Sports, Fall, Women's Soccer

BC Snaps Six-Game Losing Streak, Ties Louisville 1–1

Sprinting down the right wing, Boston College women’s soccer’s Sydney Segalla fired a perfectly placed pass that landed where only Ella Richards, the Eagles’ leading scorer this season, could receive it. Richards found herself with only Louisville’s goalkeeper to beat, and, with a quick motion, tapped the ball just inside the right post for her sixth goal of the season.

The score put BC (3–9–3, 0–6–1 Atlantic Coast) ahead 1–0 in the 55th minute. Louisville (3–7–5, 2–3–2), however, stormed back with a goal of its own in the 83rd minute, and the game finished in a 1–1 tie at Newton Soccer Field on Saturday night.

Prior to Saturday, the Eagles had been on a three-game road stretch and had gone winless in their last six games—all against ACC opponents—notching just two goals in those games. The Cardinals, on the other hand, were yet to register a win in their five road games this year.

The match also marked BC’s first time it hadn’t lost a conference game this season. The last time the Eagles tied a conference opponent was on Oct. 27, 2022, against Wake Forest.

BC, however, didn’t look like a squad that had been having scoring problems early in the game, as it generated multiple chances quickly thanks to a fast and aggressive attack. The Eagles earned themselves three corner kicks and a free kick all within the first 11 minutes.

“We got off to a good start with [creating chances],” BC head coach Jason Lowe said. “The energy, the focus, I think we were moving the ball pretty well. I think we were finding our open players”

The Eagles also displayed solid defense, not allowing Louisville to possess the ball for extended periods of time in the first half. The Cardinals, however, still had a couple dangerous scoring chances such as opportunities in the 28th and 30th minutes. But BC’s defense shut down both chances with hustle.

The game entered halftime tied at 0–0, with fairly even play all around. Each squad registered five shots, one save, and four corner kicks in the first half.

Richards, however, finally broke the tie with less than 35 minutes remaining in the game after punching the ball in a full sprint off Segalla’s beautiful pass.

“It was a great goal by Ella,” Lowe said. “I think it was the fastest I’ve seen her run in a long time. To catch up to Segalla is no easy task.”

The Cardinals subsequently pressured BC’s back line, managing to keep the ball on the Eagles’ side of the field. But BC’s defense stood strong, preventing any dangerous chances. 

Lousivlle recorded only two shots in the second, the first coming off Hayley Howard’s bottom left corner strike that BC goalkeeper Wiebke Willebrandt saved in the 69th minute.

But the Cardinals’ second and final shot proved just enough to crush BC’s long-awaited conference victory. With about six minutes remaining in the game, Louisville’s Addie Chester placed a corner kick high into the box. Lucy Roberts then leaped above everyone and delivered a perfectly-placed header into the top-right corner of BC’s net. 

“We took our foot off the gas a little bit,” Lowe said. “We left the game open towards the final minutes, which it didn’t need to be.” 

BC had ample opportunities to take back its lead, as within the last five minutes, the Eagles received three corner kicks. But no one could capitalize.

Louisville defender Savina Zamborini was called for a foul with 66 seconds left in the game, giving BC one last chance on a free kick. Captain Claire Mensi took the kick but her shot curved outside of the right post, and the match ended in a 1–1 draw.

“Getting any ACC point is hard,” Lowe said. “I’m happy with the team.”

October 15, 2023