2022 NCAA Lacrosse Preview: No. 1 Boston College (Women)

PHOTO BY JOHN STROHSACKER

Acacia Walker-Weinstein on Jenn Medjid: “She’s arguably one of our best shooters and one of our smartest players.”


The 2022 college lacrosse season is nearly upon us. As is our annual tradition, we’re featuring every team ranked in the Nike/USA Lacrosse Preseason Top 20.

Check back to USALaxMagazine.com each weekday this month for new previews, scouting reports and rival analysis.

NO. 1 BOSTON COLLEGE

2021 Record: 18-3 (8-2 ACC)
Final Ranking (2021): No. 1
Coach: Acacia Walker-Weinstein (10th season)

Boston College took the college lacrosse world by storm in 2021 — but the national championship title came last year, last season. Head coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein said the maroon and gold plan to be different this spring. 

And not just a more comfortable version of the same team, either. Walker-Weinstein said the Eagles need to be more than just better — they need to take ownership.

“We’re going to really focus hard on our midfielders,” she said. “In hopes to be just as strong in the midfield as we are on the attacking and defensive ends.”

The Eagles are, of course, led by Charlotte North, who is back for a graduate year. The attacker tied the NCAA championship game record with six goals against Syracuse, helping lift BC to the pinnacle after losses in three straight championship games. North’s statistics speak for themselves, but she doesn’t do it alone.

Boston College possesses another offensive threat in Jenn Medjid, someone who often goes overlooked in the sheer volume of North’s accomplishments.

Medjid is “a really dangerous attacker,” Walker-Weinstein said. The senior’s career highs in points, goals and assists all came from the 2021 season.

“She’s arguably one of our best shooters and one of our smartest players,” Walker-Weinstein said. 

The Garden City, New York, native found herself on the NCAA All-Tournament team, which surprised nobody around her.

“She’s definitely one of our hardest workers,” she said. “The pressure of the moment doesn’t bother her because she’s so equipped.” 

NIKE/USAL PRESEASON TOP 20
TEAM PREVIEWS

1. Boston College

2. North Carolina

3. Syracuse

4. Northwestern

5. Stony Brook

6. Maryland

7. Notre Dame

8. Duke

9. Loyola

10. Florida

11. Virginia

12. James Madison

13. Princeton

14. Stanford

15. Denver

16. Rutgers

17. Drexel

18. Jacksonville

19. UConn

20. Penn

On and off the field, Medjid is not much different. Her leadership and work ethic are stabilizers for a Boston College team that never lacks confidence.

“She is one of the most committed BC lacrosse players we’ve ever had in my time here,” Walker-Weinstein said.

Coming from a two-time IWLCA National Coach of the Year, that statement isn’t to be taken lightly. Walker-Weinstein praised Medjid’s character saying that “she’s a leader by example in everything she does.” 

Defensively, BC is stout. Fellow All-American Hollie Schleicher takes care of business on the back end. Last season, the junior tied for first on the team in caused turnovers with 16, second in ground balls with 33 and second in draw controls with 92. Schleicher received support when Courtney Taylor transferred in from Temple. Both will look to alleviate any pressure on goalie Rachel Hall, who saved her best two games of the season for Championship Weekend.

Walker-Weinstein said it’s too hard to gauge this team’s identity. BC plans to take the 2022 season one game at a time. And being ranked No. 1 on the Nike/USA Lacrosse Preseason Top 20 doesn’t hold much significance, even if the recognition is nice. 

“Those are just stories,” she said. “We’re focused more on what’s actually happening in the locker room and on the field.” 

And what happened on the field May 30, 2021, meant everything to her. She said her squad wore it on their sleeves they wanted to claim the national title after years of letdowns.

“To see a group of girls be brave enough to pursue another national championship and understanding that you're risking it all in front of the whole world just makes me proud of them,” she said. 

Brave. That’s also the word Walker-Weinstein used to describe the BC program. She said the team gives everything to accomplish its goals.

“They’re not afraid to be the best,” she said. “They’re not afraid to pursue, relentlessly, a national championship.”






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TOP RETURNERS

Charlotte North, A, Grad.

There’s not much more to say about North, one of the top NCAA lacrosse players in history. She won the 2021 Tewaaraton Award, led Boston College to a national championship and scored a single-season record 102 goals. What’s sometimes overlooked because of the highlight goals she churns out with regularity is her impact on possessions. Last spring, she secured 170 draw controls.

Hollie Schleicher, D, Jr.

A first-team USA Lacrosse Magazine Preseason All-American, Schleicher started all 21 games and posted 33 ground balls and 16 caused turnovers. She controlled 92 draws, the seventh-most in a single-season in program history. She set a Boston College NCAA tournament record with five ground balls in the title game victory over Syracuse.

Jenn Medjid, A, Sr.

Medjid is quietly one of the most lethal attackers in the college game. She scored 55 goals with 17 assists in 2021, shooting 50.5 percent in the process. She had a nine-goal game against Louisville on March 28, had nine hat tricks and posted multiple points in every game. She scored 19 goals over the course of the NCAA tournament.

KEY ADDITION

Courtney Taylor, D, Gr.

The Eagles snagged one of the top players available in the transfer portal, bringing in Temple graduate Courtney Taylor to bolster an already-strong defense. She was one away from setting Temple single-season records in ground balls (67) and caused turnovers (42), a testament to her all-around incredible senior season. Her presence alongside Schleicher on defense should make things lightyears easier for Rachel Hall in goal.

BREAKOUT CANDIDATE

Cassidy Weeks, M, Sr. 

Weeks started all 21 games with five multi-goal contests. The Bayport, New York, product proved she could bounce back from injury in the process and performed when it mattered most. The midfielder claimed a hat trick in the first round of the ACC tournament against Virginia and assisted in the national championship win with a goal, capping off her stellar season on a high note. More’s expected from her in 2022.

ENEMY LINES

What rival coaches say about the Eagles:

“One word: Charlotte North. It’ll be neat to see how teams try to stop her. For us it’s a cool challenge in how our team measures against them. They return a killer team; they will be hunted from the get-go and that’s something they like.”

“I’m ready for Charlotte North to graduate. Huge players across the field. They will be playing with the loss of Kayla Treanor, I’m sure Sam Apuzzo will do well. They are organized and disciplined and ready to prove last year was not a fluke.”

BEYOND THE BASICS
POWERED BY LACROSSE REFERENCE

14.3

Did you think we’d highlight anything other than the Queen of the North? We all know she is a fantastic shooter, but shooting percentage understates her brilliance. Our models can compare a player’s output to what an “average” shooter would have done with the same profile of shots. Since North’s shots tend to be more difficult than average, her “excess shooting” marks are otherworldly. For her career, she’s a 90th-percentile shooter measured by raw shooting percentage, but top 1 percent when you adjust for the difficulty of the shots she’s taken. — Zack Capozzi

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