After 66 minutes of hard play, Boston College women’s soccer finally earned a reprieve. Hayley Dowd, after receiving an excellent pass from Gaby Carreiro, scored from inside Northeastern University’s goalie box and dove to the ground in celebration. But Dowd’s dive paled in comparison to several other dives made during the game by her goalkeeper. Senior Alex Johnson threw her body to the ground several times to protect BC’s goal, pouncing on the ball at one point so quickly that one of Northeastern’s forwards had to jump over her. Johnson’s shutout allowed Dowd’s goal to seal the 1-0 victory for the Eagles against the Northeastern Huskies.
Northeastern proved a worthy opponent in the beginning of the match, taking its first shot within the first minute. BC responded well, taking four shots in the next first 15 minutes. BC and Northeastern ended the half with 10 and three shots, respectively.
Junior McKenzie Meehan led BC with six shots during the game, taking the shot count to 15-11 by the end of the game. Despite playing in the lesser Colonial Athletic Association, BC head coach Alison Foley thought Northeastern was great practice for subsequent ACC games. “We talked about the Boston rivalries for all the sports at BC, when they come over to BC, it’s always a huge match,” she said.
Foley highlighted NU’s Kayla Cappuzzo for her speed and ability to make plays, and praised her Eagles for keeping her at bay.
Foley attributed Johnson’s shutout to her ability to cut off shots before they become a threat. “A lot of work AJ did wasn’t necessarily saves, but was positioning work, and she made her job a lot easier,” Foley said. Johnson never faltered when a ball came flying toward her, and every dive, grab, and punt allowed the midfielders and forwards to continue their quest for a goal. The Huskies, which have the same number of goals as the Eagles this season (17), did not have the follow through in the box on corner kicks that would have made a goal possible.
Johnson owed her performance to her defense, who prevented Cappuzzo from taking any threatening shots. Meghan MacDonald, Allyson Swaby, and Madison Meehan held down the fort in the back, powerfully kicking the ball into Northeastern’s half and enabling solid offensive plays. “This is probably the best we’ve looked in the five years I’ve been here,” Johnson said. The entire team worked hard to keep possession of the ball, and both teams fought aggressively throughout the game, resulting in multiple fouls for both teams and a yellow card for Allyson Swaby.
Dowd’s goal in the 66th minute was her fifth already this season, and Johnson picked up her third shutout. With a record of 6-2-0, the Eagles are feeling confident about their first ACC game of the season in two weeks against Louisville, but still anticipate a well-balanced match against Providence this Sunday. “We try not to skip ahead too far, but I think we’re coming together really nicely,” Foley said. “We know we’re dangerous.”
Featured Image by Drew Hoo / Heights Editor