Boston College women’s soccer unleashed the full force of freshman fury Friday at Providence.
Led by a talented batch making their collegiate debuts, the Eagles stormed back from a 1-0 halftime deficit with four goals after the break to kick off the 2016 campaign with a 4-1 win over the Friars.
“I thought we made the necessary adjustments in the second half and came out with a much better tempo,” head coach Alison Foley told BCEagles.com after the match. “It’s a solid road win and now we need to focus on Arizona State.”
Providence took a 1-0 lead 24 minutes into the match, when midfielder Kayla Steeves curled a corner kick into the box and Kathryn Hiller headed it home. Both teams threatened on a number of occasions until the halftime whistle, but the Friars managed to maintain their advantage until freshman forward Jenna Bike broke the stalemate.
Bike, a U-18 U.S. Women’s National Team member since 2014, knotted the score at one apiece with a zero-touch goal in the 59th minute.
Maryland transfer Kayla Jennings followed up Bike’s effort six minutes later by pouncing on a loose ball and sending it to the twine after the Providence defense failed to move play out of its own end off a corner kick. Jennings added another goal in the 74th minute.
Senior Hayley Dowd scored her first goal of the season with four minutes remaining to effectively ice the game. It was vintage Dowd—determined and bullish.
Like a hockey forward on the forecheck, Dowd scooped the ball from a careless Providence defender. In the ensuing one-on-one opportunity, she effortlessly snuck the shot to the near post, past the arms of Friars keeper Kristyn Shea to avenge a turned-away penalty shot 18 minutes into the first half.
Dowd now has 33 career goals, good for fifth all-time at BC.
All-American striker McKenzie Meehan put boot to ball for seven shots, but missed the target or was denied each on each occasion. Still, BC outshot Providence 19-2, proving that the mix of freshmen and seniors can produce a potent offensive attack.
BC enters the season with great expectations, ranked in the top 25 by a number of websites and analysts. The Eagles finished 11-7-2 in 2016—including 5-3-2 in Atlantic Coast action—and have retained several key contributors. With their home opener around the corner on Sunday at 1 p.m. against Arizona State, they got off to an ideal start.
Featured Image by Drew Hoo / Heights Senior Staff