NCAA Champion Coaches Acacia Walker-Weinstein, Lars Tiffany Join Yard Sale


NCAA champion coaches Acacia Walker-Weinstein and Lars Tiffany were guests on Tuesday's episode of "Yard Sale," a USA Lacrosse show hosted by Anish Shroff, Paul Carcaterra and Quint Kessenich. Each shared candid stories about the run to the NCAA title. To watch the full episode, click here.

Acacia Walker-Weinstein is running out of adjectives to describe the play of Boston College’s star player, Charlotte North. The NCAA’s all-time single-season goals leader brought the complete package to a national audience when she led the Eagles to an NCAA championship last weekend.

The low-to-high snipes on the run. The free position blasts that hit the back of the cage before a goalie can even react. The aggressive stick drops. The boisterous and intense celebrations.

North has brought energy seldom seen in women’s lacrosse, and Walker-Weinstein has allowed her to shine. What some may see as self-centered, the Boston College coach sees as a symbol of empowerment.

“Charlotte does not have an ego,” Walker-Weinstein said. “That intensity that you see when she does all those cool stick drops and her celebrations. It’s just Charlotte releasing her passion for what she loves to do. It is absolutely electric. Her celebrations are just a symbol of her passion for the game.”

In a matter of days, North could also take home the Tewaaraton Award to cap her 2021 season. Her highlight-reel goals and engaging celebrations have equally captured the attention of the entire lacrosse community. 

 

 

Young girls across the country now see North as a role model — someone whose aura they’d like to replicate. Walker-Weinstein said children can take valuable lessons from watching the most popular lacrosse player in the country.

“What I love about her celebrations is that it shows girls it is cool to be intense and to celebrate your success,” she said. “You don’t have to be quiet — you can be brave and big and bold about your success and your team’s success. Have you ever seen a girl do this before? It’s empowering young women.

“My daughter, Wesley, is a cute little thing. She goes in the backyard and practices her celebrations because it’s cool now to be strong and proud of yourself. That is huge for young women in sports.”







Lars Tiffany Breaks Down the Final 10 Seconds

 

As soon as the final buzzer sounded and Lars Tiffany had finished the embrace with his coaching staff, the Virginia coach grabbed the NCAA championship trophy and sprinted across the Rentschler Field.

Tiffany said the act was instinctual — as he’d enjoyed the NCAA championship celebration just two years prior when the Cavaliers won it all in 2019.

"I looked like Forrest Gump," Tiffany said. "I didn't know what I was doing. The guy handed me the trophy. People were probably like 'What is he doing?' This one was about them."

The chaos of the celebration was preceded by a thrilling final 10 seconds in which Maryland’s Luke Wierman won the faceoff, charged through an open lane, and fired a shot that would have tied the national championship game at 17-17. However, Virginia’s Alex Rode used his body to block the bouncer and seal the Cavaliers’ second straight national title.

Tiffany said that his coaching staff had just under a minute to design a play off the faceoff that would prevent Maryland star Jared Bernhardt from getting the ball, but that meant Wierman might have had a lane to the cage. The plan was to have Jared Conners match up with Bernhardt, but the potential Tewaaraton winner was placed on the opposite wing.

“All the noise and excitement, and we break the huddle and Jared Conners is just jogging to where he thinks Bernhardt is going to be,” Tiffany said. “We’re screaming “Jared! Jared!” and we finally get his attention and pull him back.”

With Bernhardt and Kyle Long, Maryland’s two fastest players, covered on the wings (Conners and Gray Sallade), the mission turned to faceoff man Petey LaSalla to halt any progress from the Terps’ Luke Wierman.

LaSalla hoped to push the faceoff toward and Maryland defensive zone and run out the clock. If he failed, Sallade was charged with stopping a break. However, Wierman won the faceoff cleanly and the ball head straight toward the Virginia cage.

“Man, did [John] Tillman draw it up perfectly or what?” Tiffany said. “[Wierman] pops that ball forward and I’m like ‘Oh no, Petey.’ They did it perfect.”

Tiffany knew that by poling Bernhardt and Long, and containing shooter Logan Wisnauskas, Danny Maltz and Anthony DeMaio, he’d leave just one option. Wierman was given an open shot after a slide came in late.

“That was calculated,” the Virginia coach said. “You say ‘Wow you gave him a 10-yard shot.’ I gave them a ton of credit for how they lined up.”

Wierman took the final shot, which was saved by Rode, allowing time to run short on Maryland’s dream comeback and seal the victory. Tiffany knew the finish would be nerve-wracking, but he did not anticipate Maryland getting a good look at the cage.

Luckily, Rode stepped up when it mattered the most.

“I see it pop up and then I see just a bunch of sticks trying grab that rebound,” he said. “With [Rode], I didn’t know if he had the ball, but the way he was running out of that pileup, I was like ‘Oh boy.’”

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