The Essential Division I Women's Lacrosse NCAA Championship Game Preview


Johanna Kingsfield (left) and Mckenna Davis (right) will represent their teams in Sunday's Division I women's NCAA championship game.

The Division I women’s lacrosse NCAA championship game is upon us.

One of the most storied programs in the history of the sport meets arguably the most consistent team of the past half-decade — and one that is entrenching itself as a historically storied program in its own right.

Top-seeded Northwestern and third-seeded Boston College will meet for the national crown on Sunday, a rematch of a February 19 win by the Wildcats.

It’s going to be raining goals from Izzy Scane and raining, well, rain from the skies of North Carolina. Wet weather or not, it’s all going to be left out on the field.

Here’s our in-depth preview for Sunday’s highly anticipated final game of the 2023 season.


WHO: (1) Northwestern vs. (3) Boston College
WHEN: Sunday, May 28, 12 p.m.
WHERE: WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.


WakeMed Soccer Park opened in 2002 and is the current home of North Carolina FC and the North Carolina Courage, the 2019 National Women’s Soccer League champion. The 10,000-seat stadium features a natural grass surface. The stadium cost $14.5 million to build, plus another $6.3 million for an expansion in 2011 that added 3,000 permanent seats, concessions, restrooms and more.


According to, there is an 80-percent chance of rain. Heavier rains are expected before 2 p.m., then showers and possibly a thunderstorm could come after 2 p.m. New rainfall amounts are expected to be between a quarter and a half of an inch. Northeast winds ranging from 11-14 miles per hour are expected. There is a high of 66 degrees, which is on the lower end of the scale for this time of year in Raleigh, N.C. (60.3-82.5 degrees).


Northwestern topped Boston College 15-14 on February 19 in Evanston. The all-time series is split 3-3.



Northwestern last appeared in the NCAA title game in 2012, which is also the same year the Wildcats captured a championship. Northwestern has won seven national titles, all under head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller, with a five-year streak from 2005-09. The Wildcats captured all seven titles between 2005-12, with the 2010 title going to Maryland.


A: Erin Coykendall
A: Elle Hansen
A: Dylan Amonte
A: Madison Taylor
A: Izzy Scane
A: Hailey Rhatigan
M: Samantha Smith
D: Allie Berkery
D: Samantha White
D: Kendall Halpern
D: Carleigh Mahoney
G: Molly Laliberty


Northwestern became the first team this season to score double-digit goals against fifth-seeded Denver, which entered the NCAA semifinals allowing 5.82 goals per game. Izzy Scane had six goals and two assists in the 15-7 win.

Read the full game story by Brian Logue.


NCAA Round 1: Bye
NCAA Round 2: 8-7 over Michigan
NCAA Quarterfinals: 16-6 over Loyola
NCAA Semifinals: 15-7 over Denver


  • Izzy Scane is the Division I goals leader with 95. With four goals, she’ll set a new career high (2021).

  • Erin Coykendall owns a team-leading 48 assists and is second behind Scane (128) with 103 points.

  • Samantha White leads Northwestern with 113 draw controls.

  • Northwestern has won 20 games in a row, the longest winning streak in the nation.

  • Northwestern has scored at least 13 goals in every game but one, an 8-7 win over Michigan in round two of the NCAA tournament.

  • Northwestern leads the nation with a 16.9 goals per game average. Its defense is allowing 9.05 goals per game. Since the start of the Big Ten tournament on May 4, the defense has surrendered only 8.0 goals per game over five games.


From Northwestern head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller on Friday, May 26.

“It just feels unbelievable. I think when you continue to win championships, you kinda just expect it from yourself, and when that doesn’t happen, you get really humble, and you realize what you have and how hard it really is. There are so many great programs out there that are fighting hard every single day for this same thing, so for us to be one of the last two teams standing, we’re really, really grateful for that.”

“[Riding was] one of the things that we definitely keyed in on this week, working hard at it. I think that in our previous game against Loyola, we caused a lot of turnovers on the ride. Our attack was truly amazing in that aspect and very discipline in that, too. It has been something that we’ve been really keying in on and we think is an X-factor for us.”

“Just building off of [Friday], we know it’s going to be a totally new game, and a different opponent, so really building on some of the things that we did well today and just going out there and having a full effort.”



Boston College is making its sixth straight appearance in the national championship game, though it has only won once (2021). Those are the only six appearances in the title game in program history. Three of Boston College’s losses in the championship game were by two goals. The other was by one goal. The Eagles’ win in 2021 was 16-10 over Syracuse.


A: Mckenna Davis
A: Jenn Medjid
A: Kayla Martello
M: Belle Smith
M: Cassidy Weeks
M: Andrea Reynolds
M: Ryan Smith
D: Melanie Welch
D: Sophia Taglich
D: Hunter Roman
D: Sydney Scales
G: Shea Dolce


Boston College came back from a two-goal fourth-quarter deficit against Syracuse for the second time in five weeks to down the Orange 8-7. Belle Smith’s trail check on Olivia Adamson with less than a minute remaining helped Kayla Martello’s free position goal with 3:33 left stand as the winner in the NCAA semifinals.

Read the full game story by Kenny DeJohn.


NCAA Round 1: Bye
NCAA Round 2: 9-7 over Penn
NCAA Quarterfinals: 20-6 over Notre Dame
NCAA Semifinals: 8-7 over (2) Syracuse


  • Jenn Medjid leads Boston College with 82 goals and 105 points. She scored five in BC’s 8-7 win over Syracuse.

  • Andrea Reynolds (92) and Ryan Smith (85) have combined to win 177 draw controls.

  • Mckenna Davis leads the Eagles with 60 assists.

  • Boston College has won at least 18 games in every season since 2018, not counting the COVID-shortened 2020 season.

  • The Eagles have scored 14.59 goals per game. Its defense is allowing 8.77 goals per game, but since the ACC tournament began on April 26, the Eagles have allowed 7.0 goals per game (six games).


From Boston College head coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein on Friday, May 26.

“The players that we have are really smart. They’re IQ driven. As the game goes on, there’s more to evaluate and there’s more to analyze, which means there’s more to take in, more to process, and they can do a lot with that.”

“We have to find a way to be better in one day. We can’t be the same. We have to improve in some way, whether that’s mentally, physically. I trust the preparation. I trust that these guys will do everything they need to do to be ready for Sunday.”


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