The Boston College women’s soccer team suffered its second consecutive loss, as No. 5 Florida State earned a 2-0 victory at the Newton Campus soccer field on Sunday.
“It was a pretty close game,” said BC head coach Alison Foley. “There wasn’t a ton of chances either way. Two teams sticking with game plans.”
Florida State was aggressive and effective, as it established an upfield zone within the first few minutes of play. Employing a tiki-taka style, FSU repeatedly pushed the ball deep into BC territory. The team also kept the Eagles’ passing game under duress and consistently regained possession on the opposite side of the pitch.
The FSU attack was further aided by early foul calls against members of the BC team. These fouls derailed the Eagles’ few drives at the contest’s start. One such foul came around the 14th minute, when a promising run by sophomore forward Hayley Dowd, who had worked the ball to the edge of the FSU box, ended in an extended tussle and an exasperating loss of possession.
With their strong upfield presence, and with the security provided by early foul calls, the FSU players primed themselves for an early strike. This first blow came in the 18th minute, when the Seminoles’ Cheyna Williams capitalized on a faulty clearance by freshman goalkeeper Darien Dunham. Dunham, who replaced an injured Alexandra Johnson, mistakenly tossed the ball into the path of the charging Williams, who reached it with an outstretched boot. The FSU forward quickly made the errant pass bounce into the back of the BC net, and seized a 1-0 lead for her team.
Nearly two minutes later, with the match in the 20th minute, the Eagles’ Rosie DiMartino came close to tying the game. Receiving a pass from senior forward Stephanie McCaffrey, the sophomore player launched a powerful volley towards the opposing team’s net, but FSU goalkeeper Cassie Miller leapt, batted the shot down with both hands, and then grabbed hold of the ball.
The Eagles would once again come close to leveling the score midway through the first half. After moving the ball forward, junior midfielder Lauren Bernard took a shot that careened off the corner of the FSU net’s crossbar and hurtled out of bounds.
In spite of a few solid efforts on goal, like those from DiMartino and Bernard, the BC players would remain unable to tie the game—and unable to prevent FSU from scoring again. On 41 minutes, the Seminoles’ Marta Bakowska-Mathews gained control of the ball after a poor BC possession. She then completed a pass to teammate Berglind Thorvaldsdottir, who sent a shot looping into the Eagles’ net, giving the Seminoles a 2-0 lead.
The FSU players would enter the second half with this 2-0 advantage, and they would hold it until the game’s end.
For the Eagles, who were unable to retake the lead, their second half offense was, much like the first, defined by a series of half-chances. While foul calls had caused the BC team to offensively struggle in the initial 45 minutes, offside calls gave the squad troubles in the final 45 minutes—disrupting what could have been major scoring chances.
On the defensive end, the Eagles were largely able to prevent the Seminoles from establishing the same offensive presence they had in the first half, and the Eagles also succeeded in following certain parts of their initial plan.
“We had a very particular game plan,” explained Foley. “We cut off spaces where they’re really dangerous. Normally it’s a team that gets tons and tons of flank service. They didn’t get into those positions to serve.”
But the mistakes of the first half would continue to haunt the BC squad, preventing the team from prevailing against its conference competitor.
“[On] two mistakes, they capitalized,” Foley said. “We obviously created the first one, with not doing a good job clearing the ball. Those things you can’t set tactics up to prevent.”
Featured Image by Emily Fahey / Heights Editor