For the first time in program history, Boston College lacrosse enters the ACC Tournament as the No. 1 overall seed, looking to claim its first conference title. The Eagles (17-0, 7-0 Atlantic Coast) enter the bracket with an all-time record of just 3-12 in the postseason tourney, but are poised to make a run with arguably their best team ever, having rolled through an undefeated season.
The first roadblock in the path to further perfection is eighth-seeded Louisville (6-10, 0-7, a team that has been bounced in the bracket’s first round each of the last the three seasons and went winless in conference play this year.
Who is BC playing?
When is BC playing?
Thursday, April 26, 11 a.m.
Where is BC playing?
Duke’s Koskinen Stadium, Durham, N.C.
How to Watch:
The game will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra, and available to stream on WatchESPN.
By the Numbers:
1) The Eagles set a program record with six players earning conference honors, with four on the All-ACC First Team and two more on the Second Team. The first team featured Sam Apuzzo for the second year in a row, alongside Kaileen Hart, Dempsey Arsenault, and Elizabeth Miller.
2) BC is the only ACC program to rank within the top 15 in both scoring offense and defense, placing eighth in the former (16.0 goals per game) and 12th in the latter (9.12).
3) Additionally, the offense features three of the top five ACC players in terms of assists—as well as the top two in goals scored with Apuzzo and Arsenault paving the way. Apuzzo’s 68 goals scored are good for second in the country.
1) In conference play this season, the Cardinals struggled mightily. Not only did they go winless, but they were never really in it, posting a -7.6 scoring margin that was a full six goals worst than second-to-last Duke. The seven-game slide down the stretch was the worst in program history.
2) The attacking duo of Caroline Blalock and Tessa Chad has been difficult to contain for opponents, as they’ve combined for 84 goals this season—good enough to be one of the top scoring pairs in the conference.
3) A clear trend emerged during the course of the season: In games the Cardinals take an early lead, they’re 5-1, but when they concede the opener to the opponent, the record falls to a paltry 1-9.
An inspired run from Louisville gave it a two-goal halftime lead, but BC exerted its will in the second half—a four-goal run quickly returned the lead en route to a 19-10 road win on March 17. The Eagles were paced by a 16-goal second half effort to win their 10th in a row. Arsenault set a new program record with 12 draw controls and added five points, Tess Chandler and Hart each scored four goals, and Emma Schurr netted a hat trick.
On paper, this should be a thorough win for the Eagles. They outmatch the lowest seeded Cardinals in every facet of the game, and the discrepancies are noticeable. Louisville has the worst defense in the conference, piles up the most turnovers, and is second-to-last in scoring. It’s an unfair matchup, as to be expected in a one-versus-eight seeding, so expect BC to take this one. Sure, it could follow the script of the game earlier in the regular season, when the Cardinals hung around for a half and even had a lead at the break. At the end of the day, though, the Eagles know how to close out teams and are striving to take yet another step in head coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein’s planned path to the program’s first ACC Championship.
Featured Image by Andy Backstrom / Heights Editor