WOMEN'S SOCCER: Hokies Force BC Into Another ACC Loss
Published: Monday, September 23, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 23, 2013 01:09
“Each time a ranked team comes in, it’s an opportunity to try to beat a ranked team … There’s only one way to get yourself outside of this, which is to beat the next ranked team,” said Boston College women’s soccer head coach Alison Foley.
After Sunday afternoon’s 1-0 loss to No. 23 Virginia Tech, the Eagles fell to 1-3 in the ACC and 4-5 overall. It was the Eagle’s second one-score loss this weekend. Thursday’s contest against No. 1 UVA ended in a 2-1 loss.
Eight teams in the ACC are currently ranked in the AP top-25. This is Foley’s 17th team at Chestnut Hill and the importance of winning in the ACC is all the more apparent.
Especially against the speedy Virginia Tech, which challenged the defense of BC.
“We were a bit far away from goal. Our back line was sitting back too far,” Foley said. “Sometimes that happens when you’re concerned about that type of speed. So sitting our back line further back kept our forwards further away from the goal.”
The speed of the Hokie frontline, especially Jazmine Reeves, was on full display. It forced the Eagle defenders to play hesitantly and the forwards to remain back, away from the net. With extra room to work, Virginia Tech controlled the ball in BC’s end for most of the game.
While BC actually outshot the Hokies 10 to eight, the quality of BC’s chances was lacking.
The majority of shots were taken from outside of the box, allowing for easy saves by Virginia Tech keeper Dayle Colpitts.
The Hokie game plan revolved around always finding the open space on the pitch, looking to send the dangerous Reeves on a run.
The speed of Virginia Tech took over two minutes into the game. Junior Lauren Benard had been beat by Hokie junior midfielder Katie Yensen. Benard tripped Jensen in the box out of desperation. A penalty was immediately called. The Hokies capitalized on the PK, as Yensen scored with ease.
“It was early enough that we all knew we had enough time,” Foley said. “I don’t think it was anything that we reacted to with devastation because it happened so early. I don’t really think it had an effect in terms of the emotion of the game.”
Virginia Tech’s forwards continued to out sprint an emotionally and physically run down BC squad.
The score was almost 2-0. Reeves had an open net after avoiding the goalie on a breakaway. But the third leading scorer in the ACC missed wide right.
Foley believed the miss kept her team alive.
“There was a brief six or seven minutes, after that when we were like ‘Okay, lets go,’” she said.
The brief momentum change was not enough. The Eagles were never able to respond.
“I think because Virginia took so much out of them, you know No. 1 team in the country come in here on Thursday and they ran a lot ... they put in a lot of mileage on Thursday in a really disappointing tight loss and I don’t think we really ever got ourselves as dangerous running forward, like we did on Thursday night.”
BC’s lack of chances and possession time forced hasty play when a chance presented itself. If the Eagles had a chance to score in the opponents half they attempted to force the ball down the field rapidly. Their high pace of play and vertical passing caused turnovers and poor offensive buildups.
Foley’s halftime adjustments did little to change the rhythm of the game.
“I thought we were fine,” she said. “I said ‘Let’s try to target their left side.’ I thought their left side was a little weaker so we pulled Steph McCaffrey out wide try to get her some more balls … We tried to improve our possession a little bit and change the point of attack a bit.”