 16–9 in the ACC championship game and 12–11 in the NCAA championship to complete an undefeated season. UNC beat Boston College on March 3 16–5.
The Tar Heels get a long break, with the NCAA tournament field announced next Sunday and their likely first NCAA game May 14.
The Eagles (16–3) had won a national championship in 2021 (after beating UNC 11–10 in the semifinals) but this is the program’s first ACC title.
Alyssa Long scored on a free-position shot for UNC in the first 2½ minutes. After BC’s Cassidy Weeks scored with 6:53 left in the first quarter, the Tar Heels took the momentum with a 3–0 run.
UNC got goals from Long and Oliva Dirks off draw-control wins and a driving shot from Nicole Humphrey before BC’s Mckenna Davis ended the run. Melissa Sconone restored the three-goal lead for UNC with 11 seconds left in the opening quarter. Sconone scored again after a goal from BC’s Kayla Martello, but the Weeks trimmed BC’s lead back to two.
After Dirks’ second goal with 9:49 left gave UNC a 7–4 lead, the teams were scoreless for the rest of the first half. BC could have had two goals during that stretch but was denied both times after video reviews.
BC pulled within one on goals from Andrea Reynolds and Martello 41 seconds apart in the first 2½ minutes of the second half.
On Carolina’s first shot in 12 minutes, Kaleigh Harden flipped in a side-arm shot with 11:35 remaining in the third quarter. Caitlyn Wurzburger restored the Heels’ three-goal edge on a player-up goal 3½ minutes later.
Boston College took its first lead of the game with a 5–0 run in which it won most draw controls. Weeks scored twice in the final 1:44 of the third quarter, and goals from Martello, Belle Smith and Andrea Reynolds in the first three minutes of the final quarter gave the Eagles a 11–9 edge.
NOTES — The NCAA will announce the tournament field at 9 p.m. next Sunday, May 7 (ESPNU), with first-round games set for Friday, May 12. The Tar Heels will likely get a first-round bye and play their first game in the second round on Sunday, May 14. … UNC still leads the all-time series with BC 22–7, including 4–3 at neutral sites. It was the Eagles’ first ACC tournament win in eight tries against the Tar Heels and snapped a four-game tournament skid against UNC.
No. 4 Boston College 11, No. 6 UNC 9
All games on ACC Network
April 23 first round
No. 7 Virginia Tech 18, No. 10 Pittsburgh 6
No. 9 Duke 12, No. 8 Louisville 11
At American Legion Memorial Stadium in Charlotte
No. 1 Boston College 15, Duke 9
No. 5 Notre Dame 15, No. 4 Virginia 13
No. 2 Syracuse 14, Virginia Tech 12
No. 3 North Carolina 16, No. 6 Clemson 6
Boston College 9, Notre Dame 4
North Carolina 15, Syracuse 9
Boston College 11, North Carolina 9
|11||Sat.||14–9 W||No. 7 James Madison||Home||1–0|
|18||Sat.||12–5 W||No. 6 Florida||Home||3–0|
|24||Friday||10–6 W||Virginia Tech||Blacksburg, Va.||4–0, |
|3||Friday||16–5 W||No. 2 Boston College||Home||5–0, |
|11||Sat.||17–12 W||No. 12 Virginia||Home||6–0, |
|16||Thurs.||20–7 W||Louisville||Louisville||7–0, |
|19||Sunday||13–9 L||No. 1 Northwestern||Evanston, Ill.||7–1|
|23||Thurs.||22–4 W||High Point||Home||8–1|
|26||Sunday||17–8 W||Clemson||Home||9–1, |
|1||Sat.||16–12 L||No. 7 Notre Dame||South Bend, Ind.||9–2, |
|7||Friday||16–3 W||Pittsburgh||Home||10–2, |
|11||Tuesday||12–8 W||East Carolina||Greenville||11–2|
|15||Sat.||14–12 L||No. 3 Syracuse||Home||11–3, |
|20||Thurs.||13–12 W||Duke||Durham||12–3, |
|26||Wed.||16–6 W||Quarterfinals |
|28||Friday||15–9 W||Semifinals |
vs. No. 3 Syracuse
vs. No. 2 Boston College
|12||Friday||16–5 W||First round: |
|14||Sunday||16–12 W||Second round:|
No. 17 Richmond
No. 5 Denver
Photos by Nell Redmond/theACC.com