Photo courtesy of BC Women's Soccer / Twitter

Women's Soccer Shutout by V-Tech in Blacksburg

Boston College women’s soccer lost a 1-0 game to Virginia Tech Sunday afternoon in Blacksburg, Virginia. Despite looking dangerous all game, the Eagles were unable to find the back of the net.  

Driving down the left-field line in the 21st minute, Allie George dribbled into the box and drove a low cross in front of the goal line. Wiebke Willebrandt stepped out to play it, but a sliding Emma Pelkowski redirected the ball just past her and into the net to give the Hokies a one-goal lead.

The Hokies' goal came seconds after a dangerous Eagles' chance. Laura Gouvin forced a turnover in the Virginia Tech end and fed the ball to Jenna Bike. Bike looked to link up with Abby McNamara with an open look at the net inside the Hokies box, but the Eagles were offsides and the play was called back, allowing the Hokies’ offense to transition quickly off the set piece.

The V-Tech goal energized the Eagles’ offense, who frequently looked like the more dangerous team in the first half. Dominating possession, the Eagles forced Alia Skinner to make five saves in the first half, often back-to-back. While they got into the box, the Eagles were unable to capitalize.

Gouvin had a solid game in the midfield by forcing turnovers and driving play forward with set-piece kicks. Finding herself in space, Gouvin controlled the game tempo. She sent runners forward into the box and collected the ball to distribute it to the wings. She also recorded the first shot on net in the game when she sent a low ball from distance towards the Hokies goal in the ninth minute.

In the 23rd minute, the Eagles had a flurry of chances. Ella Richards found herself with enough space to turn inside the 18-yard box and fired a near-post shot that went off Skinner’s foot. Sam Agresti turned the rebound into a one-timer that slipped by Skinner, but she was able to turn and grab the slow-rolling shot before it crossed the goal line.

The second half favored the Hokies, who, like the Eagles, struggled in the final third to put the ball on net despite finding themselves with opportunities. The defense struggled to disrupt passing lanes, playing desperate defense more often than containing the Hokies’ threat. 

Éabha O’Mahony, who flew in Saturday from international duty for the Irish women’s national team, provided the best chance of the second half for the Eagles. Dribbling the ball into the lower left side of the Hokies box, O’Mahony fired off a well-aimed, arching cross that curled towards the face of the goal. Yet, Skinner punched the ball away, disrupting the chance and preventing the Eagles from capitalizing on the play.

Willebrandt had seven saves on the day, keeping the Eagles in the game and shutting down the Hokies’ chances. Her positional play kept Virginia Tech from having follow-up chances on shots. Willebrandt also swallowed up corner kicks to prevent Virginia Tech chances. Her best save came with 10 minutes remaining in the second half when a tough angle shot from Emily Gray forced a diving save by Willebrandt.

The Eagles (7-9-1) return to Newton Thursday for their final match of the season against Clemson. The game will be the last chance for the Eagles to secure a second ACC win this season, having already been eliminated from competing in the ACC tournament.

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