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Rapid Reaction: Northwestern wins eighth championship, defeating Boston College 18-6

At the top of the lacrosse world once again.

@nulax on Twitter

On a slippery field in Cary, North Carolina, Northwestern lacrosse finally completed its ultimate goal: lifting the program’s eighth title and first since 2012 with a final score of 18-6.

There was no late-game comeback this time, just dominance all the way through. In fact, the nation’s leading offense would set a running clock in the fourth quarter.

Turnovers were the story of the game, as the rubber ball was visibly wet after over 24 hours of rain at Wakemed Park. Northwestern was able to capitalize off of long shots, slippery balls and errant passes, causing 11 of Boston College’s 21 turnovers.

Samantha White was absolutely crucial in the possessive battles, tallying 6 ground balls and 3 caused turnovers, with a goal for good measure in the fourth quarter.

Molly Laliberty tallied two saves in the first quarter on both shots she faced, allowing Northwestern to finish the quarter with a 3-0 lead.

While BC would score two straight off Kayla Martello and Belle Smith to cut the ‘Cats’ lead to one, Northwestern went on a three-goal run to end the half up 6-2 from two back-to-back goals from Izzy Scane and one from Hailey Rhatigan.

Madison Taylor was playing fearlessly for a freshman, tallying two goals on three free-position shots. She then notched her third goal to open the second half, and the hat trick increased the ‘Cats’ lead to 7-2.

The possession for most of the third quarter seemed to favor the ‘Cats heavily due to Jane Hansen and White’s continual grittiness, picking up ground balls and causing turnovers.

BC would call a stick check on Samantha Smith, but after it was called legal, Northwestern was granted possession, leading to an Elle Hansen goal to extend the lead to seven.

Scane would tally her own hat trick to tie her single-season and program record at 98 and bring the score to 11-3.

While no comeback could ever be counted out — especially after last year — the ‘Cats remained poised and continued to dominate the draw 17:8 with Smith grabbing eight. Down eight goals, the Eagles began to foul out of frustration.

A shooting space violation on BC’s goalie Shea Dolce would give Erin Coykendall an opportunity to shoot into an open net to make the score 12-4 with her first goal of the day.

Scane and Coykendall then crowded Dolce to cause a turnover and give Scane 99 goals to break her own single-season program record with 10 minutes remaining.

BC would fire back with a late-game effort, even two players down, as Tewaraaton finalist Jenn Medjid tallied her lone goal of the day.

Coykendall notched her second of the game to set a running clock, leading 15-5 with just under seven minutes remaining.

White would capitalize on Dolce outside the net to pour it on for the ‘Cats with her fifth goal of the season, leading 16-5.

Martello completed her hat trick to net BC’s last goal of the 2023 season, while Coykendall tallied her third followed by Rhatigan’s last of her college career to give a final score of 18-6.

From the opening draw to the final whistle, Northwestern had control of the game over Boston College, who was making its sixth-straight title game appearance. Despite Northwestern not appearing in the championship since the last time it won in 2012, the Wildcats remained steady on all ends of the field to claim the 2023 National Title and finish off their 21-game win streak in the ultimate way.