Eagles Earn Third ACC Victory at Miami

Boston College women’s soccer continued its Florida road trip against Miami on a sweltering Sunday in Coral Gables, with temperatures estimated around 110 degrees. Both teams were looking to bounce back in the ACC after coming off of disappointing losses, but it was the Eagles that withstood the heat and emerged with the victory, 3-1.

BC (9-5-1, 3-2-1 Atlantic Coast), currently sitting in seventh place in the conference, was trying to climb the rankings as only the top eight teams make the ACC tournament. The Eagles had come away without a win in their last two games after tying Virginia Tech and losing to Florida State on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Hurricanes (4-7-0, 0-5-0) were desperately trying to keep their tournament hopes alive, sitting winless at the bottom of the ACC. They had been shut out in their previous 4 games by a combined score of 6-0.

Miami managed to strike first when, seven minutes into the game, a beautiful pass put forward Kristina Fisher behind the BC defense. She took a touch past goalie Alexis Bryant, but was clipped at the ankles and went down for a penalty. Fisher herself converted the spot-kick for the first goal in over 300 minutes of play for the Hurricanes.

The Eagles responded by dictating the tempo for the rest of the half. They kept most of the possession by stepping into Miami’s passing lanes in the midfield and making some key steals. The Hurricanes, on the other hand, sat back and allowed BC to run at them with the ball, causing many problems.

BC got on the board with about a half hour remaining in the half when freshman Sam Coffey scored an incredible goal directly off of a corner kick. The former US U-18 national team captain put an unbelievable amount of curve on the ball and it sailed in over the head of Miami keeper Phallon Tullis-Joyce, off the far post, and into the net for the equalizer.

The Eagles pulled ahead 15 minutes later off a great counter attack. The ball was cleared into the midfield, passed up the field very quickly, and eventually ended up at the feet of junior forward Carly Leipzig, who made a great turn past a Miami defender and tucked the ball neatly into the bottom left corner of the net. BC managed to take this 2-1 lead into halftime.

The Hurricanes came out firing in the beginning of the second half, controlling most of the possession and carrying the ball deep into the attacking third. They managed to get the ball off of some sloppy passing by the BC back line, which almost resulted in a Miami goal at one point. Defender Allyson Swaby, who had had a nearly perfect game up to that point, gave a misguided pass that ended up at the feet of a Miami attacker. A great kick save by Bryant preserved the Eagles’ lead.

The beginning of the second half was one of near misses, with both teams trading shots that just grazed over the crossbar from both free kicks and open field play. Miami forward Kristina Fisher had one especially well-taken free kick, but the shot was too hard and missed high.

The only real action of the second half came late, when the ball was picked up near midfield by the Eagles and dished out to attacker Carly Leipzig, who sent a beautiful looping cross into the path of senior Lauren Berman. She managed to touch the ball just past the keeper, and it rolled slowly into the back of the net to give BC a 3-1 lead that would hold until the whistle.

The game continuously swung back and forth between two teams trading momentum, and the game was full of chances, but BC simply converted them better. The Eagles managed to pick up their ninth win of the year, an important one considering three of their remaining four games are against higher-ranked teams.

Featured Image by Celine Lim / Heights Staff

October 8, 2017