Sports, Fall, Women's Soccer

Eagles Concede 88th Minute Equalizer, Settle for Draw Against Wake Forest

In the 85th minute of Boston College women’s soccer’s game against Wake Forest on Sunday, Gianna Mitchell once again came through for the Eagles. A lofted set piece into the box found the head of Kayla Jennings at the far post, and the redshirt senior headed the ball downward, in the direction of the goal. Olivia Vaughn, with her back toward the net, kept the ball alive, and Mitchell—who scored five goals in 2018 while playing as a defender—slammed the ball past Demon Deacons goaltender Meghan Kennedy for her fifth tally of 2019 to give BC a late 3-2 edge. It appeared that the Eagles had the score they needed to snap a three-game losing streak. 

Unfortunately for BC, which had already held the lead twice, couldn’t keep its advantage. Wake Forest equalized three minutes later through Ryanne Brown, and 20 more minutes of overtime wasn’t enough to separate the Eagles and Demon Deacons, who settled for a 3-3 draw on Senior Day. 

As might be expected of a 3-3 game, both teams had a multitude of chances. BC (8-4-2, 1-4-1 Atlantic Coast) and Wake Forest (5-5-4, 0-3-3) combined for 35 shots—16 on target—but it was the Eagles who grabbed an early lead. Just four minutes in, Jennings found herself on the receiving end of a pinpoint floated pass off a set piece from her sister, Jillian Jennings, and used her head to loft the ball over Kennedy and give BC a 1-0 lead. 

Sam Smith nearly scored for the Eagles, but saw her effort saved by Kennedy just under a half hour into the contest, and the scoreline remained 1-0 at halftime, setting the stage for a wild second half. 

It was Wake Forest that scored the first of five second-half tallies. Sprinting down the right wing, Estelle Laurier delivered a low cross into the box. The Demon Deacons’ Hulda Arnarsdottir was able to find space in between Riley Lochhead and Mitchell, and even had time to take a touch just outside the six-yard box, before slipping a right-footed try past Augur to even the score just 12 minutes after the break. 

Hayley Younginer forced Augur to make a crucial save just three minutes after the Demon Deacons’ game-tying goal, and Arnarsdottir then blazed an attempt over the crossbar, as Wake Forest tried to find a go-ahead goal. BC promptly made the Demon Deacons pay for missing chances. The ball came to Vaughn after a scramble in the box, and the senior launched a low right-footed attempt that a diving Mia Raben palmed away with one hand. The rebound trickled to Francesca Venezia, who poked the ball home into an open net, giving BC the lead with just 12 minutes to play. 

The Eagles’ first lead lasted almost an hour. Their second held for just four minutes. Arnasdottir beat a hesitating Lochhead to a 50-50 ball and slipped a pass to Younginer inside the BC box. The grad transfer showed remarkable composure, sneaking the ball through the legs of a scrambling Michela Agresti and bending a drive into the top corner of the cage, off Augur’s fingertips. 

Mitchell looked to have the deciding tally just three minutes later, but Brown capped off a wild ending to regulation with just 2:16 left on the clock. Mia Karras committed a foul near midfield, and Vicky Krug sent the set piece long into the Eagles’ box. Two Wake Forest players kept the ball bouncing around, before Brown out-jumped Carreiro to nod the ball into the back of the net, tying the score at 3-3 and ensuring the teams would play 20 more minutes. 

Both goaltenders came up big in the extra period, with Augur denying Sofia Rossi before Raben prevented Kayla Jennings from scoring a sudden-death winner. Fittingly, in a game with so many swings, the game ended in a tie, as Vaughn’s last effort was deflected with one minute to play. 

The Eagles can take solace in the fact that they ended a three-game losing streak, but will certainly feel they could have held on for the win, especially after taking a lead three separate times. BC head coach Jason Lowe will love that his offense—which scored just two goals total in the three games prior to Sunday—finally showed some signs of life. 

The first-year head coach still has some sorting out to do with his back line, though, as the Eagles have conceded 14 goals in six ACC contests and have recorded just one shutout in conference play. With No. 2 North Carolina up next, the opposing offenses certainly aren’t getting any worse.

Featured Image by Kaitlin Meeks / Heights Senior Staff

October 14, 2019