add_theme_support( 'post-thumbnails' );Women's Soccer Blanked by Clemson 3-0 - BANG.
Arthur Christory - Caroline Burke / Gavel Media

Women's Soccer Blanked by Clemson 3-0

The Eagles closed out a two-game weekend road trip down South with a 3-0 loss to Clemson on Sunday afternoon.

Clemson opened the scoring in the 13th minute with a senior night goal for Maliah Morris. The play started with Tigers keeper Halle Mackiewicz sending the ball into the midfield with a long ball from the box. Caroline Conti flicked the ball on with a header, and Morris beat her defender to the ball and cut inside. With no one in front of her, Morris took the space to the center of the box, closing in on the six-yard box while two Eagle players collapsed in to try and stop her. Morris beat a slide tackle, keeping the shot off and keeping the ball low, surprising Wiebke Willebrandt, who dropped low but could not quite block enough of the ball to keep it out of the back of the net.

13 minutes later, Clemson added a second goal, also scored by a senior. Renee Lyles managed to find space on her right side, getting on the inside of two Boston College defenders and rifling off a shot aimed at the top left corner. The shot hit the crossbar, deflecting down and just outside the goal line. Unfortunately for the Eagles, Samantha Meredith was lurking on the back post and beat her defender to the ball before one-touching it past Willebrandt to make the score 2-0 Clemson.

Meredith scored again for Clemson in the second half to give Clemson the 3-0 lead in the 59th minute. Tigers forward Maliah Morris took the ball to the goal line, managing to get a low cross off as the defense closed in. Sarai Costello, attempting to block the cross, deflected the ball up and over Willebrandt, who had come out to make a save. The deflection bounced the ball to the far-post where Meredith was waiting. The senior rocketed the ball into the top netting, adding a punctuation mark to her game.

Disjointed in the first half, the Eagles struggled with both possession and space. At times, it looked like BC was simply playing a shape, not the ball, with players allowing Clemson to push deeper into BC territory before a defender would step up. Holding the shape versus advancing to the ball allowed Clemson to keep their head up and locate options, giving the Tigers the edge in composure.

On the other side, the forwards and midfielders could not find chemistry, with passes being too far ahead or just behind Eagles players looking to make runs. Clemson’s press beat the Eagles to the ball and several players were guilty of waiting for the ball to come to them instead of checking, which allowed Clemson to continually disrupt momentum and go the other way. With a mostly defensive first, Willebrandt had her hands full with four saves in the first half.

A stretch of the second half showed a more dominant Eagles team, with Sydney Segalla having two chances back-to-back to pull back a goal for BC. Segalla’s speed helped to push the game forward, finding herself alone on the wing or beating defenders. Her first shot, with heavy pressure on her left from a Clemson defender, went just wide and her second shot forced Clemson keeper Mackiewicz into a diving save to protect her clean sheet.

With dangerous chances generated in the second half, the Eagles proved that they have creativity up top to pressure ACC teams. Though the lack of finishing, especially in games focused on defensive play, means the Eagles have to be technically perfect at all times to prevent opponents from scoring.

The balance between defending and attacking is something the Eagles have struggled with all season. BC wants to play a more defensive game, especially against ACC opponents, but with so few goals any defensive mistakes seem glaring. Maintaining possession for long stretches of time would help, but the Eagles also need to find a way to convert their chances. Shots for the game ended up being 24 to 9 in favor of Clemson, making it difficult for the Eagles to break out of their own half or feel any sense of momentum.

The Eagles (5-8-4) will finish their regular season with a Thursday night matchup against Wake Forest (9-5-2) home at Newton Soccer Field at 7pm.

 

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