Dowd’s Game-Winner Lifts Women’s Soccer in Upset of No. 2 Florida State

Boston College women's hockey

Boston College women’s soccer snapped a nagging losing streak that accompanied the team into a cool Thursday night matchup at home on Newton Campus Field. Under the lights and with clear skies, the Eagles took on No. 2 Florida State in the hopes of earning their second Atlantic Coast Conference win of the season in dramatic fashion over a powerful FSU squad. The cold weather seemed to push the game off to a slow and sloppy start. But as the first half wore on, the on-field intensity grew, and BC capitalized on Seminole mistakes with physical play and ultimately walked off of the field with a huge 2-1 victory.

Both teams looked sluggish out of the gate, as each offense seemed to favor long passes to ambush their opposite defenses. The defenses also looked slow, as early mistakes created opportunities. The first try of the game came in a BC turnover in its own zone. A crossing pass from Florida State just missed a charging forward for the missed opportunity. That play set the tone for the Seminoles, whose offense favored methodical and efficient passing to find clean shots on net.

BC (10-3-1, 2-3-0 Atlantic Coast) didn’t lag behind though, and quickly found itself in the FSU (9-2-1, 3-1-1) defensive zone. After bringing the ball deep into the FSU zone, a pass out from the baseline was intercepted by the Seminoles’ defense. The ensuing pass back to the goalie, however, was not well communicated. Lauren Berman capitalized on the opportunity, sending a goal into the back of the Florida State net and giving BC the early lead in the 14th minute.

 

The Seminoles didn’t stay down for long, as Eagle mistakes and miscommunication led to opportunities for FSU. Seminole forward Dallas Dorosy capitalized on a miscommunication between the BC defense, and keeper Alexis Bryant opened up a wide-open shot for Dorosy, who tied the game with an easy shot on net just 10 minutes after BC seized the lead. The score carried on into the half, with the two teams deadlocked at 1-1.

The game continued to be incredibly physical throughout, and a number of no-calls had each sideline in a frenzy. Unlike the Seminoles, the Eagles reacted better to the no-calls and maintained their composure. The second half started off much faster than the first. Hayley Dowd forced a turnover that came in the form of a loose ball in the heart of Florida State’s defensive zone. Dowd jumped on the opportunity for the Eagles, and let go a screamer of a shot to the top left corner of the goal from the top of the defensive box, extending BC’s lead to 2-1 in the 50th minute.

The Seminoles’ last real chance at scoring came off of a deep pass into the BC defensive zone. FSU’s Olivia Bergau led the attack with a header shot that was deflected by Bryant. The initial shot was pushed to the right, right at Kaycie Tillman. Bryant immediately had to get back into position to save the subsequent shot.

In the last 10 minutes of play, the BC game plan became more conservative. Up one goal, the Eagles made sure to take possession and send the ball deep into FSU’s zone to kill the clock. That’s exactly what they did, and the Eagles walked out winners in thrilling fashion over one of the best teams in the country.

“We want to keep the ball on the ground, we want to keep the ball moving,” head coach Alison Foley said. “Florida State has only let two goals in all year, and we found a way to put two in the back of the net, so we’re really pleased with that.”

Featured Image by Lizzy Barrett / Heights Staff