Photo courtesy of John Quakenbos / BC Women's Soccer Facebook

Women's Soccer Falls to Hofstra in First Round of NCAA Tournament

The No. 22 Boston College women’s soccer team was defeated by Hofstra 4-1 at the Newton Campus on a rainy Friday night. The Eagles’ magical season came to a disappointing end. Friday night’s loss was only their second loss at home this season.

With an atmosphere of anticipation and excitement around the stadium, BC came out of the gates with a lot of energy. Juniors Jenna Bike and Olivia Vaughn worked hard offensively and defensively at the beginning of the game, sprinting up and down the field and cutting inside the defense to get good looks at the net.  The Eagles were missing their offensive chances by small margins, skipping passes just wide of the intended targets. Hofstra’s goalie, Jenna Borresen, made some great saves as BC continued to push up the middle in search of the first goal.

With 27 minutes to go in the first half, Bike collided with Borresen on a breakaway attempt. Bike had to be helped off the field and senior Carly Leipzig replaced her for the remainder of the half. Borresen was later replaced by backup red-shirt senior goalie Ashley Wilson. The effect of Bike’s departure would become apparent immediately.

At 24:29, Hofstra’s Lucy Porter put the Pride on the board with a goal that was just out of the reach of BC goaltender, Alexis Bryant. Though BC’s Gianna Mitchell was also right in front of the net during the play, Porter was able to get through the crowd and deflect the ball into the back of the net. Shortly after, rain started to fall on the turf making the conditions more difficult for both teams.

Hofstra began to dominate on the defensive end after winning the majority of 50/50 balls and applying great pressure on BC’s midfielders. The Eagles appeared to be playing tentatively as they adjusted to the increasingly poor conditions. The weather certainly played a factor in the game as players slipped on the wet turf. The Eagles headed into halftime looking to regroup and stay composed in a single score game.

Despite some great chances from BC’s Sam Coffey, Kayla Duran, and Olivia Vaughn, Hofstra continued to shut down the Eagles' offense. At 70:31, the Pride added to their lead with a great finish by Sabrina Bryan to make it 2-0. Less than five minutes later, Bryan scored again after dancing through two BC defenders and getting a clean look at the net.

The Eagles would finally get on the board at 76:00 with a goal from Olivia Vaughn after a great feed from Gaby Carreiro. Vaughn played a fantastic second half with eight offensive chances in Hofstra’s zone. She played with great intensity despite a large deficit.

Hofstra would tack on one more goal from Lucy Shepherd after a poorly defended corner kick to put the Pride up 4-1 with eight minutes left in the game.  BC looked lost on defense and couldn’t capitalize on any of their offensive possessions. The score would remain 4-1 through the final whistle, capping off a season-ending defeat at the hands of the reigning Colonial Athletic Association champion, Hofstra Pride.

In their fifth overall meeting, Hofstra picked up their first win against BC in program history. With the win, Hofstra will go on to play Wisconsin on Nov. 16 as they for their first national title.

The Eagles suffered another loss in the first round of a postseason tournament after losing to Clemson in the first round of the ACC Tournament just two weeks ago.

Playing in the difficult ACC, the Eagles exceeded many expectations this season. They started the year ranked as the tenth best team in the conference and finished the regular season as No. 4.

In the off-season, the Eagles will look to replace senior goalkeeper Alexis Bryant after an outstanding season. Key offensive players Sam Coffey, Kayla Duran, Jenna Bike, and Olivia Vaughn will all be returning next season.

The Eagles have a lot to build on from this year and will look to go even further in the NCAA tournament next season. They finish off the year with a total record of 14-5-1. A great 2018 season will hopefully attract recruits and put BC at the top of the ACC for years to come.

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Matt DeMerlis