WOMEN'S SOCCER: BC Dominates ACC-Rival Clemson Behind Whole Team Effort
Published: Monday, September 17, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
The No. 5 Boston College women’s soccer team found its wings on Thursday night, taking an overmatched Clemson squad to task in a 5-1 beat down. With a true team effort on display, goals came from veterans and rookies alike with senior Maddie Payne and junior Zoe Lombard finding the net, and freshman McKenzie Meehan continuing her fantastic season with another goal. While she has yet to find the goal herself, the speedy winger Victoria DiMartino contributed two assists, and the unstoppable Kristie Mewis added to her tally by grabbing two goals and an assist.
It was utter domination from start to finish for BC. Clearly fired up and ready to tame the Tigers, the Eagles emerged playing fluid, aesthetic soccer, moving the ball with sublime passes, cheeky through balls, and lightning-quick runs down the wings.
Although they were in over their heads, the Tigers weren’t completely without bite, and they attempted to throw BC off its rhythm by relentlessly fouling the Eagles in the midfield, and looked to capitalize on counter attacks.
Coming off of a rough game against UCF, BC’s defense looked vastly improved against Clemson. The defense neutralized nearly all of the attacks that the Tigers managed to scrape together, causing a frustrated Clemson to throw more forwards up top. This proved fatal for the Tigers.
The first goal came in the 23rd minute off of center back Casey Morrison’s superbly lofted free kick. Landing just outside of Clemson goalie Hunter Rittgers’ jurisdiction, Mewis battled through a scrum of players and was at the right place at the right time when the ball was deflected toward her. Just like that, it was 1-0 BC.
When Payne found the other end of DiMartino’s cross seven minutes later and increased the Eagles’ lead to 2-0, it became very clear that anyone wearing orange was about to have a very bad night.
Thanks to the heroics of Rittgers and an unfriendly post and crossbar, Clemson escaped down by a mere two goals at halftime. Unfortunately for the Tigers, BC had other ideas for the second half. Over the next 45 minutes, the Eagles were utterly dominant, and put on a performance that produced impressive game stats. BC took a high number of shots, outshooting Clemson 26-3. Equally lopsided, BC took 12 corners, while Clemson only mustered three.
Mewis’ second goal of the night came off a penalty kick in the 54th minute. Calmly finding the bottom left corner of the net on a penalty kick, Mewis slotted the ball home and sent the keeper in the wrong direction. With the lead secure, Mewis was subbed out for freshman Jana Jeffrey, who stepped into the attacking midfield role for the rest of the night. Jeffrey played excellently, instantly adapting to the tempo of the game and linking the midfield and offense together.
”She’s an enforcer,” said head coach Alison Foley of Jeffrey. “She’s a great player both ways. With the ball she’s dangerous. She can pass, she can shoot, she’s a great defender, and athletic.”
Unwilling to settle for three goals, the Eagles continued to pour it on and in the 57th minute, junior Zoe Lombard leapt in the air—crashing through a pile of defenders—and managed to get her head on a bouncing rebound for the fourth goal of the night. Hurt on the play, Lombard was forced to exit the game with a minor back injury.
In the 74th minute, Clemson’s goalkeeper fumbled Rachel Davitt’s long ball over the top, and McKenzie Meehan was there to clean up the mess for her fifth goal of the season.
Less than a minute later, BC gave up a sloppy foul in the box and Clemson scored on the ensuing penalty kick, making the final score 5-1.
Now 1-0 in conference play, the Eagles seem to have found their rhythm and look ready to go on a tear. The joyful ease at which BC dissected a solid Clemson squad hints at the extent of its potential, which has yet to be reached. Young talent has mixed with senior experience to produce excellent dividends so far this season, and as BC prepares for a challenging road trip, look for the Eagles to continue to light up the scoreboard.