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Photo courtesy of BC Women's Soccer / Twitter

Women's Soccer's Season Ends with 1-1 Tie With Wake Forest

Boston College Women's Soccer’s 2022 season came to an end under the Newton lights on Thursday night with a 1-1 tie to Wake Forest.

Sophia Lowenberg opened the scoring in the 81st minute, finally breaking through the Wake Forest defense. Sarai Costello started the play in the Eagles' own half, finding Laura Gouvin on the right side, just under the half-line. Gouvin took a touch and then launched the ball over the Wake Forest backline, with Lowenberg and Claire Mensi charging for it as Wake Forest goalkeeper Kaitlyn Parks charged off her line to intercept the ball. Lowenberg got there first, one-touching it over the head of Parks with a high, arching ball that dropped over the goal line near the far post to give the Eagles the 1-0 lead with nine minutes left.

Wake Forest answered four minutes later with a Hannah Johnson goal in the 85th minute. Finding plenty of space on the right side, Kristin Johnson drove down the sideline before sending a cross into the box. Johnson, having drifted between two BC defenders, received the cross at the penalty spot. Bringing the ball down, Johnson managed to keep possession, despite both Michela Agresti and Éabha O’Mahony closing down on her. Pulling the ball back, Johnson created space and fired off a left-footed shot that rocketed past Wiebke Willebrandt just inside the near post to level the score with five minutes left.

The Eagles had their chances, but as has been the storyline all season, just could not put them away. Fifteen minutes into the game, Sam Smith rang the ball off the crossbar to set the tone that BC was here to win their final game. Sydney Segalla would generate a chance in the 26th minute, with the BC defense sending a ball over the top that Segella’s speed helped her catch up with, but the freshman took one too many touches as Wake Forest goalkeeper Park snagged the ball first having come off her line.

In the second half, the Eagles struggled to maintain any sense of rhythm with the game going back and forth as Wake struggled to keep possession as well. The teams traded turnovers, with BC struggling to connect through the midfield or find success with balls over the top of the Wake Forest defense. Instead, the game got chippy, with both sides committing fouls as frustration mounted with each missed pass or misplayed ball.

Once again, it would be Smith who started to shift the momentum for the Eagles, registering a shot in the 75th minute that went out on the left side, giving BC a corner kick. The ensuing corner kick led to chaos in the box, with the Eagles appearing to score a goal off a shot sent into the middle of the box, but the offsides flag was up and the goal got waved back.

All told, the Eagles was offsides five times in the game, handing possession back to Wake Forest and preventing dangerous chances from developing. With plenty of speed up top in players like Segalla, Smith, and Andi Barth, it makes sense that the Eagles would want to try and spring a winger, but the lack of patience ended up preventing the game plan from being implemented effectively. Luckily for the Eagles, the goal waved offside did not hurt their momentum and Lowenberg was able to score five minutes later.

Willebrandt once again was a difference maker for the Eagles with three saves on the night, including one to close out the end of the first half. While a relatively young defense has tried to figure itself out, Willebrandt has kept the Eagles in games, trying to give the offense a chance to figure out the other team. Her command of the box and willingness to play the ball with her feet pushed the Eagles higher and provided an outlet for a defense trying to regain control of a back and forth game.

The Eagles end the season 5-8-5 with a win percentage of .417—exactly the same as last season, although with a slightly different record of 7-10-1. The team does not qualify for the ACC tournament or a berth for the NCAA tournament, finishing last in the ACC with a 1-7-2 conference record.


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