After winning five of six around the midway point of the season, Boston College field hockey seemed poised to make serious noise in the Atlantic Coast for the first time under head coach Kelly Doton. Then, cracks started to appear. The 13th-ranked Eagles (10-8, 2-4 Atlantic Coast) lost their final three conference games and five of their last seven overall, slipping to the fourth overall seed in the ACC Tournament. The result? A tough quarterfinal matchup with the fifth seed and No. 16 team in the country Virginia (8-8, 2-4) on Thursday morning. The winner gets to take on No. 1 North Carolina in the semifinals—a Tar Heels team that hasn’t lost in 17 tries this season.
Who is BC playing?
No. 16 Virginia
When is BC playing?
Thursday, Nov. 1, 11 a.m.
Where is BC playing?
Karen Shelton Stadium, Chapel Hill, N.C.
How to Watch:
The game will be available to stream via RSN/ACC Network Extra on WatchESPN.
By the Numbers:
1) The Eagles are one of just three teams to earn multiple selections to the All-ACC First Team. BC’s Frederique Haverhals and Ymke Rose Gote, both seniors, were honored when the team was announced on Wednesday.
2) Haverhals finished 10th in the conference in points, with 22, a career-high and remarkable growth from a season prior. The forward finished each of her first two years on campus with 17 points, then regressed to just nine in 2017. This season she more than doubled that.
3) Goalkeeper drama was far from expected when starter Sarah Dwyer earned consecutive ACC Defensive Player of the Week honors, but that wasn’t the case—Doton eventually turned to freshman Joanna Kennedy over her established starter. Kennedy has started every game since a 4-1 loss to UNC, and she currently ranks fourth in save percentage.
1) The main player to watch for the Cavaliers is the only one who earned any postseason recognition from the ACC—Greta Ell. The senior earned Second Team honors after a season in which she finished in the ACC’s top 10 for shots and had three goals.
2) Ell isn’t the biggest scoring threat on her own team, though, as that distinction goes to Grace Wallis. She piled up four goals and five assists despite starting just nine games.
3) The Cavaliers are on a roll, having won four of five. That stretch includes victories over Miami (Ohio), Wake Forest, Maryland, and William & Mary. The win over the Terrapins was especially impressive—a 3-1 victory over the No. 2 team in the country.
Back on Sept. 21, after splitting its first two conference games, BC used a multi-point effort from Brooke Matherson to beat the Cavaliers, 2-0. The two teams were deadlocked at halftime, but the Eagles—playing at home—scored twice in a span of nine minutes to secure the win. Matherson set up teammate Elizabeth Warner for the game’s first goal, then finished off an empty-netter with just under two minutes remaining to polish off the team’s second, and last, ACC win.
It’s pretty simple—to get another shot at UNC, a team that handed BC a painful 4-1 loss on its home turf, the Eagles will have to replicate the late-September win over UVA. BC is a better team on paper, but will have to try and contain a white-hot Cavaliers team that could easily pull off the slight upset. The Eagles haven’t won in conference play since they faced UVA, so it could be difficult to get over the hump. If BC is to win and gain momentum, the three-goal loss to the Tar Heels was not as much of a blowout as it seems—the Eagles actually outshot UNC. BC can’t look ahead, though, as it has lost in the first round of the ACC Tournament each of the last two years.
Featured Image by Maggie DiPatri / For The Heights