For the girls on the Boston College lacrosse team this year, heartbreak is nothing new. Each and every upperclassman has experienced the disappointment of falling just one win short of the national title, which is exactly how the Eagles finished in each of the last three seasons.
Yet, for most of these players, all that matters is correcting these past mistakes.
The Eagles have had an astounding run of success over the past three seasons under head coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein, consistently ranking among the top teams in the nation and finding new ways to impress with aggressive offense and swarming defense.
However, a fourth consecutive trip to the title game may prove to be an uphill battle. Despite returning key players like Cara Urbank, Sheila Rietano, and Abbey Ngai, the Eagles experienced a talent drain unlike that of any other team this offseason, losing a troika of star players in Sam Apuzzo, Dempsey Arsenault, and Kenzie Kent, the top three picks in the 2019 Women’s Professional Lacrosse League Draft.
The Eagles will welcome three new transfers to the team this season including junior attacks Charlotte North (Duke) and Bridget Simmons (Albany), as well as sophomore net minder Rachel Hall (Oregon). North will likely fill the void left by Apuzzo, as she was one of the top ACC players a year ago.
However, the Eagles are expected to remain one of the nation’s elite teams, but they will need to rely on somewhat unproven players to replace this lost production. While it is unclear who will fill these key scoring roles, Walker-Weinstein’s personnel strategy in the season’s first few games should be telling.
The Eagles begin their season with back-to-back road games against UMass and BU, before making their home debut against Vanderbilt on February 16. BC faces an unforgiving schedule after that, facing off with nine ranked teams, including three that played in the final four games of the regular season.
However, for this experienced roster, such excuses are not valid. Nearly every player on this roster knows what it takes to reach the national championship game, and Walker-Weinstein will assuredly get the most out of her players in an effort to earn her first national title.
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