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Heading into NCAA Tournament, Boston College women’s lacrosse is ready for anything

Jenn Medjid is the Eagles' leading scorer with 71 goals and 90 points this season.Kelly Coughlan

Be prepared. It’s the Girl Scout motto, but it also could be the motto of Boston College women’s lacrosse.

Several times during their recent 10-game win streak, the Eagles saw situations arise that might have sent other squads packing. Opponents using different players to score. Their own goal scorers being intensely defended. Finding themselves down multiple goals with time running out.

Despite those circumstances, BC never panicked.

Because the Eagles use their practices to prepare for anything.

“There are so many moments in games that we have practiced on our own field,” said BC coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein. “They really see the value in how we practice and how intense we practice.”


That level of preparation will serve third-seeded BC well as it begins its 10th consecutive NCAA Tournament with a first-round bye. The Eagles (16-3) will host the winner of Friday’s UConn-Penn first-round game Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Eagles enter the tournament ranked second in the nation in the US Lacrosse rankings and coming off their first-ever ACC championship, earned April 30 with an 11-9 victory over North Carolina. After falling to the Tar Heels in last year’s national title game and losing to them earlier this season, the win was meaningful on several levels.

“The first game we had against them wasn’t our best showing,” said graduate student midfielder Courtney Weeks, who helped launch the Eagles’ third-quarter comeback against UNC with back-to-back goals with twin sister Cassidy. “Having a good mind-set going into the games, being able to execute our game plan against them, and again coming back at the end meant a lot.”

That it marked the storied program’s first ACC title is surprising, given that the Eagles have been one of the nation’s top teams over the last decade. It also marked the first time a BC women’s program captured an ACC championship. The team is dedicating the victory to the talented players who laid the groundwork in seasons prior.


“It was a lifetime accomplishment for our girls,” said Walker-Weinstein.

“There are so many moments in games that we have practiced on our own field,” said BC coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein. “They really see the value in how we practice and how intense we practice.”Steve Ruark/for the Boston Globe

So much of the program’s success has come from its trademark intensity and relentlessness. In both their ACC regular season title-clinching victory against Syracuse and their tournament championship win against UNC, the Eagles found themselves coming from behind. It doesn’t throw them, given that Walker-Weinstein and her staff run through every possible scenario in practice.

The Eagles also pull from their 2021 national title run to structure and fuel their practices.

“We know we’ve been there in the past, but that gives us an advantage, because we know what it takes to win the national championship,” said Cassidy Weeks. “So we’re just going to keep bringing intensity to practice and giving it our all.”

The Weekses are the perfect example of bringing tenacity from practice to game play as of late. Courtney is on a five-game goal streak and has 35 points on the season, including two goals in the win against UNC. Cassidy has scored in the last eight games while making the ACC All-Tournament team.

“They are wildly athletic, and their IQ for the game is so high,” said Walker-Weinstein. “They are flexible and adaptable, and that is why I think they are playing their best late in their careers.”

Defense has been a key to BC’s late-season success. Walpole’s Sydney Scales, a junior, was named the ACC Defender of the Year after amassing 32 caused turnovers and 37 ground balls. Goaltender Shea Dolce was named the conference’s Freshman of the Year with a 12-2 record and an 8.64 goals-against average.


“As a team, we trust each other a lot,” said Courtney Weeks. “A lot of us have played together for many years now, so I think we rely a lot on each other. Our defense makes some great stops and then the offense will make some great plays. We’re just playing off of each other.”

With the first steps of their NCAA pathway in view, the Eagles will continue to practice intensely with the goal of making their sixth consecutive national title game.

“This is the way we’ve always been,” said Walker-Weinstein. “We have always said, you can’t just talk about it. You have to be about it.”

At the top of the NCAA bracket is Northwestern (17-1), which also received a bye and awaits the winner of Friday’s Michigan-Central Michigan first-round matchup. The Big Ten champion Wildcats are coached by Hingham native Kelly Amonte Hiller, and they have six Massachusetts players in all on their roster, including two of their leading scorers, Norwell’s Dylan Amonte and Cohasset’s Elle Hansen, and starting goalie Molly Laliberty of Newburyport.

Kat Cornetta can be reached at sportsgirlkat@gmail.com.