Sports, Fall, Women's Soccer

Freshmen Shine in Blanking of Kennesaw State

After suffering its first loss of the year against No. 13 South Carolina on Thursday, Boston College women’s soccer bounced back in a big way with a shutout win over Kennesaw State. In an offensive explosion, the Eagles controlled both the possession and pace of the game from start to finish.  

For the Eagles (5–1), a 4–0 victory over the Owls (2–4) makes BC 3–0 all-time against teams from the ASUN conference after beating both Jacksonville and North Florida in 2014.  

The Eagles seemingly had the game wrapped up less than 10 minutes in when Linda Boama flew by her defender and set up Sam Smith with a laser across the box. Smith then rifled the ball past Kennesaw State goalkeeper Dylan Pixton to give the Eagles a 1–0 lead. The goal marked Smith’s third of the season.

Smith, Boama, and captain Jenna Bike all continued to put pressure on the Kennesaw State defense and got great looks against Pixton throughout the first half. Pixton was up for the challenge and made some diving saves for the Owls, including one in the bottom left corner during the 18th minute. This pressure continued for the entire half, as the Eagles ended up with 15 shots in the half compared to Kennesaw State’s six.  

Just before the 30th minute, BC poked another past Pixton to go up 2–0. Freshman forward Ella Richards got great positioning on her defender and fired the ball in the top right corner.  

Still, the freshman wasn’t done just yet. Just over 10 minutes later, she once again found the back of the net for her second goal, set up by Michela Agresti who worked the ball out of a scrum in front of the net.

Those two tallies mark Richards’ fifth and sixth goals on the year, giving her an astounding 14 points on the year. As a freshman, she leads BC in points and is one of the top goalscorers in the ACC. Even though she had a few more good looks on goal, Richards could not find the back of the net for her first hat trick of the season.  

After giving up three goals in the first half, Kennesaw State head coach Benji Walton decided to make a change by bringing in junior goalkeeper AJ Needham to replace Pixton in the second half.

Even with a change in net, the BC offense continued to roll early in the second half. In the 47th minute, Samantha Agresti beat her defender to the baseline and set up graduate transfer Abby McNamara for a tap-in goal. It marked McNamara’s first goal in maroon and gold after transferring from Wake Forest this offseason.

But from there, Needham and the Owls started to settle in, and the game looked much more balanced. Although BC continued to control the game, the Owls fought hard and held BC scoreless for the remainder of the game.

Freshman goaltender Wiebke Willebrandt capped off the Eagles’ 4–0 victory with a great diving save in the final seconds, preserving her third shutout of the season. BC led in every major stat category, including outshooting the Owls 25–12 and 13–6 in shots on goal. 

Featured Image by Ikram Ali / Heights Editor

September 5, 2021