The 2018 Boston College lacrosse season ended with perhaps the worst heartbreak in sports: a loss in the national championship. To make matters worse, that brutal loss to James Madison—just the Eagles’ second of the 2018 season—marked the second consecutive year that BC had fallen short at the final hurdle, after a 2017 loss to Maryland. And while it’s hard to look past back-to-back losses on that stage, it’s not hard to find a silver lining: back-to-back Final Four runs under head coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein have undoubtedly established the Eagles as one of the best college lacrosse teams in the country.
US Lacrosse Magazine agrees. In its preseason poll, released Wednesday morning, BC earned the coveted No. 1 ranking, ahead of traditional national power Maryland, ACC foe North Carolina, and JMU, among other teams.
It’s not hard to see why the Eagles earned the top ranking either. Despite losing Kaileen Hart and Tess Chandler—two of BC’s top four scorers from a season ago—to graduation, the Eagles return Sam Apuzzo, the reigning Tewaaraton Award winner, and Elizabeth Miller, who was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2018. To complement them, BC also welcomes back Kenzie Kent, the 2017 NCAA Tournament Most Valuable Player who redshirted last season, Dempsey Arsenault—a senior that was recently selected to the United States National Team roster along with Apuzzo—and the best recruiting class in the country, according to Inside Lacrosse.
The Eagles boast one of the most talented rosters in college lacrosse and certainly have the firepower to live up to the expectations that come with the preseason No. 1 ranking. But while preseason accolades are nice, they likely don’t matter as much for a team that has fallen just short of the ultimate goal in consecutive seasons. Now it just means that BC will be aiming to finish the 2019 campaign where it started: on top.
Featured Image by Bradley Smart / Heights Editor