After its heartbreaking loss to No. 25 Virginia Tech last Thursday, Boston College women’s soccer had its work cut out for itself against No. 1 Virginia. Coming into Sunday’s matchup in Charlottesville, Va., the Cavaliers boasted a seven-game shutout streak—a stretch that began back on Sept. 26 against the Hokies. The Eagles have been able to remain competitive with their higher-ranked opponents by applying pressure and scoring early in the frame, but the Cavaliers had a clear upper hand offensively on Sunday afternoon.
Even though the first goal of the game wasn’t scored until the 14th minute on a shot from UVA senior Meghan McCool, the Cavaliers controlled the play from kickoff until the dying minutes of the second half, coming up with a dominant 6-1 win.
Despite the flurry of shots on freshman goalkeeper Allie Augur, it seemed as though the Eagles (8-7-2, 1-7-1 Atlantic Coast) would go into halftime only down one goal. But with three minutes remaining in the half, UVA (14-0-3, 6-0-3) senior Alissa Gorzak came up the left side and sent a seemingly innocent shot at BC’s net. And, with a quick redirect by sophomore Ashlynn Serepca, the Cavaliers recorded what would become the game-winning goal on Augur and the Eagles.
While UVA ended its half with two goals on the board and 11 total shots, the Eagles closed the half with just one shot from Francesca Venezia, which sailed wide right. It was crucial for BC to come back reinvigorated after halftime and steer possession toward the Cavaliers’ offensive zone. But the combination of a smothering UVA defense and an Eagles offense that wasn’t quite clicking allowed the Cavaliers to once again dictate play. And, as such, BC was forced to play more physically in an attempt to secure some form of control.
Once more, however, it was the Cavaliers that struck first in the half. When trying to track down the ball and clear it out of play, Augur strayed from her line and allowed Serepca to tally her second goal of the game on an empty net. Not three minutes later, junior Sydney Zandi netted another goal off a pass from McCool to quadruple their lead against the Eagles.
After 61 minutes of being entirely run over by the Cavaliers, any team would feel defeated, but the Eagles’ scoring offense refused to be shut down by UVA’s defense. Gaby Carreiro unleashed a shot from 20 yards out that soared over the arms of Cavaliers’ keeper Laurel Ivory, ending the Cavalier’s 775-minute shutout streak in the process.
Carreiro’s grand efforts boosted the morale of the Eagles, who then fought back more against UVA, stringing together more shots and creating more back-and-forth play with their opposition. Even with the increased effort that was put in by each of the players on the field, it still wasn’t enough to crack Ivory, who finished with four saves. The Eagles were clearly gaining momentum with five more shots on net following Carreiro’s goal, but each was stopped by Ivory, shutting down any attempt at a comeback.
The Cavaliers scored twice more after the Eagles’ goal, with Courtney Peterson and Emma Dawson each netting their first goals of the season against Augur. The two goals came in at the 77th and 79th minutes of the match, capping the scoring for both teams and solidifying the win for UVA.
While BC was held to only one shot in the first period and eight shots in the latter portion of play, more than half of those shots tested Ivory and her replacement, sophomore Michaela Moran. Even though their performance in the first half proved to be less than favorable, the Eagles were able to at least find the back of the net once, avoiding a tough shutout.
Still, BC was very overmatched and didn’t look like it was in the same league as the Cavaliers. The Eagles are limping to the finish line and will round out the regular season at home against Clemson, having registered just one point in their last seven games.
Featured Image by Kait Devir / For The Heights