add_theme_support( 'post-thumbnails' );Women's Soccer Falls to Clemson, 4-1 - BANG.
Photo courtesy of BC Women's Soccer / Twitter

Women's Soccer Falls to Clemson, 4-1

Boston College women’s soccer fell 4-1 to Clemson in their final game of the season at Newton on Thursday evening. Although the rain had cleared the Boston area, Clemson rained three goals on the Eagles in the first half, scoring their fourth off of a penalty kick midway through the second. Caroline Conti scored a brace in the first 13 minutes of the game.

The game winning goal was scored by Conti in the 13th minute for Clemson. Her second of the night was off of a set-piece corner-kick that Megan Bornkamp headed in towards the middle of the box from the far-post. Conti deflected the ball past Eagles keeper Wiebke Willebrandt for the Tigers' second goal of the night.

Conti’s first goal came in the fourth minute, off a misplay by Willebrandt. Thinking she had more time and space, Willebrandt took a touch on a ball played back to her before realizing the Clemson forward was closing in quickly. Playing the ball to the left-sideline out of desperation, the clearance went straight to a Clemson player who crossed the ball to Conti, waiting at the top of the box. Conti took a touch before firing home a shot to the lower left post.

Three minutes later, Sam Agresti would even the score for the Eagles. As a Clemson defender passed the ball back to Tigers keeper Hensley Hancuff, Sam Agresti pressured the ball, forcing a deflection that she slotted home to the lower far-post, tying the game. The goal would be the Eagles’ only shot on goal for the entire first half.

Clemson scored the final goal of the half in the 20th minute. Conti received the ball on the right flank, took a single touch to settle the ball, and then played a perfect through ball to Maliah Morris. Finding herself with plenty of space inside the box, Morris cut the ball and fed a cross to Renee Lyles, who had a step on Eagles’ defender Haley Thomas. Lyles, on the run, one-timed the ball into the top-left corner of the net.

Throughout the first half the Eagles’ midfield appeared disorganized and ill prepared to counter Clemson’s speed on the wings. Often both center midfielders collapsed on an oncoming Clemson player, who would find the open player, forcing a hasty reorganization of the Eagles’ defense. Instead of advancing a high press, the Eagles collapsed in on themselves, allowing the Tigers extra space on the field.

At the start of the second half, Head Coach Jason Lowe opted to start Kenzie Eagan in goal instead of Willebrandt. The second half performance would be Egan’s only minutes all season.

The Tigers’ final goal came on a penalty kick in the 57th minute. Eagles’ midfielder Laura Gouvin was called for a handball in the box while attempting to clear a corner-kick ball. The referee awarded the penalty kick and Megan Bornkamp stepped up to take it for Clemson. On the whistle, Bornkamp buried the ball in the lower left corner as Eagan dove to the right.

Despite the frustrated play for the Eagles, the freshman class proved the future is bright. Éabha O’Mahony, pressing high, fed the ball to Sam Agresti who returned the give-and-go to O’Mahony who earned a corner on the play. Freshman Ella Richards finished the season as the Eagles’ leader in points and tied for the lead in goals scored at eight.

The best chance of the night came in the 76th minute. Alison Heckman managed to find Abby McNamara on a free-kick, but McNamara’s header was saved by Tigers keeper Hancuff to keep the score 4-1 Clemson.

The Eagles also celebrated senior night, honoring the seven graduate students and seniors in the program. Players celebrated included captain and sixth year Jenna Bike as well as fellow captain, fifth year Mia Karras. All three seniors were transfers to the Eagle’s program. Two graduate students, Haley Thomas and Abby McNamara were also honored.

The Eagles finished the season 7-10-1 with an ACC record of 1-9-0.

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