Photo courtesy of BC Women's Soccer / Twitter

Women's Soccer Falls 1-0 to Michigan

The Boston College women’s soccer team lost 1-0 to Michigan on Thursday evening at Newton in a historic first meeting between the two sides. Lily Farkas scored the game’s only goal in the 52nd minute to break the Eagles' two-game win streak and deliver their first loss of the season.

 The Farkas goal came off a cross from Danielle Wolfe, who noticed the striker unmarked at the top of the box and slipped a pass to her. Farkas arched the shot into the far post, past a diving Wiebke Willebrandt to make the score 1-0 in favor of the Wolverines. Michigan would hold the lead for the rest of the game, although the Eagles would continue to pressure the Wolverines and the shot total would end up 11-10, with Michigan only narrowly outshooting the Eagles.

 The first half featured significant back and forth between the Eagles and the Wolverines, with both teams struggling to break through defensive lines and challenge the defense or the goalie. While the Eagles tried to play the ball wide, Michigan focused on driving deep and then crossing. A clear rhythm never developed for either team, and possession was routinely traded near the center-field line.

 Sydney Segalla came on as a substitute with twenty minutes left in the first half and made an instant impact with her speed, allowing the Eagles to control the ball deep in the Wolverines' final third and commit defenders to stop her from breaking their line. In the waning minutes of the first, Segalla had two back-to-back chances that looked to equalize before taking a deflection or the goalie making the save.

 Although the Wolverines came out gunning in the second half, the Eagles held their own and had plenty of opportunities to tie the game. Alycia Morin had an excellent chance in the 56th minute, battling her defender in the box before managing to get a shot off as she went to ground. Unfortunately for the Eagles, the ball sailed over the crossbar for a goal kick.

 Minutes later Emily Sapienza, looking for her third goal in as many games, rifled a shot that took a deflection off a defender, earning a corner. The Eagles would have seven corner kicks on the night, and looked dangerous on all of them, except, of course, that none managed to find the back of the net. The number of chances, along with the diverse number of players who found themselves on the end of a dangerous ball is good news for the Eagles. With a little more technical work, at least some of those shots should find their way into the back of the net.  

 The Eagles played as a compact unit, especially in the first half where possession tended to switch rapidly preventing a predictable game flow. As players advanced down the field, others would slot in to prevent Michigan from succeeding on a quick counter-attack. This type of chemistry is important for the Eagles' game later on in the season, as speed on the wings means that center-midfielders and outside backs will be asked to step in to retain possession higher up the field.

 Important to note in looking at this result was that forward Ella Richards missed the game due to a red card at Northeastern, meaning the Eagles were without their center forward in a critical matchup. Michigan, previously ranked No. 9 in the country, was also coming off a surprise loss to Butler, which served as motivation in the match-up against the Eagles. Claire Mensi picked up a yellow card late in the second, the only card of the game. 

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