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Boston College women’s lacrosse keeps title hopes alive with win over Notre Dame in NCAA quarterfinals

Erin Clark/Globe Staff
Boston College women's lacrosse coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein (center) celebrates with her team after Saturday's win over Notre Dame. Erin Clark/Globe Staff


NEWTON — As the Boston College women’s lacrosse team has developed into a national power, the expectation from both inside and outside the program each year is that the Eagles have at least a chance to make the Final Four.

But just because they have a shot, nothing is guaranteed — and it certainly doesn’t make it less sweet when it happens. After cruising past Notre Dame, 21-10, on Saturday in the Division 1 Women’s Lacrosse Championship quarterfinals, the fourth-seeded Eagles (16-3) are exactly where they hoped they’d be, heading to the sport’s grandest stage once again.

Boston College will face top-seeded North Carolina in the semifinals Friday at noon in Towson, Md. The Eagles are still in search of their elusive first national title, after falling in the championship game each of the past three tournaments (there was no tournament last year because of the pandemic), and they’re thrilled to be one step closer following yet another convincing showing.

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“It’s so special, seeing the girls and how happy they are,” BC coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein said. “Seeing all their hard work and commitment pay off is just incredible.”

Senior attacker Charlotte North poured in a game-high eight goals, tying the BC record for goals in a season with 94 and breaking the tournament record with 23 in just three games. Junior Jenn Medjid contributed five goals, freshman Belle Smith chipped in three, and sophomore Hollie Schleicher added 10 draw controls.

The Eagles flew out to a 7-2 lead midway through the first half, highlighted by three goals from Smith in a span of 1 minute 10 seconds. Fifth-seeded Notre Dame (11-7) — fueled by former Notre Dame-Hingham star Madison Ahern’s two goals — responded with three unanswered, holding the Eagles scoreless for over 17 minutes.

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BC got its mojo back late in the half, when freshman defender Sydney Scales sprinted upfield and found Smith, who hit Medjid for a pivotal goal with 0.7 seconds left to give the Eagles an 8-5 halftime edge. Smith said she heard her teammates yell out that she had five seconds, and credited Medjid for making the play possible.

“It was just such a momentum changer going into the second half,” Smith said.

BC kept rolling after the break, building a 10-5 cushion and then extending the margin to 18-8 with a four-goal flurry midway through the second half.

Eight players scored for the Eagles, seven had at least one assist, and 28 played. It’s no secret that Tewaaraton Award finalist North — who fired from every angle imaginable — is the catalyst, but BC has flaunted its depth all season.

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After falling, 21-9, to the Tar Heels in early March, the Eagles are confident they’re more equipped to battle UNC this time around. Before they get there, though, they’re going to soak this one in and savor it.

“It’s incredible,” North said. “We’ve worked for it all year long, with these goals in the back of our mind, and we’re just lucky we get another week together.”

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