Sports, Women's Soccer, Fall

Plagued by Offensive Struggles, Eagles Lose to Michigan 1–0

Thirty-seven seconds into the second half of Boston College women’s soccer’s game against Michigan, the Wolverines’ Gabrielle Prych fended off three Eagles defenders and scored a screamer with her left foot past a diving Wiebke Willebrandt, BC’s goalkeeper.

Prych found the far right corner of the net from just inside the box, giving Michigan (1–1–2) a one-goal lead. Despite late offensive attacks by the Eagles, Prych’s second-half strike was the only goal of the defensive showdown, as BC (1–3–1) failed to match Michigan’s firepower in a 1–0 loss in Ann Arbor, Mich. on Thursday. BC has yet to win a game on the road.

Early in the first half of the match, the Eagles came out firing, as Maddie Landers and Ella Richards had two early shots on target. But Michigan’s goalkeeper Stephanie Sparkowski managed to stop both shots in the fourth minute. 

BC’s offense stalled for the remainder of the half, only getting off one more shot on target while turning the ball over multiple times.

Michigan also had opportunities early in the first half, but couldn’t convert. The Wolverines’ shots often missed wide of the net, not requiring the attention of Willebrandt. That is, until the 15th minute, when they found themselves with an opportunity on the break with a cross that left Prych one on one with Willebrandt.

But the junior lunged at the ball just before it reached the goal line to keep the game scoreless.

Prych’s next attempt at the start of the second half, however, proved fatal for BC, putting the Eagles down 1–0. But BC continued to pile on the pressure offensively with nine total shots and four corners in the second half. 

The Eagles’ most dangerous shot was a rocket off Sonia Walk’s right foot toward the left corner of the net. But Sparkowski lunged to punch the ball away from the net in the 52nd minute. She tallied seven total saves.

Richards and Kenna Thomas both had good looks with less than 10 minutes remaining, but neither could capitalize. Richards’ two shots on goal led BC.

Possession remained equal between both teams for most of the game, and the Eagles finished with 12 shots to the Wolverines’ 11. BC took four corners while Michigan took three. But the Eagles could never find control, struggling to break through Michigan’s defense and avoid pass interceptions.

September 3, 2023