Meehan, Berman Power Eagles Past Crosstown Rival Harvard

On a perfect Wednesday evening, Boston College women’s soccer continued to do what the team had done all season: win. The No. 13 Eagles (6-0-1) kept their foot on the throttle from the word go, and used their superior ball skills and speed to take advantage of cross-river rival Harvard. Despite a slow start for both teams, the Eagle offense came alive to bury the Crimson (2-3-0) by a score of 3-0.

Miscues plagued both teams in the opening phase of the game, as neither team could find a rhythm. BC settled in first through its upbeat offensive pressure. Harvard had a difficult time holding onto the ball when it recovered possession, something that the Eagles exploited all game. Coupled with some great footwork, BC was able to create chances for its offense. Redshirt junior Lauren Berman exemplified this, as an early steal in the Harvard defensive zone led to the first real chance for the Eagles, despite a high missed shot.

BC managed its offense well in the Crimson zone, earning corner attempts and shots. Harvard tried to keep its head above water by clearing the ball to its keeper, who subsequently sent the ball deep to midfield hoping for some help. But BC continued to jump on these chances. After a Harvard clear, Berman found senior McKenzie Meehan with a nice through ball, which drew the Crimson keeper out just enough for Meehan to tap the ball through for the first BC goal of the night 28 minutes into play. After resetting the ball at midfield, BC’s aggressive play forced Harvard back into its own zone, and afforded the offense another corner try. On the ensuing cross, BC played the ball perfectly, as Madison Kenny connected with freshman Olivia Vaughn for the second Eagle goal of the night.

But Harvard adapted to the increasing deficit. The Crimson changed its offensive scheme to play to the speedy and explosive play of Margaret Purse, who created a number of chances for the offense. A number of through balls reached Purse in stride, but the Eagle defense thwarted any shots. At halftime, BC was comfortably in control, and didn’t look back as the team continued to put its foot on the throttle.

The second half featured more of the same. Though the BC defense made small mistakes early on, the Crimson still couldn’t capitalize on open opportunities. The peak of the Crimson offense came in the form of a penalty kick after a BC foul in the box, but BC’s Alexis Bryant saved Karly Zlatic’s shot. The Eagles entered cruise control, and added on one more goal, courtesy of Berman. BC then killed the clock en route to sealing its sixth victory of the season.

“I thought our physical speed and our general speed of play was excellent,” head coach Alison Foley said. “What will help us in the ACC is the depth. You know, if one of your forwards needs a break, you have Olivia Vaughn coming off of the bench, who is the fastest player on the team.”

With this win, BC continues what has been a sterling start to the season, while Harvard is sent back across the Charles in hopes of getting back on track.

Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor

September 8, 2016