Throughout preseason, Boston College women’s soccer head coach Alison Foley identified her front line as a point of strength. Citing the return of Gaby Carreiro from an ACL that cost her the 2017 season and continued development from the likes of Olivia Vaughn and Jenna Bike, Foley’s faith in her strikers entering the year was high. On a dreary Friday night against Quinnipiac, the position’s capabilities were on full display.
Vaughn scored twice, including the eventual game-winner, Carreiro had a pair of goals and an assist, and Bike chipped in an assist and drew a foul in the penalty box as the Eagles knocked off the visiting Bobcats, 4-2, to open the season with a win their fourth season in a row.
Carreiro hadn’t played in a regular season game since Oct. 27, 2016, but looked as if she hadn’t skipped a beat. The redshirt junior needed just 10 minutes to find the back of the net, lifting her team to an early 1-0 lead via a goal from 25 yards out.
Nine minutes later, she spread the wealth, setting up Vaughn for her first goal of the year. Vaughn, a junior, has been on a tear since returning to the Heights—she scored twice in a preseason exhibition against Penn State, then netted two more to impress Foley in an intrasquad scrimmage. Her first official goal came on the near side, where she slotted the ball inside the left post past Quinnipiac (0-1) keeper Olivia Myszewski.
Momentum firmly in hand, the Eagles (1-0) surged forward—to a fault. BC was continually caught offsides by the Bobcats back line, piling up three infractions over the course of just five minutes after Vaughn’s goal. The struggles continued as the Eagles took their foot off the gas, and Quinnipiac quickly answered. Entering the final 10 minutes, BC had a firm two-goal lead and was seemingly in control. A span of just two minutes and 36 seconds was enough for that storyline to crumble, however, as the Bobcats rattled off two goals.
Lauren Triglione beat Eagles goaltender Alexis Bryant from six yards out, then Madison Borowiec answered a Carreiro goal with a long-distance snipe of her own. A 2017 MAAC Second-Team selection, Borowiec unleashed a tough shot from 25 yards out to equalize.
With the game seemingly tilting in Quinnipiac’s favor, Foley rallied the troops at the break, and it was a promising connection that gave BC the lead, just seven minutes into the second. Kayla Jennings, a new captain and fresh off a year in which she totaled just two assists in 20 games started, sent a long ball to Vaughn. The forward beat Bobcats keeper Olivia Myszewski to the 50-50 ball and practically waltzed into the net, putting the Eagles up for good.
Bike drew a penalty kick 20 minutes later, but Carreiro’s eventual conversion was nothing more than unnecessary insurance. The Eagles’ defense—anchored by 90 minutes apiece from the trio of Rachel Newborough, Gianna Mitchell, and Kayla Duran—held Quinnipiac to just one second-half shot and a lone corner. The two newcomers in Newborough and Duran more than held their own, while the steadying force of Mitchell was a familiar sight.
BC’s recovery from a disastrous end to the first half was promising, as was Carreiro’s seamless return to the starting lineup. Her role as a dangerous scoring threat opens up more chances for Bike and Vaughn, and that showed in the eight combined shots for the returning starters. A more potent offense and a stronger defense from a year ago obviously bodes well for the Eagles, but any snap judgments will have to wait until they match up with a stronger foe.
Featured Image by Jacob Catania / Heights Staff