WOMEN'S SOCCER: Maryland Pulls Off Overtime Thriller Over Eagles
Published: Monday, October 15, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
Oftentimes in sports, the little things can make a big difference. A slip, a missed assignment, or maybe even just a little bit of luck can go a long way toward determining a winner and loser. For the women’s soccer team, it seems that every one of these breaks has been going against them lately.
Last Thursday on Newton campus, head coach Alison Foley’s squad dropped a heartbreaker of a match to ACC rival Maryland (11-3-2, 6-1-1 ACC) by a score of 3-2. The Eagles (8-5-2, 2-4-0 ACC) were defeated merely one minute and 10 seconds into the first overtime period, as junior Maryland forward Hayley Brock slotted home the game winner.
“I thought we played some great soccer, especially in the first half,” Foley said of the game. “Sometimes the game of soccer is all about a little bit of luck and a few inches this way or that way. I thought we had some great opportunities in the first half. They had three shots and three goals, so obviously that’s something we need to work on. They had a little bit of luck on their side and we didn’t.”
Boston College jumped out to an early lead 11 minutes into the match, when sophomore defender Casey Morrison scored her first goal of the season off a corner kick. The set piece was played into the box by captain Kristie Mewis, and after bouncing around the penalty area it fell to the feet of Morrison, who rocketed it into the net.
Maryland’s response was swift and against the run of play. The Eagles were the owners of the lion’s share of the possession, but 25 minutes into the first half, Terrapin freshman Shannon Collins made a winding run in the box. The run ended 25 yards from goal, where the defender lofted a ball over the head of Eagles goalie Alexa Gaul to knot the game up at one apiece.
A bit of luck would indeed go Maryland’s way with just over six minutes remaining in the first half.
Eagle defender Zoe Lombard had a clearance teed up on the edge of the 18-yard box, but slipped just as she went to play the ball. The slip took Lombard out of the play and allowed Maryland’s Gabby Galanti the opportunity to go 1-on-1 with Gaul.
Galanti finished well into the far side of the net to put BC behind in a game that they were dominating.
Foley echoed this sentiment as she remarked, “I don’t think we gave up much defensively. I think we really contained their two forwards, up until that last situation over there. We stuck to our game plan and didn’t let them have any time in the midfield or much possession.”
The Eagles would be the recipients of some good fortune about halfway through the second half, as Maryland would be called for a handball in the box. Mewis stepped up to the spot for BC and coolly put away the penalty kick, as she sent the goalkeeper in the wrong direction.
The rest of the regulation period was almost all BC, as Mewis and her fellow captain Gibby Wagner saw a few shots glance just wide of the post.
Brock’s winning tally, her fourth game-winning goal of the season, came on the end of a breakaway as Gaul could not keep the ball out of the net. The goal was Maryland’s third on only three shots for the game.
The loss is BC’s fourth in a row, and fifth overall in the past six games. After a hot start, it appears that Foley’s squad may drop out of the top 25 in the nation for the first time all year.
After the game, Foley was very upbeat, despite her team’s troubles of late.
“We’ve got to keep believing and keep on battling,” she said. “I don’t think it is any tactical stuff. I think we’re doing a lot of things really well. There is no big change that has to happen. We have to pull the trigger a little sooner without question, and get a little bit of luck on our side.”
The Eagles face four crucial ACC matches (three at home) to close out the regular season, and will need as much good fortune as they can get to ensure a deep postseason run. For a team as seasoned as Foley’s, a break here and there can be the difference between missing the NCAA tournament and making a deep national championship run.