Sports, Fall, Women's Soccer

Despite Willebrandt’s Efforts, BC Can’t Upset No. 1 Florida State

In No. 1 Florida State women’s soccer’s eight games this season, the Seminoles have conceded just five goals. The only teams to break Florida State’s seemingly unconquerable wall of defense have been Colorado, Florida, No. 10 Auburn, and most recently, Boston College. 

And it only took the Eagles two shots on goal to do it. 

Still, as good as the Seminoles’ defense is, their offense might be even better, and Florida State (8–0, 1–0 Atlantic Coast) kept its unbeaten record intact with a 4–1 win over BC (6–2–1, 0–1–0) in the teams’ ACC opener.

In front of a crowd of just over 1,000 in Tallahassee, freshman goaltender Wiebke Willebrandt proved why she has earned the starting nod in her first year. Though four goals is more than she’s allowed all season, Willebrandt faced a staggering 16 shots and turned away 12 of them. The freshman held the No. 1 team in the nation scoreless through the first half with six saves. 

But after the Seminoles peppered Willebrandt with shots in the first half and the Eagles failed to force even one save out of FSU goaltender Mia Justus, it was only a matter of time before the game broke open. 

In the 49th minute, Emily Madril did just that for the Seminoles. LeiLanni Nesbeth sent in a corner kick, and Willebrandt got a hand on it, but with a scrum in front of the net and the ball loose in the box, Madril got a foot on it to open the scoring. 

Just seven minutes later, the Seminoles doubled their lead on yet another corner. Nesbeth rocketed a near-identical cross into the box, which made its way to the far post and immediately found the head of Lauren Flynn to give FSU a two-goal lead. 

BC had its best look on goal from Jenna Bike in the 71st minute, as she fired a wide-angle shot on net, but Justus got a foot on it before BC could do any damage. And despite BC’s best efforts, FSU scored just two minutes later, as Yujie Zhao collected a pass from Jenna Nighswonger and slotted it inside the left post. 

Nighswonger had one more assist in her, though, and 10 minutes later, she sent a pass to Ran Iwai who finished off the scoring for Florida State. 

All together, the Seminoles outshot BC 26–5, with 16 shots on goal compared to BC’s two. They also registered six corner kicks to BC’s one, and two of FSU’s found the back of the net. The only stat category in which the teams came out even was fouls, as each registered eight. 

It was a foul in the 84th minute that finally got BC on the board. Linda Boama stepped up to the penalty spot and slotted the ball to Justus’ left for BC’s first goal with just six minutes to go in regulation. The tally marked Boama’s seventh goal of the season, as the sophomore currently sits in second on the team in both goals (7) and points (17). 

Even with the wind back in their sails, the Eagles couldn’t muster up any more offensive momentum, and the whistle blew on their first conference loss of the season.

Featured Image by Ikram Ali / Heights Editor

September 19, 2021