“Who is going to score the first goal of the game for the Eagles today?” If anyone asked that question to the fans at the Newton Soccer Field on Friday afternoon, many would’ve probably guessed one of Boston College’s two stars: McKenzie Meehan, who is among the top three goal scorers in the nation, or Hayley Dowd. The real answer, however, came from the unlikely foot of sophomore defender Allyson Swaby, for her first goal of the season and second of her young career. Swaby’s effort gave the Eagles momentum that would carry throughout the game.
As students wound down their first week of classes, the Eagles (5-1) hosted Columbia University (1-2), quickly dispatching them by a score of 2-0.
Once the national anthem ended, the Eagles showed that they were ready for the Lions. BC took control of the game early, generating changes in the first ten minutes, taking constant shots and charges at the net. The Lions withstood crosses into the box and shots on net, keeping the game even at no score.
Columbia’s ability to keep BC off the board was tested once again in the 23rd minute as Meehan charged towards the net, firing a shot towards the bottom right corner which was deflected by Columbia goalie Allison Spencer and settled safely just beyond the post for Columbia. Despite Spencer’s stellar save, the energy from the crowd each time the ball was in the box or near the net added to the anticipation of a coming goal That intensity reached its peak as the Eagles readied a corner kick. The ball was passed off the corner innocently by junior midfielder Meghan MacDonald, before it was returned to her. Once she had it back on her foot, she launched a shot into the box and Swaby seized her opportunity.
Crossed in by MacDonald, the ball bounced around the box right onto Swaby’s right foot as she launched the ball into the upper right corner of the net and put the Eagles on top. After the game, Swaby said of her goal: “I was excited to score my first goal of the season but at the same time I knew we still had a lot of game to play so I tried to refocus as quickly as possible.” From that point, the Eagles never looked back. In the 30th minute, Dowd was given a yellow card for a scuffle that occurred after the whistle in the box, proving the intensity present from the Eagles for the entire game. One of the best chances for Columbia came as the first half neared its conclusion on a deep cross received by Columbia’s Amaris Hemmings but Swaby quickly closed the space available to Hemmings and warded off the chance.
The second half picked up exactly where the first left off. The Eagles attacked the net, getting chance after chance, while keeping the Lions at bay. This had a lot to do with the efforts of redshirt senior goalkeeper Alexandra Johnson, who made five saves and earned her second shutout of the year. Dowd and Meehan had good chances—albeit near misses—in the 57th and 67th minutes, respectively, but it showed the Eagles’ determination to continually attack the net and their inability to be content with just a one-goal lead.
Those efforts were rewarded in the 77th minute as MacDonald was at it again. She dribbled into the box, quickly making her way past one Columbia defender and then getting knocked down, giving BC a penalty kick opportunity. Calm and cool, Meehan stepped up to take the kick and put it in the left side of the net, cementing BC’s lead and assuring the win. From that point on, the Eagles controlled the ball and continued to ward off any Columbia attacks.
In their sixth game of the season, Alison Foley’s Eagles showed why they are receiving votes to be a part of the nation’s top 25 and continue to gain momentum as they roll closer to beginning their ACC schedule.
Featured Image by Graham Beck / Heights Senior Staff