Earlier this month, Boston College field hockey began its upward ascent with a resume-building win over No. 8 Virginia, and it has been unstoppable since. Sunday’s road game against New Hampshire—the Eagles’ last non-conference matchup of the year—was just the latest strong performance in a string of victories. Behind goals from Nell Webber and Sky Caron, No. 13 BC won its sixth straight, sinking the Wildcats, 2-0.
Boasting a hot hand in goal, Sarah Dwyer has played a large role in BC’s (10-5, 3-1 Atlantic Coast) recent success, conceding her first goal in four games against Syracuse this weekend. Her defensive efforts, coupled with Margo Carlin’s uncanny ability to find the back of the cage, have helped the Eagles on their recent roll, and things didn’t change in their final tune-up before Friday’s stiff road test against No. 1 North Carolina.
Things got off to a slow start in Durham, as both teams struggled to get a shot off through much of the first frame. While the Eagles were opportunistic from the outset, drawing a penalty corner inside the first five minutes of regulation, they failed to capitalize for the early lead. It wasn’t until Webber subbed in at the seven-minute mark that things started heating up. Webber gained possession within 30 seconds of taking the field and made the most of it, scoring off a pass from Elizabeth Warner deep down the right side. BC’s defense tightened up from there, taking the pressure off Dwyer, as it kept UNH (7-8, 1-2 America East) out of the circle for the remainder of the quarter.
The Wildcats refused to let the Eagles get comfortable, though, as they played reckless offense in the second frame. UNH’s Isabelle Danahy managed to navigate the BC defense and get a shot off two minutes into the quarter, but it was to no avail. In true form, Dwyer managed to get her body in front to maintain the lead, but the Wildcats weren’t done fighting. Winning a corner just three minutes later, UNH seemed poised to notch the equalizer. Once again, Dwyer wasn’t having it. Despite a shot from Finn Caron, Dwyer made sure to keep the score stagnant, as the BC offense struggled to regain its footing. Two equally unsuccessful penalty corners for the Eagles kept UNH within striking distance, while scoring difficulties plagued both teams for the remainder of the half.
It wasn’t until the third quarter that BC managed to pull away, despite an aggressive effort from the Wildcats. Winning its second corner of the game within two minutes of the break, UNH still couldn’t quite find the back of the cage, even with two consecutive shot attempts. The Eagles capitalized on an opportunity to put the game away, shaking off their scoring woes, as Carlin drew a penalty stroke and Caron buried the ensuing a shot to double the lead. From there, it was all about protecting the circle. The Eagles proceeded to shut out the Wildcats for the remainder of the period, heading into the final quarter ready to tally another win.
Things went just as planned. BC held the Wildcats to three unsuccessful shots to end the game. While UNH goaltender Jemma Woods made it difficult for the Eagles to pad the score, the Wildcat offense proved hardly problematic for the Eagles, who managed to keep UNH out of the circle and maintain possession throughout much of the quarter. With their final non-conference victory of the season under their belt, the Eagles headed back over the state line to prepare for their final stretch of the season with six straight wins behind them.
As BC continues to gain momentum, it seems as if there is no stopping this team from continuing to make its name known in its conference. It already has its longest win streak since 2014, and, with two pivotal matchups against the top-ranked Tar Heels and No. 4 Duke in the coming week, the Eagles have a chance to go into the ACC Tournament with impressive momentum. If it somehow manages two wins—however difficult that may be—BC would enter postseason play as the conference’s top seed.
Featured Image by Bridget Clark / Heights Staff