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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC women's lacrosse falls 11-9 to Boston College in ACC Championship Game

UNC players huddle during the women’s lacrosse game against Syracuse at Dorrance Field on Saturday, April 15, 2023. Syracuse defeated UNC 14-12.

The No. 6 North Carolina women's lacrosse team (14-4, 7-2) fell to the No. 4 Boston College Eagles during the ACC Championship game at the American Legion Memorial Stadium in Charlotte on Sunday afternoon. 

What happened?

The Tar Heels came out strong with a quick 2-0 lead in the first quarter, with both goals coming from junior Alyssa Long. This momentum carried them, as they racked the scoreboard up to 4-1 with less than 3 minutes in the first quarter. 

This is when Boston College's Mckenna Davis came fighting. Her grit showed as she maneuvered through the arc, finishing with a left-hand shot to cut the lead to two. Yet, first-year Caroline Godine fired right back. Weaving through a double-team defensive move, Godine pivoted around the cage to make a brilliant pass to Melissa Sconone. Sconone's powerful bounce finish brought the Tar Heels to a 5-2 lead, leaving the first quarter. 

Things did not slow down here. The Heels continued their run into the second quarter, ending with a 7-4 lead. Senior Olivia Dirks and Sconone each got their second goal of the game, despite the Boston College offense coming out in full swing. Alecia Nicholas made a few big saves in this half, most of which were in the second quarter, allowing the Tar Heels to maintain the three-goal margin. 

The Eagles hammered in two quick goals, led by Kayla Martello, to cut the lead to one in the first few minutes of the second half. North Carolina's Kaleigh Harden glided by the Eagles defender Shea Dolce for a quick response and, pretty soon, the Tar Heels had their three-goal lead once again. 

By the end of the quarter, Boston had tightened it again with an important goal from Courtney Weeks in the last 20 seconds of the third quarter. 

Boston College's momentum carried into the fourth quarter and the Heels couldn't seem to finish in the arch. The Eagles defense also stepped up with a huge defensive play from first-year Shea Baker in the last couple of minutes. A 3-0 run from Boston College in the fourth quarter lead the Eagles to an ACC Championship win. 

Who stood out? 

Goalkeeper Alecia Nicholas' four saves in the second quarter allowed UNC to keep their three-goal cushion going into halftime. 

Senior Emily Nalls led the game in groundball and received a game-high three forced turnovers. 

Boston College's Shea Baker caused a turnover in the last two minutes of the game, stopping an important possession for the Tar Heels, and kept the momentum of Boston's 3-0 run up. 

Why does it matter? 

This game was between the winners of the 2021 (BC) and 2022 (UNC) National Champions. 

But, in UNC’s case, the last two times they have gone on to win the National Championship, they also won the ACC Championship. This comeback win is big for the Eagles as they head into the NCAA tournament and an opportunity for UNC to regain their footing. 

When was it decided? 

Courtney Week's goal in the last 20 seconds of the third quarter kicked Boston into a gear that the Tar Heels couldn't beat. Knocking the lead down to one was the gas the Eagles needed to come out on top. But, the defensive performance from Boston in the fourth quarter won them the game. They kept UNC scoreless for 22 minutes and used that time to take the lead.

When do they play next? 

The NCAA Selection Show for the 2023 NCAA Tournament is on the NCAA network at 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 7. 

@LucyThomas03 | @dthsports

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