Anyone who says that a broken mirror brings seven years of bad luck obviously doesn’t know McKenzie Meehan.
Meehan, the all-time leading goal scorer at Boston College, suffered a season-ending injury last summer when a hanging mirror fell from a wall in her bedroom, shattering and severing her Achilles tendon.
“Because I’ve never had anyone come back from a torn Achilles before, I didn’t really know what to expect,” head coach Alison Foley said. “But I know a lot about McKenzie Meehan. She’s the most determined athlete I’ve ever coached.”
Sunday afternoon’s ACC matchup against Miami (5-11-0, 2-7-0 ACC) answered any lingering questions about Meehan’s health or misfortune.
After trailing by two goals at two separate times, BC (11-6-1, 5-3-1 ACC) rallied behind Meehan and fellow striker Hayley Dowd to steal its fifth league victory in a 5-4 overtime saga at Newton Campus Field.
The game began according to script, with Dowd connecting early on her 10th goal of the season thanks to a picture-perfect pass from Meehan. The Eagles’ lead would hold for only five minutes, however, before their harsh introduction to Hurricanes forward Gracie Lachowecki.
Give women’s soccer sensation Alex Morgan an in-your-face, orange and green jersey and then send her onto the field with the squad from Kicking and Screaming, and you have Lachowecki in the first half against BC.
Recipient of back-to-back ACC Player of the Week honors, the junior caught fire again on Sunday, torching the back line for three goals in 15 minutes. The hat trick blindsided the Eagles, who suddenly found their offense in dischord and the game clock quickly working against them.
Dowd managed to find the back of the net once again before halftime, however, heading a Shea Newman corner kick past the Hurricanes goalkeeper to cut their lead to 3-2 at the break.
Following the intermission, Lachowecki added her fourth goal of the match in the 59th minute to put Miami ahead 4-2.
“Starting from the keeper and the back line, it was way too lackadaisical,” Foley said. “You have to respect the fact that Lachowecki is scoring goals and she’s as good as our forwards. We didn’t do a good enough job focusing in on her.”
It was then, down two goals in a key conference contest, that Meehan decided to carry the weight of the team on her shoulders.
Starting in the 64th minute, Meehan dribbled through a swarm of opposing defenders before being pushed to the ground outside of the 6-yard box and earning a whistle. The redshirt junior executed the penalty kick flawlessly, booting the shot into the top-left corner for her ACC-leading 14th goal of the season.
With less than five minutes remaining in regulation, BC’s desperate calls for an equalizer were answered when Meehan flicked a header across the box, where freshman midfielder Gaby Carreiro struck a half-volley that ricocheted off the far post and in to tie the game at 4-4.
Just two minutes into overtime, the Eagles completed the comeback when another Newman corner deflected off the head of Dowd to the foot of Meehan, who cleaned up the mess in the box with a screaming game-winner. It was BC’s first lead in over 80 minutes of play.
The goal sent the Eagles bench into a frenzy as players crowded around Dowd and Meehan—some squealing, others moved to tears. For the squad’s seniors, the win marks their last home game at BC and, possibly, their last collegiate win ever.
The unsung hero of Sunday’s rollercoaster ride was captain Coco Woeltz, who refortified the defense after a sloppy first half and made multiple goal-saving efforts down the stretch. On one particular sequence in sudden-death overtime, Woeltz saw goalkeeper Alex Johnson vacating her spot in goal to challenge an oncoming Hurricanes attacker and promptly reacted. The senior rushed back to the open net and deflected an oncoming shot that would have sent the Eagles home heartbroken. Seconds later, Woeltz made a hard tackle inside the box that prevented yet another shot on goal.
“We always like to make it interesting on ourselves and I think, on Senior Day—our last home game—we did nothing but that,” Dowd said.
At the end of the day, Meehan returned home with two goals, two assists, and a big W to complement her already hefty resume. And, if this season is any indication, she has scrapped superstition for scoring and is ready for another year of striking it lucky.
Featured Image by Drew Hoo / Heights Editor