WOMEN'S SOCCER: A Step Above The Rest
Now At The Top Of The All-Time Points List, Mewis Leading BC
Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
It’s halftime. The No. 4 Boston College women’s soccer team is trouncing its Boston rivals, Harvard, 5-1. Senior captain Kristie Mewis returns to the sidelines, safe in the knowledge that her team is well on its way to another vital win on the march toward the ultimate goal: an NCAA championship.
But there would be no rest for the star midfielder in the second half, as head coach Alison Foley would inform her that there was one more affair to tend to against the Crimson. Unbeknownst to her, Mewis’s two first half-goals had elevated her to 94 points for her BC career, tying her with Sarah Rahko (’03) atop the Eagles all-time record list.
“I honestly had no idea that I was close to [the record],” Mewis said. “Coach hinted to me at halftime [of the Harvard game] after I scored my second goal. She told me that I was at the record right now, and that she wanted me to go out there and get the hat trick to break the record. I was kind of scared, because sometimes people tie a record and have a hard time beating it. I was saying to myself, ‘What if I never score again for the rest of the season?’”
Those fears would be put permanently to rest only two official minutes after Foley’s words of encouragement, as Mewis notched the record-breaking goal off a beautiful feed from sophomore Stephanie McCaffrey for her 96th career point.
But the one thing that is abundantly clear when speaking to the top scorer in program history is that she has two feet firmly on the ground. It is obvious that Mewis’ immediate focus is not on recognition, but rather on the Eagles’ two ACC opponents for the coming weekend, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech.
“These are two huge games this weekend,” Mewis said. “They’re great competition, but then again, every team in the ACC is great competition. I think it’s really important for us to come home with two wins this weekend, just so that we know that we can compete in the ACC.”
The Eagles (7-0-2, 1-0-0 ACC) will travel down south to take on No. 14 Wake Forest (7-2-1, 1-1-0 ACC) on Thursday evening, before heading to Blacksburg, Va., to face No. 8 Virginia Tech (9-0-0, 1-0-0 ACC) on Sunday.
These two opponents are understandably hard to overlook. The Demon Deacons will present BC’s first stiff challenge in conference play. Perhaps most impressive is the fact that Wake has been able to compile this record without its best player, Katie Stengel.
Stengel has missed all but two games this season due to being a part of the under-20 United States national team’s World Cup campaign, in which they emerged victorious. Stengel will be back to face the Eagles, and Foley has BC ready to face her.
“Wake is a good, methodical team,” Foley said. “They’re good with or without the ball, but without question, Stengel is the go-to player and has always scored their big-time goals. The key to stopping Wake is bottling up Stengel, for sure.”
Virginia Tech will present a whole different challenge for Foley’s squad, as the Hokies have allowed only two goals all year (in a 3-2 win to Nebraska). The four shutouts each posted by Tech goalkeepers Caroline Kelly and Dayle Colpitts speak not only to great goalkeeping, but also an exceptional defense.
The six goals posted by junior Shannon Mayrose demonstrate potency on offense that the Eagles must contain if they are to emerge with a win. But Foley believes her young backline will be ready for the challenge of Stengel and whatever Virginia Tech may throw at them.
“We have a young defense but Zoe [Lombard] and Casey [Morrison] have both played against Stengel,” Foley said. “They’ve kept her at bay and done a good job on her in the past. We’re young, but our biggest step forward game-by-game is in our battle-tested back line. We’ve seen top forwards, and I think that [our defense] gets better and better with each game and each lesson.”
However focused Foley, Mewis, and the rest of the Eagles may be on their upcoming ACC schedule, the attention around the Heights is still squarely centered on Mewis’s achievement.
Rahko’s record, which stood for 10 years (she broke the previous record in 2002), was bested by Mewis’ seventh, eighth, and ninth goals of the season. Nine games in, the captain is perfectly on par with the standard set by herself and Foley, as she has averaged a goal per game (to go along with six assists).
The three-goal game was also Mewis’s first career hat trick in an Eagle uniform, and it extended her consecutive points streak to nine games. Speaking of records, that streak is second in program history, only behind the streak that Mewis compiled as a sophomore with 11 games in a row on the scoresheet.
“Kristen is without question one of the most talented girls in her age group, if not the most talented,” Foley raved about her captain. “She’s so technical. She has the ability to beat people off the dribble, serve balls into the area, and she’s got a deadly shot. The psychology part of her game has advanced, so she’s reading [each] game a lot better. She’s always been talented and now has matured psychologically and physically to the point where the sky really is the limit for her.”
Anyone who has been out to the Newton Sports Complex in the past four years has witnessed all of these various attributes firsthand, and now the preseason All-American finally has the attention of those who have not. The Massachusetts native noted the amount of congratulatory text messages, emails, and even high fives that she has been receiving around campus, but also seemed a bit surprised at the deluge of support.