Let the good times roll for the Boston College women’s soccer team.
On Sunday, the Eagles won their fifth consecutive match by defeating the Illinois State Redbirds, 4-1. They have now jumped out to a quick start on the young season by taking seven of their first eight matches while Illinois State picked up their third loss of the year.
Boston College dominated the first 10 minutes of the game, generating many quality opportunities and putting pressure on the Illinois State defense, which ultimately led to goals in the third and 10th minute by junior Jana Jeffrey and senior Stephanie McCaffrey. Illinois State, however, quickly responded with a goal in the 12th minute.
In the second half, despite early pressure from Illinois State, the Eagles were able to cushion their lead with a goal early from sophomore Hayley Dowd, the team leader in points heading into the game. From there, Illinois State struggled to respond and McCaffrey was able to pad the stats in the waning moments to increase the lead to 4-1 en route to a two-goal and one-assist performance.
Defensively, the Eagles have recorded shutouts in three games thus far while only surrendering one goal in each of the other five games. Overall, they’re averaging .625 goals against per game. Offensively, Dowd has shown impressive confidence and ability in just her second year with five goals and two assists while also leading the ACC in shots and ranking in the top 10 in total points along with McCaffrey.
After home matches against Harvard and South Florida in the next two weeks, ACC play begins with a showdown against the team that eliminated them from NCAA Tournament play last year, Florida State. This stretch does not get much easier with contests against powerhouses such as Pittsburgh, Clemson, and Virginia, a 2013 Final Four participant.
Each of those teams has had a solid start to the season and shows potential for a deep tournament run. Clemson is unbeaten after seven games. Pittsburgh has lost by one in each of their three defeats. Like Clemson, Virginia has stayed undefeated and has scored no less than two goals in each of their matches while also holding opponents to two goals on the entire season and ranking third in the national rankings.
While the Eagles can celebrate their recent success, a tough road lies ahead.
Featured Image by Graham Beck / Heights Senior Staff