Charlotte North Wins 2021 Women's Tewaaraton Award


Perhaps the most visible star in women’s lacrosse, Charlotte North has now joined elite company.

Boston College’s electric attacker was named the recipient of the 2021 Tewaaraton Award on Saturday after a season in which she shattered records and led the Eagles to their first national championship in program history.

North scored 102 goals, setting the single-season record for Division I women’s lacrosse. On April 10 against Virginia Tech, she broke BC’s single-game record with 10 goals. Her highlights have captivated lacrosse fans of all backgrounds.

North is the second BC player to win the Tewaaraton Award, joining Sam Apuzzo (2018).

The Dallas native is also the first-ever Tewaaraton winner from Texas, joining Maryland’s Jen Adams (Adelaide, South Australia), Northwestern’s Hannah Nielsen (Adelaide, South Australia) and Colgate’s Peter Baum (Portland, Ore.) as the only recipients who did not grow up on the East Coast.

“We take pride in where we come from,” North said. “It’s growing for sure, and that’s because of the coaches down there. We’re just lucky that we have our Texas lax family. If I can inspire the youth down there, that’s a dream.”

The other women’s finalists were Izzy Scane (Northwestern), Jamie Ortega (North Carolina), Taylor Moreno (North Carolina) and Lizzie Colson (Maryland).

North doesn’t have many thoughts on her historic season.

Instead, she continues to to stress the importance of her teammates, and in her case, it’s fair. She broke the NCAA record with 102 goals this season, but North said she benefitted from the Eagles’ depth and chemistry.

“They’re all so talented,” North said. “I learned a lot from them too, and I just watch them and I’m star struck because they’re so amazing. That’s part of why we won, everyone across the field from goalie all the way up to attack is incredible.”

“It’s special,” North added Saturday of the Tewaaraton honor, “but the trophy we won last week is much bigger. The run we put together was so special.”

It’s cliche to get into how teammates have helped one historic athlete or analyze the supposed unique chemistry of a championship squad. The Eagles, though, and North in just her two seasons with the program, have been building this for a long time yet.

So has the game itself. The past half-decade of lacrosse has produced some of the best scorers in the history of the sport. Courtney Murphy held the only 100-goal season until North broke the Stony Brook alum’s record.

North also broke Apuzzo’s school single-season scoring record with 114 points. Stars like Murphy and Apuzzo paved the way for North, she said.

“The game is growing so fast. All the young players have given it a different style,” said North, whose unorthodox, athletic and creative shooting often landed her on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” or in viral social media threads. “You can be that kind of a player now. Apuzzo, Murphy — they’re two of the best to ever do it. That’s part of the game growing, because the way we are scoring is changing.”

The Eagles had a unique depth chart all season. While Syracuse, the team BC defeated in the title game, struggled with hits to its depth with injuries and yellow cards, the Eagles could rely on other players.

That’s a load of pressure off North, too, despite all the spotlight being on her. It simply doesn’t have to be her giving in. In the NCAA semifinal game against then-undefeated North Carolina, North only scored twice. Jenn Medjid scored in the clutch all season, while Caitlynn Mossman and Belle Smith also picked up some of the slack.

“Our team really didn’t take anything for granted this season,” North said. “That helped us, knowing we were making this sacrifice for something, for each other. It’s something you really can’t put into words, what we have.”

North’s individual success doesn’t come as a shock to anyone. Before she transferred from Duke, she already had been a prolific scorer. Perhaps she never would have reached this type of ceiling if she had never joined BC, however.

“She has the potential to be the most exciting player in the game,” Eagles coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein said before the season. “We told her we believe in her and want her to take her game and women’s lacrosse to the next level. I hope that she does it. I know she will.”

Now an NCAA champion and owner of NCAA and BC single-season records for goals and points, respectively, there’s an argument to be made for North as the best player in program history. There’s also an argument to be made that she is the most elite scorer of this generation, especially after a season filled with adversity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

North doesn’t want to talk about legacies. She has not yet determined if she will return for a fifth season in 2022, an option given to all student-athletes whose 2020 seasons were cut short by the pandemic.

“I told myself I’d reevaluate after this crazy week,” North said. “We’ve been celebrating together. Soon to come.”

From the moment she joined the Eagles, North’s focus has been on an NCAA title. Now that she has one, and can take her place in history, she’s still hesitant to do that.

But the rest of the lacrosse world knows she’s in the conversation to be the greatest. The Tewaaraton Award further validates the hype.

“This season was everything, seeing everyone in the stands,” North said. “I still can’t even look at the [NCAA title] trophy and think that it’s real.”

Kenny DeJohn and Emma Healy contributed to this article.

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