Boston College women’s soccer entered Thursday night’s home match against No. 3 North Carolina looking to regain its mojo after a tough stretch of games. The Eagles, though—who came in searching for their first win in the month of October—continued their slide in a disappointing manner.
In perhaps BC’s most difficult matchup of the season thus far, the Tar Heels dominated the pace of play and chances, playing with all of the confidence which comes from being a top-ranked program. The high-powered UNC offense racked up 17 shots to just six from the Eagles, resulting in a 3-0 BC defeat.
In the first half, the Tar Heels (13-1-1, 6-0-1 Atlantic Coast) attacked from the opening whistle and managed to open the scoring in just the eighth minute of the game, when UNC defender Lotte Wubben-Moy swung a corner to a cutting Maycee Bell, who headed the ball off the hands of BC (8-5-2, 1-5-1) goalkeeper Allie Augur and into the back of the net. The goal was Bell’s first of the season.
The Eagles found themselves with a chance to even the score just minutes later, when BC pressure caused UNC to turn the ball over in its own half. A low cross into the box left high-scoring midfielder Sam Smith with a chance in front of the net, but a strong play by goalkeeper Marz Josephson kept the Eagles off the board. The shot was one of just two that the Eagles, who had trouble beating UNC’s back line for much of the opening frame, were able to put on goal in the first half.
The Tar Heels extended their lead in the 19th minute when an unlucky handball inside the box led to a UNC penalty kick. Wubben-Moy stepped to the ball for the Tar Heels and tucked a shot just past the outstretched arms of a diving Augur into the bottom left corner.
Despite the two early goals, BC recollected itself and upped the ante on the defensive end of the field for the rest of the opening period. Augur finished the half with four saves, including a confident, goal-saving stop coming off a powerful shot by Tar Heels forward Alessia Russo. The freshman goalie continued what has been an impressive season for her, one that has consisted of three shutouts and five games with at least five saves.
UNC did not rest on its 2-0 halftime lead and came out in the second frame looking to wreak havoc by attacking the ball hard on defense and trying to generate turnovers in the Eagles’ half. The Tar Heels’ efforts almost paid off in the 54th minute, when midfielder Rachel Jones forced BC to turn the ball over right in front of the goal. Jones found herself with just Augur to beat, but her shot sailed over the crossbar.
BC took its only second-half shot on goal in the 64th minute, when a well-placed through ball gave midfielder Samantha Agresti a chance on net. Her shot was on frame but was turned away by a strong save from Josephson. The Eagles managed only three shots on goal in a game where their offense never established much of a rhythm. UNC, in comparison, had nine shots find their mark.
The Tar Heels put the game away with 10 minutes remaining when Russo played a ball to the feet of Jones. The sophomore took a low shot toward the right corner, which careened off the inside of the post and across the goal line.
BC looked outmatched throughout the game, but it wasn’t necessarily the biggest surprise. The Eagles have largely struggled to generate offense in conference play as of late—after scoring eight goals in their first two ACC matchups, BC has managed just five in its last five games. The Eagles have just one win in seven conference games and only lead Wake Forest in the league standings, and the path doesn’t get any easier from here. They’ll attempt to turn around their conference record with road games against a receiving-votes Virginia Tech side and No. 1 Virginia.
Featured Image by Kait Devir / For The Heights