WOMEN'S SOCCER: Eagles Continue Strong Play At NC State
Published: Sunday, September 29, 2013
Updated: Sunday, September 29, 2013 22:09
Following a thrilling 1-0 victory against No. 9 Wake Forest, the Boston College women’s soccer team hit the road to take on the North Carolina State Wolfpack on Sunday. Each team desperately needed a win to remain in the hunt in the competitive ACC, in which there are five teams in the top 25. Thanks to two quick goals in the first half and a late go-ahead score, the Eagles were able to weather the storm and hold on for the win in Raleigh by a score of 3-2.
The match got off to a fast start with the Eagles handily controlling the pace. Just three minutes into the game, sophomore forward Stephanie McCaffrey found the back of the net to give the Eagles an early 1-0 lead. The Eagles wouldn’t let off the accelerator, though, as 11 minutes later the ball bounced right to fellow sophomore McKenzie Meehan in the box and she easily tapped the ball past Wolfpack goalkeeper Karly Gustafson to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead. Midfielder Coco Woeltz assisted on the goal.
As the first half continued on, momentum slowly started to shift in favor of the Wolfpack. Looking to extend the lead to three, BC had a prime opportunity when the team was awarded a free kick about six yards outside of the box. Junior defender Casey Morrison lined up to take the kick and just barely missed, striking the ball off the left post.
A scary moment occurred in the 39th minute, as NC State defender Meagan Proper sent a ball into the box intended for forward Jackie Stengel. BC goalkeeper Alex Johnson, BC defender Zoe Lombard, and Stengel converged on each other and collided, leaving Lombard injured from the play. She left the field immediately after the injury, but would return to the match at the start of the second half.
With just three minutes remaining in the half, NC State defender Shelli Spamer launched a free kick from midfield that found forward Caroline Gentry, who headed the ball over the outstretched arms of Johnson for a goal. The score cut the BC lead in half, and it would remain that way as the clock ran out on the first half.
Based on the stat line, one would have thought that BC dominated the half, leading in the overall shot count 12-3. The game was much more balanced than statistics would show, however, as the Wolfpack had slowly chipped away at the Eagles as time wore on.
At the start of the second half, NC State came out with a greater amount of pressure, looking to use its momentum from the first half to even up the score. The Eagles held them off the board for the first 10 minutes of the half, tiring their opponents with strong defense. Just as their energy seemed to be running out, NC State forward Brittany Stanko gained possession of the ball in BC’s half and launched a shot that grazed off of Johnson for the game-tying goal in the 56th minute.
The Eagles wouldn’t wait long to respond, though, as Gibby Wagner sent a cross from the right corner near the goal line that was headed into the net by Meehan for her second goal of the game and her ninth of the season. That goal would prove to be enough, and despite a frenzied attack in the final minutes from the Wolfpack, BC was able to hold on for an all-important road victory within the conference.
The win brings the Eagles to 6-5-0 overall and 3-2-0 in conference play, keeping the top tier of teams in the ACC within reach. BC hopes to carry momentum from the win into its next match when the Eagles travel to Tallahassee to take on the No. 3 Florida State Seminoles on Thursday.