Previewing 2018 Women’s Soccer: Wake Forest

boston college women's soccer

Off to its best start in 35 years, Boston College women’s soccer continues conference play with a makeup game against Wake Forest. The original meeting scheduled between these two teams was disrupted by Hurricane Florence, but room was found in the schedule to accommodate the crucial Atlantic Coast matchup. The No. 11 Eagles (10-0, 2-0 ACC) are fresh off an upset of No. 7 Florida State that vaulted them into national relevance, while the Demon Deacons (5-3-1, 1-1) have won two of three but suffered a narrow 1-0 setback to Notre Dame on Sunday.

Who is BC playing?
Wake Forest

When is BC playing?
Thursday, Sept. 27, 7 p.m.

Where is BC playing?
Spry Stadium, Winston-Salem, N.C.

How to Watch:
The game will be available to stream on WatchESPN via ACC Network Extra.

By the Numbers:

BC:

1) The Eagles are playing their first game outside the state of Massachusetts—a surprising stat when you consider they’re already over halfway through the 2018 campaign. With eight of its 10 games so far being played at the Newton Soccer Field, BC has logged just 7.9 miles of total travel.

2) The 10-0 record is the lone undefeated mark in the ACC and makes the Eagles one of just two teams without a single loss or tie. The other team is Washington State, who have played two fewer games and just one against a ranked opponent.

3) The BC offense has racked up 26 goals in 10 games, tied for the most in the conference. This is in no small part due to the superb play of Sam Coffey, who paces the ACC with 19 points (five goals and nine assists). Coffey is already within one point of her points total from all of last year.

Wake Forest:

1) The Demon Deacons have been difficult to beat at home, boasting a 4-1-1 record. This mark includes an impressive win over then-No. 5 Penn State and an overtime draw with then-No. 13 Tennessee.

2) In statistics, a quick rule of thumb to estimate a team’s winning percentage is Bill James’s pythagorean expectation, which looks at goal differential and predicts what a team’s record should be. Wake Forest is outscoring opponents by a goal per game, and its 17-8 total margin would forecast a seven-win team, two wins more than its current mark.

3) The defense has clearly been a strength, and a lot of that success can be attributed to Nonie Frishette, a senior goalkeeper. Frishette has been called upon often—she leads the conference in saves despite two fewer games played than most of the goalies—and been largely successful. Her save percentage is tied for third.

Last Meeting:

BC won, 1-0, on Sept. 24, 2017. It took 73 minutes for the Eagles to find the only goal of the match, with Olivia Vaughn eventually finding paydirt. Vaughn took it upon herself to score the decisive goal, taking the ball up the left side and eventually creating enough space to unleash a shot. BC goalkeeper Alexis Bryant had five saves in the win, including a diving save in the final minute that preserved the shutout.

Outlook:

The Eagles are coming off their biggest win of the season—a home takedown of a top-10 conference opponent in the Seminoles. The significance of that victory can’t be understated. It vaulted BC from a team merely getting attention for what some have called an “empty record” to one that is clearly to be taken seriously. It wasn’t a lucky win, either, as the Eagles played largely level with FSU in shots and corner kicks. BC’s speed was a serious issue for the Seminoles to handle, and while the Eagles were called offsides six times, the threat was constant—and eventually paid off. Most defenses, the Demon Deacons included, will have troubles containing the plethora of weapons up top for BC.

With Jenna Bike finally earning the attention she’s warranted throughout the season and the defense continuing to hold stout, the Eagles are really clicking on all cylinders. Traveling outside of the state is new to the team, though, so North Carolina could also serve as a reality check. After all, BC went into Winston-Salem two years ago with a solid 10-4-1 record and was outplayed throughout, falling 2-0.

Featured Image by Kaitlin Meeks / Heights Editor

Bradley Smart
About Bradley Smart 200 Articles
Bradley is the associate sports editor for The Heights. He believes that America does truly run on Dunkin, March is the best month, baseball teams should always wear stirrups, and being down 3-1, in anything, is never cause for concern. You can follow him on Twitter @bradleysmart15.