Gaby Carreiro gathered the ball along her offensive end line and turned to face her defender. The freshman didn’t have much help around her from her teammates, so she took matters into her own hands.
Nudging the ball to her right, Carreiro exploded past her opposition with space to operate in a dangerous zone. She pushed the ball ahead, turning to face the net as she entered the 18-yard box. She took one last look at her target, then turned her full attention back to the ammunition at her feet.
Carreiro planted just about 16 yards outside of the net and rocketed a shot off her right foot. Freshman goalkeeper Sydney Wootten stands only at 5-foot-6, and she could have used a few extra inches to stop this shot.
The ball curved just above Wootten’s outstretched right arm but just below the crossbar, fitting perfectly into the back of the net. Carreiro’s beautiful goal was the first of her career, and it could not have come at a better time for the Eagles. BC (8-3-1, 2-0-1 ACC) took advantage of the freshman’s heroics and topped North Carolina State (4-8-0, 0-3) in a weekend matinee, 1-0.
Having tied a much more challenging Duke University squad at home earlier in the week, the Eagles were expected to come away with points against a much weaker NC State team that has already lost eight matches this season. But the Eagles couldn’t muster any continued offense, finishing the game with only four total shots on goal.
BC received a boost in the victory from goaltender Alexis Bryant, who has only allowed one goal her past three games. Bryant had to make five saves to keep the Wolfpack off the board on Sunday, some of them acrobatic game-saving stops.
Earlier in the game, NC State sent a free kick from its own zone straight into the BC box, where Bryant faced off essentially one-on-one with a Wolfpack attacker. Bryant snuffed the scoring attempt with a sprawling save off her right arm, then ended the Wolfpack’s chances for a rebound goal by quickly covering up the ball.
With a conference record of 2-0-1, the Eagles are now only one of four teams in the ACC to remain undefeated. BC has only lost to NC State once in their all-time series, with the Eagles beating the Wolfpack in 12 out 13 matches. Regardless of its track record, though, BC head coach Alison Foley knew that NC State would be a difficult team to beat.
“I thought NC State was very organized and tough to breakdown,” Foley said in an interview with BCEagles.com after the game. “I thought we had the ball the majority of the time but we struggled to generate dangerous opportunities.”
The Eagles’ next two games are against the top two teams in the ACC: the University of North Carolina and Pittsburgh University. With two extremely challenging road games on deck, it was essential that BC pick up some points when it can. Foley was proud that her team did just that.
“It’s three points on the road in the ACC and we’ll take it,” she said.
Featured Image by Drew Hoo / Heights Editor