Boston College Ready to Take Flight This Fall

PHOTO BY BRYCE VICKMARK

Jenn Medjid had perhaps the quietest 74-goal, 102-point seasons in NCAA history last spring.


In August, Boston College head coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein sat on a beach on the Spanish coast and just watched her players. It was a simple moment — part of a nearly two-week trip to France and Spain made possible by a donation to the team. It was also a world away from the U.S., where the Eagles had recently completed their fifth-straight trip to the national title game and endured all the pressures that came with it.

“It was nice just seeing the girls hang out on the beach, swimming in the ocean, enjoying their time off,” Walker-Weinstein said. “It’s fun to see the relationship building and people hang out with people they may not normally.”

A familiar face was missing. Back in the U.S., Charlotte North was winding down after her first season of professional lacrosse with Athletes Unlimited. North left Chestnut Hill with one national championship ring, two Tewaaraton Awards and an NCAA record of 358 career goals between her time with Duke and Boston College.

Walker-Weinstein and the Eagles won’t have to make a return trip to the coast of Spain to find the person — or, more likely, people — who will fill those cleats.

“It’s always a team effort, but individuals rise to the occasion,” Walker-Weinstein said. “We don’t put that pressure on any one player. We put that pressure on ourselves to develop kids to get to the level where they can take over like Charlotte did.”

Jenn Medjid will take on a larger role this season. “Larger role” is saying something. The attacker had perhaps the quietest 74-goal, 102-point seasons in NCAA history.

“She’s the silent assassin,” Walker-Weinstein said. “Jenn will run through a brick wall to improve her game. She never accepts where she is and always wants more.”

But this season, more won’t simply mean a career-high for goals or points. Medjid is looking to step up her vocal leadership — something she learned watching North.

“She was like the Michael Jordan of lacrosse, but she was so kind to everyone,” Medjid said. “To see that leadership come from such an amazing player and teammate, that’s something I am going to take with me into my last season.”

Medjid won’t have to carry the load alone. Belle Smith, now a junior, tallied 55 goals and 28 assists and 24 caused turnovers last season. She also took home a silver medal with Team USA in the Sixes discipline at The World Games. Medjid and Smith have long been on the same page on and off the field.

“We love to bounce ideas off of each other, and it comes out when we are on the field,” Medjid said. “We have great chemistry.”







Walker-Weinstein also sees Smith emerging as a team leader as the Eagles turn the page.

“What’s great about Belle is that she has immediate followers,” Walker-Weinstein said. “As a leader, you can be the best player or midfielder in the country, but if your teammates don’t want to follow you, that’s a problem. But Belle is so genuine and authentic.”

North isn’t the only impact player who turned her tassel. Courtney Taylor, who transferred to BC from Temple for a fifth season and caused a team-high 28 turnovers, is also gone. But much of the defense remains intact. Sydney Scales (26 CT, 46 GB), Hunter Roman (24 CT, 37 GB) and Melanie Welch (14 CT, 23 GB) all return. Same for starting goalie Rachel Hall (10.63 GAA, .347 SV %), who announced she’d be using her fifth year of eligibility.

“If I know anything about them, they will commit to being one of the best defenses in the country again,” Walker-Weinstein said. “They don’t get enough credit. Those guys are holding our team down every single year. All of our success is due to our defense.”

The defense gets an assist out of the midfield from Hollie Schleicher, the scrappy midfielder whose impact can’t be fully appreciated unless you watch her play. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t show up in the box score. The Sag Harbor, N.Y., native was second on the team in draw controls (108) and tallied 21 caused turnovers and 33 ground balls.

“Hollie is everywhere,” Walker-Weinstein said. “She has this gritty, I-will-not-be-stopped attitude that is so fun to coach and inspiring to play with. No matter how tired she is, she’s still coming up with the ground ball. No matter what the score is, she’s playing like it’s the national championship. She’s one of the biggest leaders, I think, in the country.”

And the Eagles will lean on that leadership as they welcome a 10-player freshman class. Walker-Weinstein isn’t ready to name names but believes there are several who can make an immediate impact. But first things first: Seeing how they and the returners take on fall. Walker-Weinstein isn’t expecting a drop-off in intensity, talent or results.

“We’re going to work and be ready for fall competition,” she said. “We’re going to work on skill, hold our team to a high standard and be ready for preseason.”

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