Goals From Dowd and O’Brien Carry BC Past LIU Brooklyn

Boston College women’s soccer’s date with Long Island University Brooklyn on Wednesday afternoon was set to be a mismatch before either team stepped on Newton Soccer Field. The Eagles (8-0-1) came into the match with a seven-game win streak. Meanwhile, the Blackbirds (0-7-0) were on the sixth and final stop of their road trip, a stretch in which LIU had been outscored 15-4. To put it in perspective, the Blackbirds had only scored four goals up to this point—the same number of goals that BC had allowed to its opponents.

Despite a 2-0 victory for the Eagles, the scoreboard neglects to display BC’s 90 minutes of “dominance.” Fortunately for LIU, it had Aline Allman in goal. Otherwise, it could have been even worse.

Allman had 13 saves, but her work was cut out for her. The Eagles outshot LIU 31-3, and by the seventh minute, the score was already tilted toward the home team. From the middle of the box, McKenzie Meehan found Gaby Carreiro, who, after pulling Allman to the right side of the goal, led Hayley Dowd with a cross that Dowd skipped into the left corner of the net for her fourth goal of the season. Both Meehan and Carreiro were credited with the assists.

Even though the Eagles maintained possession for the vast majority of the game and bombarded Allman with shots, the scoring came to a halt and would not reappear until the second half.

Nevertheless, chances were plentiful. Dowd had an opportunity to score her second goal of the half in the 14th minute after receiving a through ball from Lauren Berman. This time around, her sliding shot was saved. A free kick from Samantha Hiatt was delivered to Meehan, but her header soared wide left in the 17th minute. The Blackbirds’ Dana Wiesmore provided the first “chance” for LIU with a corner kick in the 26th minute, yet BC’s defense prevailed. The Blackbirds recorded their first shot in the 42nd minute, as Summer Sofer ripped one from way outside, but the effort was blocked. In the 43rd minute, the Eagles’ Amber Stearns was unable to finish a run, resulting in another shot wide right.

Although the Blackbirds infiltrated BC’s line of defense more often than they did in the first half, they were still overmatched by the Eagles’ talent. That being said, BC’s missed opportunities continued to pile up. Jenna Bike’s sliding pass to Meehan set the Eagles’ leading scorer up for a possible goal in the 52nd minute, but Meehan shanked it right. Then Allyson Swaby sent a ball just past midfield, which gave Berman a chance to extend the lead, but her header veered left. And in the 64th minute, Olivia Vaughn took a Berman pass and misfired, rattling the left post.

The drought ended in the 77th minute. Speeding down the left side of the field, Dowd crossed the ball to Berman. She could not finish, but Andrea O’Brien scored off of the rebound. O’Brien, the hero that forced overtime against Northeastern on Sunday, recorded her second goal of the season, and Dowd and Berman earned the assists.

Statistically, BC overwhelmingly outplayed the Blackbirds. But the missed chances and intermittent sloppy passes left head coach Alison Foley dissatisfied.

“We didn’t play well today,” Foley said. “I mean, I often don’t say that post-game, but we didn’t play well. We’re a good team, and we have a really high standard, and we just didn’t meet that today.”

Foley saw this match as a “trap game,” a phenomenon that has plagued other teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference. First, No. 3 Florida State University fell to the University of  South Alabama on September 5, and more recently, No. 7 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill lost its undefeated season, dropping to the University of Southern California this past weekend. Luckily for BC and Foley, the Eagles avoided such a setback. Now, it is on to the ACC for BC, as it plays Duke University this coming Saturday in Durham.

For the Eagles, still unbeaten, everything is going according to plan.

“It’s right where we wanted to be,” Foley said. “If we could’ve at preseason said, ‘We’ll take 8-0-1 going into Duke,’ we would’ve taken it.”

Maybe one to forget for both teams, this contest was the first meeting between the Eagles and the Blackbirds. After that lopsided affair, it could very well be the last time the two lace up against each other.

Featured Image by Amelie Trieu / Heights Editor

September 14, 2016