For a few seconds, it seemed like Boston College field hockey would finally get an overtime win against a top-ranked opponent. But Eva Kluskens’ shot failed to hit the back of the net, and the collective cry of disappointment from the fans and the players on the bench echoed around Newton’s field hockey complex. The first overtime period ended less than a minute later, and the Eagles chances quickly dissipated.
Coming off of a commanding 7–0 victory against James Madison, the No. 11 Eagles (5–3, 1–1 Atlantic Coast) were in for a tighter battle against No. 5 Duke (7–1, 2–0). After previously taking then-No. 2 Northwestern and then-No. 3 Maryland to overtime only to lose 1–0 in both games, BC came from behind to tie the game 1–1 in the final three minutes of regulation to send the game into overtime on Friday. The Blue Devils, however, came away with the victory after scoring a goal off a penalty corner just over three minutes into the second overtime period.
“I mean, all the ACC teams that we face moving forward are going to be really tough,” BC head coach Kelly Doton said. “So, like I said, I thought we started off a little slow, Duke put us under pressure immediately. I just told these guys, I think we made too many mistakes … after the first 15 minutes we kind of got back into who we are as BC field hockey.”
The Eagles struggled to maintain possession early, letting Duke control the flow of the game for the opening minutes. Every time BC tried to get its attack going, the Blue Devils pressured it and were able to knock the ball away.
The first period ended scoreless, with both teams failing to garner significant chances in front of the net. Neither team was tested in goal, each registering only one shot.
With 3:11 left in the second period, BC was awarded the first penalty corner of the game, and then won another with less than a minute left in the period. The Eagles weren’t able to capitalize on them, but the Blue Devils simultaneously struggled to cement their offense.
While BC totaled five shots in the period, it ended with the same scoreline as the first, 0–0.
But Duke picked up its first penalty corner of the game a couple of minutes into the third period. The Blue Devils forced BC goalkeeper Caroline Kelly under pressure, which resulted in Alaina McVeigh putting the ball in the back of the net to give Duke a 1–0 lead with 11:08 left in the third period.
The Eagles, meanwhile, kept trying to break through the Blue Devils, but they struggled to generate sustained pressure.
“I think it was again, you just gotta keep with it because sometimes those games just happen, you try and try and try, and then one eventually is going to fall,” Doton said.
In the fourth period, BC kept pushing for an equalizer. With around three minutes left, BC subbed off Kelly in order to bring on an extra attacker. And 20 seconds later, the referees reviewed a play that resulted in BC getting a penalty corner. A Simone Hefting shot deflected off Margo Carlin’s stick to tie the game at one. Carlin had five total shots on Friday.
“Very, and you know I say this not just as her as a field hockey player but culturally for the program, she’s really key,” Doton said of Carlin. “She starts our press—you can see her run the center forward position up there—she’s competitive, she has grit, she leads by example, and the intensity that she brings, these guys see that so, you know, she put one in when we needed it, two minutes.”
No team could break the tie, sending the game into sudden-death overtime.
In what looked to be BC’s best chance to win the game in the first overtime period, Carlin found Kluskens open, but her shot wasn’t on target with less than a minute in the period, sending the game into a second overtime period.
Around three minutes into the period, Duke won a penalty corner. The ball was set up at the top of the circle, and Kira Curland sent the ball into the back of the net to end the game, handing BC a 2–1 defeat.
“I hope they’re mad, and they said they are,” Doton said of her team. “They’re mad and it’s all about rebounding.”