Coming off a dominant win over No. 18 William & Mary, Boston College field hockey looked to embark upon its second winning streak of the season with a win against Virginia in a showdown of two top-10 teams on Friday. Despite its tremendous momentum heading into the contest, BC failed to combat the offensive firepower presented by the Cavaliers.
UVA—the top scoring team in the nation—didn’t quite exhibit the offensive prowess that it had in previous contests. But it did more than enough to take down the Eagles. Pien Dicke and Greta Ell, two of the Cavaliers’ leading scorers, carried UVA to a 3-0 victory.
No. 4 Virginia (8-1, 2-0 Atlantic Coast) outshot No. 8 BC (6-3, 0-3) by a 22-11 margin, in a contest that was fairly one-sided. In a collaborative effort between the Cavaliers’ strikers and midfield, relentless pressure was placed on BC’s defensive unit—ultimately the deciding factor in the game.
The Eagles came out strong in the first half, in terms of ball control in opposing territory, yet couldn’t seem to capitalize with shots on goal. After holding strong on defense for nearly the first 10 minutes of play, UVA took to the attack. The Cavaliers began firing a multitude of shots, one of which appeared to be a goal at first, however, it was called back due to a whistle for an illegal strike. Shortly thereafter, Dicke blew past several defenders en route to her 11th goal of the season and the first goal of the game.
Despite little pushback by its offensive unit, BC limited Virginia to just one first-half goal—three fewer than the Cavaliers’ first half season average.
With just two shots on goal in 35 minutes of action, BC struggled to find its rhythm at the start of the second half. On the other hand, UVA came out of the locker room red-hot. Ell quickly doubled the Cavaliers’ lead by taking advantage of a BC turnover and an array of defensive miscues. Virginia continued to pour on the pressure for the greater portion of the second half. Nearing the 10-minute mark, Erin Shanahan located Dicke for the freshman’s second goal of the game, putting the match out of reach.
BC managed to fire several shots on goal in garbage time with one notable missed opportunity off a corner. All in all, the Eagles’ midfield certainly deserves some credit in taking on the daunting task of slowing down UVA’s high-powered offense. A series of defensive lapses and a lack of offensive pressure were the main factors contributing to the Eagles’ defeat at the hands of a conference rival.
After starting the season 4-0 for the first time under head coach Kelly Doton, BC has dropped three of its last five games. But it’s important to note that all three losses have come against top-10 opponents. It’s safe to say that the Eagles are one of the most battle-tested teams in the country.
Featured Image by Lizzy Barrett / Heights Editor