WOMEN'S SOCCER: Meehan Goal, BC Defense Fuel Upset Victory Over Ohio State
Published: Monday, September 9, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 9, 2013 03:09
The Eagles squared off against the undefeated Buckeyes at home on Thursday night. Both teams’ previous games went into overtime, with BC beating Hofstra on the road 6-5 and Ohio State ending in a tie against Arizona after two extra periods.
BC started off the game in very aggressive fashion, controlling most of the possessions in Ohio State’s zone for the first five minutes of the game. Once Ohio State got the ball rolling, though, it was on.
They made their size and physical presence known early on in the first half and started creating problems for BC goalkeeper Alexandra Johnson, who was making her Eagle debut in beneath the crossbar.
Eagle head coach Alison Foley called the match “a game of inches” and in the first half, it seemed as though inches helped her team stay in the game.
Shortly after a 21st minute header by Ohio State forward Marisa Wolf rang off the crossbar, Ohio State almost took the lead. Forward Michelle Prince found the back of the net, seemingly giving the Buckeyes a 1-0 edge, but the sideline official raised the off-sides flag.
Just minutes later, in the 27th minute, it appeared as though Ohio State was going to take the lead as a forward’s strike bounced off of the sprawling goalkeeper Johnson, rolling toward the BC net. Eagle defender Coco Woeltz rushed to the ball just in time to save the goal and clear the ball out of danger. Woeltz made another great defensive play with 12 minutes to go in the first half, stopping a potential Ohio State rush just outside of the 18-yard box.
With less than 10 minutes to play in the first half, momentum shifted from defense to offense for the home team. BC freshman forward Hayley Dowd made a couple of nifty plays, giving the Eagles some great scoring chances.
With a fancy turn volley and then a strike that went just wide, Dowd gave life to the team and the home crowd. As the half ended with the score still tied 0-0, BC had the edge in total shots but Ohio State clearly had the better scoring chances.
The second half kick-off started off quick-paced, physical, and tense like the first half.
BC started creating a lot more scoring chances early on in the half with set pieces and superb foot skills by junior forward Stephanie McCaffrey. The junior brought the Newton Field crowd to their feet at one point as she dazzled an Ohio State defender, putting the ball through her legs.
After the game, Foley praised McCaffrey for giving Ohio State’s defense “so many problems” as she “made them work” and used her speed and creativity to “get into seams.” Foley called the performance “incredible.”
Ohio State started creating scoring chances of its own using its height in set pieces, putting headers just wide and making BC’s defensive backline work, which Foley said played well. BC countered all of Ohio State’s second half chances, not allowing the ball to stay in their half of the field for too long.
BC worked the ball up to their midfielders and forwards who began giving Ohio State’s second half goalkeeper, Jillian McVicker, trouble as they forced her to make a couple of spectacular saves to keep the match tied at zero.
In the 80th minute, BC’s Jana Jeffrey put an excellent ball in the box on a corner kick that found the back of the net near the far post off the head of McKenzie Meehan. The crowd at Newton Field erupted as BC took a 1-0 lead over Ohio State.
The Buckeyes had three potential chances in the last 10 minutes of the game, but capitalized on none of them as the BC defense stayed strong helping their goalkeeper Johnson earn her first shutout as an Eagle.
Meehan, who was awarded with the honor “Eagle of the Week” for her hat-trick performance against Hofstra this past Sunday, ended up as the game winning goal scorer for BC.
Foley called the performance a “great game of perseverance.”