After a 10-9-1 finish last season and a tenth place ranking in the ACC Preseason Poll, the BC women’s soccer team entered the season with relatively small expectations. However, after winning their first eight games of the season, the Eagles have put the country on its toes. While their shutout streak ended at six games, the Eagles continued their dominant stretch with a 4-1 win over Temple on Sunday afternoon.
The Eagles’ success so far can be credited to their play on both sides of the ball. BC has outscored its opponents by a whopping margin of 21 to 3. Before Sunday, the Eagles hadn't given up a goal since the first game of their season. Last season, the Eagles had five shutouts over the whole year. This year, they have already posted six shutouts in their first eight games. The Eagles are off to a great start behind their formidable defense.
Prior to the game against Temple, the Eagles ranked fourth in the ACC in goals per game with 2.43 and second in goals against average with 0.29, which also ranks fourteenth in the NCAA.
On offense, the Eagles are led by players Sam Coffey, Gianna Mitchell, and Olivia Vaughn. Coffey ranks first in all of women’s college soccer in assists with seven. She has registered a point in six of the first eight games after a goal and assist Sunday afternoon. Mitchell and Vaughn are tied with Coffey for five goals.
Sunday’s game against the Owls began with total ball control for the Eagles. BC’s first scoring chance came from a second corner kick by Coffey, but a remarkable play from Temple’s Kelcie Dolan kept the Eagles off the scoreboard.
While known for her passing, Coffey scored the first goal of the game off a penalty kick after a Temple hand-ball in minute twenty-five.
Shortly after, a through-ball from Coffey to Kayla Jennings gave BC the 2-0 lead with fifteen minutes to go in the first-half. They dominated possession time in the first half. The Eagles fired off eight shots in the first half, while Temple had just three.
Temple gained some momentum, however, after scoring a goal on a misplay from BC goalkeeper Alexis Bryant in minute sixty, inching the score to 2-1.
However, BC quickly regained control, as the Eagles tacked on two more goals from Carly Leipzig and Olivia Vaughn, securing a victory by a final score of 4-1. Leipzig scored her second of the season on a goal off a deflection. Gaby Carreiro’s excellent footwork led to a highlight reel setup for Vaughn’s fifth goal of the season.
This is the Eagles best start to a season since 2009, when they opened the year 9-0-0. That year, the Eagles finished second in the ACC during the regular season and advanced to the semifinals of the ACC tournament, where they lost to North Carolina.
BC women’s soccer has not begun its ACC schedule yet, but will look to use its streak as momentum as the Eagles head into a stretch of tougher conference opponents. Six of the 25 teams nationally ranked in the NCAA Top 25 come from the ACC. BC will play four of those six teams: Florida State, NC State, North Carolina, and Duke.
BC’s most notable win during its win streak was the 1-0 victory against twenty-first ranked Texas Tech on September 1, the Eagles' first win against a ranked opponent since 2016. Gianna Mitchell’s first half goal and Alexis Bryant’s season-high five saves led the team to victory in that contest.
The Eagles are one of four programs in the country to be undefeated in both men’s and women’s soccer after the men’s team continued their dominance with a 3-2 win over Clemson on Friday. Other undefeated teams in both programs include Stanford, Michigan State, and Virginia.
BC’s non-conference schedule ends this Wednesday as the Lady Eagles take on the Harvard Crimson at 7 p.m. on the Newton Soccer Field.