WOMEN'S SOCCER: BC Upsets No. 1 Seminoles
Published: Sunday, October 21, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
In a marquee matchup under the Thursday night lights, No. 24 Boston College hosted and upset No. 1 Florida State, ending the run of Division I women’s soccer’s last undefeated team. A perfect 14-0 before meeting the Eagles, the Seminoles fell 3-2 to BC—a result of brilliantly executed clinical soccer, unflinching team effort, and goals from midfielder Kate McCarthy, striker Stephanie McCaffrey, and captain Kristie Mewis.
By dropping three fantastic goals on the Seminoles, BC scored the same number of goals FSU had allowed all season prior to Thursday, and sent a clear message that the Eagles are back in action.
“I think that this was well-deserved,” said head coach Alison Foley. “I think our kids needed it. I think they’ve been battling, and they’ve never given up.”
After dropping four of its last five games, a loss of form that correlated with BC’s nosedive in the NCAA rankings, Foley elaborated on the meaning of her team’s victory.
“It’s not like us to lose, you know, as many games as we have this year,” she said. “But we were determined not to put our heads down, and keep moving forward and keep battling.”
After two weeks of the aforementioned struggles, BC could not have picked a better time to return to top form because from start to finish, this game was a battle. From minute one, the Eagles and the Seminoles traded blows back and forth and created an exhilarating atmosphere that was amplified by the large crowd gathered for the spectacle.
BC had a few excellent chances early on, and McCaffrey was unlucky not to score in the 16th minute, when her curling shot was tipped aside by the fingertips of FSU’s fully-extended keeper, Kelsey Wys.
Ultimately, it was Florida State who scored first, capitalizing on a corner in the 36th minute. Despite going a goal down to the No. 1 team in the nation, BC showed no signs of discouragement. Rather, it instantly appeared more determined than ever. Four minutes later, senior Victoria DiMartino’s low cross found McCaffrey in the box. With pressure on her, McCaffrey laid the ball back to McCarthy, who launched a laser strike into the bottom left corner of the net, shattering FSU’s 934-minute streak of shutout soccer. With that defiant goal, BC entered half-time level with the Seminoles.
The second half brought near misses and heart-pounding scares for both teams, and in the 67th minute, it delivered the go-ahead goal for BC. Tearing down the field, Mewis became entangled with two defenders at the Florida State 18-yard line, yet managed to hold the ball long enough to find DiMartino for support. Darting to the left corner of the box, DiMartino skillfully found an inch of space and fired a deadly ball across the box. With her uncanny ability to find the right place at the right time, McCaffrey connected with DiMartino’s ball, putting the Eagles up by one. All of a sudden, the once impenetrable Seminole defense appeared all too human.
A less experienced team would have retreated at a time like this, and would’ve instead tried to weather the offensive storm. Not BC. Maintaining high pressure, BC continued to play its game, and in the 79th minute Mewis once again did what she’s already done 12 times this season. Sprinting down the middle of the field and shaking off defenders, the captain cut left, found space, and rocketed a shot just underneath the crossbar, giving BC a two-goal lead.
As it turned out, BC would need this cushion. A miscommunication in the 82nd minute resulted in an intercepted back-pass and a goal for FSU, all part of a nervy final eight minutes. Despite the error, the Eagles were able to silence their nerves and hang on. With the exception of that mental trip-up, the BC defense closed out the game in the same manner it had played all day—composed and efficient.
Beating FSU was a much-needed and deserved win for BC, and the first time the Eagles have ever beaten the Seminoles. More importantly, this game was a definitive statement by BC—proof that it is the real deal. From the very beginning, Foley and her team have known just how good they are, and thanks to this win, so will the rest of the country.
“Internally, we’ve thought we’ve been playing really well,” Foley said. “We just kept on saying, ‘Hey, a little bit of luck and results will come our way.’”
After Thursday night’s result, it looks like Lady Luck is back in Newton.