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Scane v. Scales will be one of Sunday's marquee matchups in the Division I women's championship game.

The Essential Division I Women's Lacrosse 2024 NCAA Championship Game Preview

May 26, 2024
Kenny DeJohn
Peyton Williams

Remember all that parity during the 2024 season? It sure was fun while it lasted.

We have an NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse championship game rematch on our hands, as top-seeded Northwestern and second-seeded Boston College will square off for the title for the second year in a row.

It was a totally one-sided Northwestern showing last May, an 18-6 performance that left little doubt as to who the best team in the country was. Does Boston College have a bit of revenge on the mind?

Here’s everything you need to know about the 2024 Division I women’s championship game.


Who: (1) Northwestern vs. (2) Boston College
When: Sunday, May 26, 12 p.m. Eastern
Where: WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.
Watch: ESPN

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WakeMed Soccer Park, which hosted the NCAA Division I women’s championship weekend for the first time last May, 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, expect heat approaching 90 degrees on a mostly sunny Sunday with a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2 p.m. There’s a 30-percent chance of precipitation.


Northwestern topped Boston College 18-6 in last season’s championship game and then beat the Eagles 14-11 in a late-February rematch. The Wildcats lead the all-time series 5-3.


Boston College, at times, looked overwhelmed by the Northwestern defense, ride and transition game last May, but Eagles head coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein addressed the offense last summer by bringing in junior transfers Rachel Clark and Emma LoPinto, who have been everything she’s asked for and more.

Northwestern’s offense, meanwhile, boasts three of the best attackers in the entire country. Slowing one means leaving the other two to do damage.

This game will come down to defense and goalie play, as offense isn’t much of a question for either side. Both Shea Dolce (BC) and Molly Laliberty (Northwestern) were sensational in the semifinals.

Another key: Can Boston College limit Northwestern between the 30s and make every ground ball a battle? The Eagles did a great job of that against Syracuse in the semifinals.

Boston College's Emma LoPinto.
Northwestern beat Boston College 14-11 on February 29 in Newton, Mass.
Risley Sports Photography


2024 record: 18-2
NCAA championships: 8 (2005-09, 2011-12, 2023)
Last championship: 2023


A: Dylan Amonte
A: Erin Coykendall
A: Izzy Scane
A: Madison Taylor
M: Lindsey Frank
M: Jane Hansen
M: Madison Smith
M: Samantha Smith
D: Kendall Halpern
D: Carleigh Mahoney
D: Sammy White
G: Molly Laliberty


A lightning delay after the third quarter — a potentially ominous occurrence given Northwestern’s recent history in NCAA semifinal weather delays — helped the Wildcats break open a one-goal game for a 15-11 win over the gritty Gators of Florida.

Read the full game story by Brian Logue.


Round 1: Bye
Round 2: 17-4 over Denver
Quarterfinals: 20-7 over Penn
Semifinals: 15-11 over Florida


2 • Tewaaraton Award finalists for the second season in a row. This time, reigning Tewaaraton winner Izzy Scane will be joined by Madison Taylor.

3 • Players with 30 or more caused turnovers — Kendall Halpern (34), Carleigh Mahoney (32) and Jane Hansen (30).

49.3 • Team shooting percentage for a Northwestern offense that gets shots and buries them.

163 • Combined goals by the aforementioned Scane (83) and Taylor (80).

365 • Career points for graduate attacker and 2023 Tewaaraton finalist Erin Coykendall, who will go down as one of Northwestern’s smartest players ever.


From Northwestern head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller on Friday, May 24.

“We have a philosophy where we want to go out there and play fearless no matter what. Especially in a semifinal game, I talked to them a little bit about it, sometimes when you win the previous year, you can think you’re in the finals already. But I think playing such an amazing team in Florida really snapped us out of that because we saw all week long watching film and in our prep … I felt like they were as dangerous as any team we’ve seen.

“Talking to the group about that, recognizing that we’re not entitled to be in the championship game. We have to work for it.”

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2024 record: 19-3
NCAA championships: 1 (2021)
Last championship: 2021


A: Rachel Clark
A: Mckenna Davis
A: Kayla Martello
M: Shea Baker
M: Lizzie O’Neill
M: Andrea Reynolds
M: Belle Smith
M: Ryan Smith
M: Cassidy Weeks
D: Becky Browndorf
D: Sydney Scales
G: Shea Dolce


Two lengthy scoring droughts initiated by the Boston College defense and a lights-out performance by Shea Dolce (12 saves) pushed the Eagles past Syracuse for the third time this season, 10-7.

Read the full game story by Kenny DeJohn.


Round 1: Bye
Round 2: 21-16 over Princeton
Quarterfinals: 14-9 over Michigan
Semifinals: 10-7 over Syracuse


7 • NCAA championship game appearances in a row for Boston College, one off the national record held by both Maryland (1994-2001) and Northwestern (2005-12).

8.53 • Goals against average of Shea Dolce.

39, 38 • Ground balls and caused turnovers by one-woman wrecking crew Sydney Scales, who Northwestern absolutely must gameplan for.

52% • Shooting percentage on free position opportunities (52-for-100). An aggressive Northwestern defense should give BC plenty of chances.

178 • Combined points by high-profile offseason additions, junior attackers Rachel Clark and Emma LoPinto.


From Boston College head coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein on Friday, May 24.

“[Last year’s championship game is] so long ago. I think we’ll utilize the experiences over the last few years to harden us and get smart, but no, we’ll do what we always do. We’ll study a lot of the recent film, or maybe all of the film, and we’ll look at what they’re doing differently lately and create our game plan from more of the last month or so.

“We won’t be talking about years past. It’s already in our hearts. It’s already in our heads. We’ll stick to game planning.”