The Boston College women's soccer team suffered just its second loss of the season Thursday afternoon in a 1-0 away defeat to North Carolina. This clash between the No. 11 Eagles and No. 3 Tar Heels featured two of the top teams in the ACC.
North Carolina’s lone goal came in the seventh minute from sophomore forward Alessia Russo. It was a breakaway finish into the upper right portion of the net following an errant throw from BC keeper Alexis Bryant.
UNC held the lion’s share of the possession through much of the remainder of the game thanks to strong dribbling and attacking play from junior forward Bridgette Andrzejewski, who combined often with Russo to sustain possession and move the UNC attack forward.
BC did create several chances for themselves in the first half. Paramount among them was a shot by junior Olivia Vaughn which hit the crossbar in minute 20. Junior Jenna Bike came up with the rebound, but her shot on goal was headed off the line by a UNC defender. The team’s shot totals were fairly even at the end of the first half, with UNC holding a slight advantage of 8-6.
The Eagles' offensive struggles would continue in the second half. They struggled mightily with holding possession in North Carolina territory. They did manage some positive passes around midfield, often led by sophomore Jillian Jennings and Jenna Bike as the they tried to push their team forward.
However, much of the second half remained a defensive battle. Stifling defense by sophomore Mijke Roelfsema kept North Carolina off the board. Freshman Kayla Duran and sophomore Gianna Mitchell also played well and kept the Eagles within striking distance.
Although BC kept UNC off the scoreboard in the second half, the Tar Heels still managed to control possession for a majority of the time.
The Eagles kept it close for one last bevy of chances in the game’s final minutes. Jenna Bike gave BC a chance with a dangerous low cross in minute 86, but the play was once again broken up by the UNC defense. Kayla Jennings also had a shot deflected after a chaotic sequence in front of the goal in minute 88. With 19 seconds to play, Duran also produced a long effort that soared just over the crossbar.
In the end, BC could not pull even in the game. With the loss, they now fall to 13-2-1 on the season, with a 5-2-1 record in the ACC. UNC stayed perfect in ACC play, moving to 8-0. They are 13-2-1 overall.
The next game does not get much easier for the Eagles. They will continue their tour of North Carolina this Sunday at 1 p.m. on the road against No. 10 Duke.
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