In each of the past seven seasons, the head coach of the women’s lacrosse team that won the national championship has also been named the National Coach of the Year by the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA).
On Wednesday, that streak came to an end.
Despite falling to No. 1 Maryland in this year’s national title game, Boston College’s Acacia Walker edged out Terps’ head coach Cathy Reeves—a three-time IWLCA National Coach of the Year—for the award. Walker, who is also this season’s Northeast Region Coach of the Year, led the Eagles to previously uncharted territory in 2017.
The storybook season started to take form back on April 22 when Walker etched her name into school history with her program-best 65th career victory. From that point on, things only got better.
BC entered the NCAA Tournament as the No. 13 team in the nation. But game after game, the Eagles climbed the rankings. And they did so in dominant fashion. Walker’s group scored 20-plus goals in its first three NCAA Tournament games, defeating Canisius, No. 9 Syracuse, and No. 7 Southern California. To put that in perspective, before the start of the tournament, BC had only broken the 20-goal barrier once all season.
When all was said and done, BC had scored a program record-breaking 91 NCAA Tournament goals and a season total of 373 goals—also a school record.
All-American Sam Apuzzo, Kate Weeks, and Kenzie Kent were largely responsible for the scoring outburst. Apuzzo led the nation with 80 goals, and Weeks wasn’t far behind with 76. Kent, whose regular season was cut short by the women’s hockey postseason, tallied 77 points in just 12 games. Because of Kent’s versatility, remarkable numbers, and tournament play, she was named the ACC’s 2016-17 Female Athlete of the Year.
BC’s No. 2 ranking and 17 wins were both program bests. Walker will enter next season with a 69-34 record and only one thing left to do: Bring home a national championship to Newton.
Walker, along with the Division II and III honorees, will be recognized on Nov. 15 during the IWLCA’s annual meetings in Florida.
Featured Image by Amelie Trieu / Heights Editor