Sports, Women's Soccer

Eagles Break In Second Half, Trounced By Pitt

Boston College women’s soccer took the pitch in Pittsburgh facing tumultuous weather conditions on Thursday but looking to build off the momentum of its first ACC win just under one week ago. 

Leading the all-time series 11–2, the Eagles (7–8–1, 1–7–0 Atlantic Coast) looked to add win number 12 tonight against their ACC rival, the Pittsburgh Panthers (10–6–0, 3–5–0).

After an initial 30-minute weather delay due to a lightning strike, both teams finally stepped on the wet field. With the regular season near its end, both BC and Pitt needed to get in the win column to keep their postseason hopes alive. For BC, notching that second conference win proved easier said than done, as Pitt handed BC a 3–0 loss with all three goals coming in the second half.

BC and Pitt came out aggressively on defense, each suffocating the other’s offenses. Both teams were creating offensive chances early, with not a lot of time spent in the midfield. But as the half went on, it was evident that Pitt was generating more opportunities downfield. Pitt outshot BC 13–3 in the first half, with countless scoring opportunities prevented due to offside calls. BC’s defense held strong, though, constantly deflecting Pitt’s continuous shots on goal.

BC did have chances to open the scoring in the first half, though. Pitt goalkeeper Katherine Robinson punched away a near-perfect Sonia Walk free kick just before BC’s Ella Richards could get her head on the ball. 

“[We need to work on] stretching the game out a little bit more and being more patient in the final third,” BC head coach Jason Lowe said on ACC Network at the half. “I think every time we got up there, we got a little too excited and turned the ball back over, so [I] just want to be a little more patient and let those guys do the work that they can do.” 

The second half was an entirely different story. Pitt continued to create more opportunities than BC after halftime, but those opportunities finally turned into goals. 

A costly foul by BC’s Mia Karras got the ball rolling for Pitt, setting up Amanda West for a penalty kick at the 60th minute, which she placed perfectly in the wide left corner. As if on cue, the rain picked up almost immediately after the goal, and the game was once again delayed until the conditions improved, acting as a much-needed reset for BC. 

The impromptu second halftime wasn’t enough for BC to get back on track, though, as the Eagles’ shots just refused to cooperate. Richards took two solid back-to-back shots at around the 69th minute, but neither found the net. 

Pitt got back on the scoreboard for a second time with a sliding shot from West, her fifth career goal against BC, off of a crisp pass from Pitt’s Landy Mertz that BC’s goalkeeper Wiebke Willebrandt had no chance of stopping. 

Pitt added its third and final goal off of a jaw-dropping bicycle kick by Emily Yaple. 

Featured Image by Nicole Vagra / Heights Staff

October 22, 2021