Walpole native Sydney Scales (pictured) is all smiles while holding her national championship trophy following Sunday's 16-10 victory for Boston College women's lacrosse over Syracuse in the Division I national championship game in Towson, Maryland. Photo by Elyse Scales.
By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Boston College women's lacrosse has quickly become the next big thing here in New England. Throughout the last five years, no program in the country has been as consistent as the Eagles, who've played in each of the last four Final Fours.
Despite the recent postseason success, the BC women entered 2021 still having yet to climb over the championship hurdle after three consecutive defeats in the national title game (Maryland - 2017, James Madison - 2018, Maryland - 2019).
Determined to exorcise the postseason demons of the past, expectations in 2021 for BC were championship or bust, and for good reason. The Eagles returned an absolutely loaded roster that included the top player in the country, Charlotte North (219 career goals), along with an incoming freshman that many in Walpole might remember by the name of Sydney Scales.
A three-sport star in field hockey, basketball (1,000-point scorer) and lacrosse in high school, Scales transitioned to a defensive role during her first year at at BC, forcing nine turnovers and scooping up 16 ground-balls on the season.
A 13-3 regular season earned BC the No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles took care of business in their first two tournament games against Fairfield (19-6 victory) and Temple (21-11 victory), setting up a quarterfinal matchup with rival Notre Dame. After sweeping Notre Dame in the regular season, BC continued their dominance over the Irish in 2021 with a 21-10 victory, where Scales recorded her first-ever collegiate point with an assist to Jenn Medjid.
The win advanced BC to the their fourth consecutive Final Four to face top-seeded ACC regular season champ North Carolina in the national semifinals on May 28.
Against UNC, the Eagles controlled the tempo of play early and got out to an 11-6 lead with 15:27 to play in the second half. BC's defense stood tall late and fought off a comeback bid by the Tar Heels as the Eagles advanced to their fourth straight title game with an 11-10 victory, setting up a date with rival and No. 3 Syracuse.
On Sunday against the Orange, BC found themselves in a back-and-forth dogfight of a first half with multiple lead changes. A pair of late goals by Charlotte North (six goals) and Caitlynn Mossman (one goal, four assists) gave BC a 9-8 lead at halftime. Less than two minutes into the second half, Scales made the biggest play of her collegiate so far, forcing a turnover on Syracuse's Emma Ward to give possession back to the Eagles. Immediately off of transition the other way, Jenn Medjid put a goal to make it 10-8.
Medjid's goal sparked a 3-0 run to open the second half for BC, pushing the lead to 12-8 and allow the Eagles to begin to pull away. BC finished the game on a 7-2 run to prevail by a final of 16-10, claiming the school's first-ever women's lacrosse national championship.
For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as video highlights of games, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram handles @flano0.