Charlotte North: She Came, Conquered, and Leaves Forever a Legend
Charlotte North is arguably the best player to ever play women’s lacrosse. Announcers say it all the time, it was mentioned at least twice during the 2022 national championship game. “Charlotte North is a special player” “Charlotte North is one of a kind” and “Charlotte North has inspired a generation” All of these could not be more true, Charlotte North came in and left her stamp on college lacrosse forever. There will never be another player like North. But how did this happen and what sets her apart?
Firstly, it’s her style of play. Charlotte North is one of those players that when you’re watching her, you are completely mesmerized. A lot of people call it “must watch TV" and that’s an accurate statement. North’s ability to score goals is next to none. She scored 92 goals during her final season of college lacrosse with the Boston College Eagles. The Eagles made yet another run to the National Championship before falling to undefeated rival, the University of North Carolina. North was a huge part of this run and made some history along the way.
In Boston College’s second-round game against Denver, North scored her 342nd goal of her career, setting a new NCAA career record for goals scored. North’s technical ability with the stick allows her to find paths past defenders and open up space that may not be found with a player that isn’t quite as technically skilled and mentally aware. In North’s play, you can see how she pauses to evaluate the situation present instead of jumping in and then finding her way. North also has a lethal shot where when she is open and able to shoot, she’s scoring 99 percent of the time. The pure power she is able to put behind shots that look so difficult to the eye is astonishing.
North also excels at taking 8-meter free shots. An 8-meter shot is taken when a penalty occurs. The player fouled is placed on a hash mark closest to the spot of the foul. Watching Charlotte North taking an 8 meter is an unbelievable experience. She has a routine and way of doing it that is different from anyone else. When in the 8-meter position, you can opt to shoot on goal before the defense closes you down or you can pass it off. She winds up like a baseball pitcher and then takes two steps forward and rockets a shot, leaving the defense no time or chance to get in front of her. It has been an amazing experience to watch her play at the collegiate level, and she’s not done.
She was recently drafted first overall in the Athlete Unlimited Lacrosse League and will also be representing Team USA at the Women’s World Championship in Maryland this summer. You can watch North and the rest of Team USA on ESPN and all ESPN networks.
Secondly, the accomplishments. Last season Charlotte North won everything there was to win. From the National Championship to the Tewaaraton Award. And it wasn’t just awards, North broke record upon record. Scoring 102 goals on the season, North set the NCAA record for goals scored in a single season.
To bring her to 102, North had to score six goals in the National Championship against Syracuse which didn’t break a record but did tie one for goals scored in a national championship game. With two eight-goal games in the second round and quarterfinal, North scored 31 goals in the 2021 NCAA tournament, shattering the record shared by Northwestern duo, Katrina Dowd (2009) and Serena Lasota (2018) of 22 goals. Along with her 102 goals, North had 12 assists, giving herself 114 points to end the season and ranking her point total as the fifth-highest in Boston College history. North also recorded 174 draw controls, second-most in a single season at BC. For her achievements on the field, North was awarded the Tewaaraton Award, an award given to the Best Player in Women’s College Lacrosse in any given season. The finalists included Jamie Ortega of UNC, Lizzie Colson of Uni. of Maryland, Taylor Moreno of UNC, and Izzy Scane of Northwestern, as well as North. All these players had fantastic seasons but there was no denying that 2021 was Charlotte North’s year. North raked up the Mary Garber ACC Female Athlete of Year, IWLCA Player of the Year, Honda Sport Award Winner, NCAA Woman of the Year nominee, Unanimous first-team All-American, All-ACC first team, ILWomen Player of the Year, NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player, NCAA All-Tournament, and more! North dominated 2021 and continued to dominate in 2022.
In 2022, with 92 goals, 115 points, and 139 draw controls, North won the Tewaaraton Award again, becoming the first player to go back-to-back since Taylor Cummings of Maryland who won three in a row from 2014 to 2016. North was also awarded the IWLCA Player of the Year as well as the Attacker of the Year. This season, North ranked third in the country in goals and fifth in total points. Although North’s numbers were not as high as last season, there is no denying she still dominated the collegiate lacrosse world this season again.
Thirdly, selflessness. She doesn’t just score. North has 23 assists to her name this year, bumping up her total from last year by eleven. She shows her selflessness in her play, as well as North, and finds ways to pull apart the defense, giving her teammates an easy look on net.
Whether it be distracting the defense or giving her teammates a point-perfect pass to their stick, North is one of those players that makes sure it isn’t a one-woman show, on the field and off of it. In countless interviews, North has credited her team and teammates as one of the reasons for her success saying in one with The Baltimore Sun, “They make my job extremely easy — from the draw all the way to the offensive end… Every matchup we have and every time I get to put on the jersey, everything is a little bit extra special, and I’m just lucky that I have the chance to play with them.” For a player like North, she could easily take all the spotlight but she chooses to continue to credit her teammates. Jenn Medjid and Cassidy Weeks both talked with Boston.com about North and had nothing but high praise. Medjid commented saying, “She’s so humble and so kind and is looking out for everyone else before herself… She could be a jerk with how good she is. She’s the best player ever… Even though she’s the best, and all eyes are on her, she’s playing for us,” while Weeks said “North is always the first one to speak up to get the team out of a rut” and “She often gets more fired up for theirs than her own.”
Finally, inspiring a new set of lacrosse players. North initially went viral with a clip of a trick shot, just two months before Covid shut down the entire world in January 2020.
And then a year later, she broke out onto the scene with her performances for Boston College. At the 2022 National Championship, young girls and boys lined the stands chanting for North.
Not only has North become many young lacrosse players' idols, but she has also helped advance the game in terms of coverage. Just a few years ago, it was extremely hard to find a women’s lacrosse game on television anywhere. Now, just one week ago, the national championship was aired on ESPN for the first time, while the rest of the tournament was broadcasted throughout the other ESPN networks. North is one of the many reasons lacrosse, especially women’s collegiate lacrosse, reach a new level in the media and in broadcasting. When you have a player as popular as North, you have to take advantage of that because it entices people to tune in even if they don’t completely know what’s happening.
Aside from broadcasting, North has inspired Halloween costumes and young girls to try their luck at their own trick shots like the one they saw back in 2020.