Charlotte North broadcasted a March 11 game between Notre Dame and Ohio State's men's teams with Chris Cotter (left) and Paul Carcaterra (right).

Charlotte North a Hit in Rookie Season With ESPN

Anyone who watched Charlotte North play college lacrosse knew she wouldn’t leave the game after completing career at Boston College. The woman who played hard and celebrated teammates harder exuded joy and passion through the TV screen — often on ESPN.

It turned out North dreamed of being on the Worldwide Leader in a different role, too. She lived that dream this spring as a broadcaster.

“I remember growing up listening to every broadcast of every game,” North said. “For lacrosse specifically, I really looked up to Paul Carcaterra and the way he grew the game, the voice and the storyteller behind it. He drives so much for the sport.”

On March 11, North joined Carcaterra and Chris Cotter in the booth to call the Ohio State-Notre Dame men’s game. It was not what she expected when she reached out to ESPN toward the end of her graduate year with Boston College, hoping to shadow a few broadcasts.

“I honestly didn’t even expect to get called up this season after playing last year,” North said.

But North had been on ESPN’s radar, too.

“She’s a generational talent, maybe the best that ever played the women’s college game,” Carcaterra said. “That checks one box. Equally important, she has a great attitude, a really big smile and amazing knowledge about the game of lacrosse … It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that there is huge potential there.”

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that there is huge potential there.”

— Paul Carcaterra on Charlotte North as a broadcaster

It was a recipe for success — much like her ability to corral draws, score at will and rally her teammates. What could have taken a rocket scientist: Figuring out North’s schedule. It was the biggest potential hang-up. North isn’t done playing lacrosse. She made her professional debut with Athletes Unlimited last year (after winning gold with the U.S. national team at the World Lacrosse Women’s Championship) and will suit up again this season. She also runs clinics. But North was in.

Next up: Getting her game ready. North knows lacrosse and would have the unique perspective of playing with and against many of the student-athletes she’d be commentating on when calling women’s games. But broadcasting was new ground for her. She worked with Ryan Hoff, an associate producer with ESPN, for a month leading up to her first game.

“He taught me so much in a short amount of time,” North said. “We’d do a lot of hours of training on making sure you are letting big moments feel like big moments and balancing communicating clearly to people who know the game and those watching for the first time.”

North’s debut on the men’s side may have surprised some, but Carcaterra knew she’d be just fine.

“She loves the men’s game,” Carcaterra said. “She loves the women’s game. She’s just a fan of lacrosse in general. There are similarities in the skill aspects of the two, whether it is stick, shooting, approaches when you are dodging and athleticism.”

Carcaterra knew North could call a men’s game like a pro based on knowledge. But something else stuck out in the days leading up to the game.

“What blew me away was her prep,” Carcaterra said. “She was so dialed in. She wanted to talk a bunch of times prior to the first broadcast.”

The amount of preparation involved in broadcasting is something that surprised North. A player can’t just show up and beat Syracuse for a first national championship in program history. Likewise, broadcasters can’t just roll up and call the game of the week or discuss the Final Four as part of ESPN’s in-studio coverage.  

But for North, the work is fun and games, even though she takes it seriously.

“It’s a lot of watching film, talking to coaches and going to practices,” North said. “It doesn’t feel like it’s a lot of work, but when you look back on it, it is. But it’s so worth it. It’s exactly what I love to do, which is watch the sport, learn more from people in the sport and get to talk to people on it.”

As an athlete, North is no stranger to practices. She’s also familiar with feedback. In fact, she seeks it out as a player. Ditto for her new career in broadcasting.

“Being an athlete, you really want to work on the things that you are not as good at,” North said. “You want to strengthen your weaknesses. I’m new to this and loving it, but I know there are areas I can improve on. Getting to hear that from people who are so good at this is so appreciated.”

Carcaterra has already seen North make major strides.

“She has become more and more confident where it’s less scripted in her head,” Carcaterra said. “It’s very nerve-wracking when you are a first-year broadcaster … you try to memorize. She’s becoming more and more natural where she is relying on her instincts.”

But honestly?

“You can be a great player and have all the knowledge, but it’s how you project on air, too,” Carcaterra said. “She projects with energy. She projects with confidence. It’s really uncanny for a first-year broadcaster. It’s kind of crazy how good she is already.”


Charlotte North was an ESPN studio analyst with Drew Carter (left) and Rachel Becker DeCecco (right) during the women's NCAA tournament.

Never one to rest on her laurels, North is already taking notes and setting goals for the 2024 season.

“I want to keep evolving in terms of perspective I am giving, not just in terms of the Xs and Os but tying it back to the people out there and the game,” North said. “I think Carc does an amazing job of that in terms of covering what is going on and the off-field stuff, especially for female athletes who deserve the same recognition and platform to share their stories, tell people who they are and put a story behind the story.”

As a broadcaster, North is supposed to be objective — perhaps the one thing that’s impossible for a player who typically keeps the word “can’t” out of her vocabulary.

“I’ll be a diehard BC lax fan for the rest of my life,” she said before quickly adding: “When it comes down to it, you’ve got to talk about the game, the Xs and Os and what each team needs to do. When you get into the zone of a game, you don’t really think about that part.”

And lacrosse fans know what happens when North gets in the zone. One of those fans? Carcaterra’s 13-year-old daughter, Peyla, idolizes North and can now see a new path to life in lacrosse after college.

“Charlotte creating a platform in the women’s game and men’s game is healthy,” Carcaterra said. “It shows leadership, strength and conviction. I think it’s amazing.”


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