Virginia entered the contest sporting their 3rd-longest shutout streak, needing just one more scoreless game to record their second-longest such streak ever. Boston College snapped the streak with about 20 minutes to go.
Did it matter? Not so much, no.
The game started out almost pass for pass as in this Simpson’s soccer parody.
Surely BC had seen the Notre Dame and Louisville front lines run themselves ragged chasing the ball betwixt and between the Virginia back five, and they were determined not to make the same mistake. The first two – three minutes did look the soccer equivalent of the old Dean Smith 4 Corners.
(I do want to single out solo announcer Jason Patterson for his work during this segment, and for the entire game. It is hard work to call a game all by oneself, and he did yeoman work on the day, especially making the first couple of minutes interesting.)
It didn’t take long for the Cavaliers to get on the score board, as it was once again senior Meg McCool who delivered a typical striker’s poached goal for the first. She has been on a terrific run of play, and if her scoring holds pace and Virginia plays in an as many postseason games as they ought to, she has a good chance to have the highest single season scoring record of any UVa player.
(Before my editor swoops in a deletes that last sentence, I say “Damn the jinx. Full speed ahead. These women are just this good.")
Over the next five minutes, the Cavs would record 5 shots, effectively ending the game as BS had to come out of their shell and play straight up. The Eagles managed to deny Virginia a second goal for most of the first half, but conceded in the 42nd minute when Ashlynn Serepca scored her fifth goal of the season.
Boston College was never going to be able to overcome that deficit. BC has started well each of the past two years, but they’ve feasted on a weak out-of-conference schedule both times, and when the ACC slate gets going, BS is ill-equipped to withstand the rigors. For the half, the Eagles did manage to get off a shot in the box, but it wasn’t on target.
You would have thought that they would have done better. Boston College entered the game as the fourth highest scoring team in the ACC, only trailing conference powerhouses UVa, UNC and FSU. They lost ACC player of year Sam Coffey who decamped to Penn State when BC changed coaches, but showing a depth that Coach Steve Swanson would love, they have had 11 different players score and they have been the first to score in 12 of their 16 games. But it turns out taking on the UMass Lowells and the Northeasterns of the world simply do not prepare you for the ACC.
Virginia’s next two goals came in a four-minute span midway through the second half as Serepca notched her second goal and Sydney Zandi scored for the second straight game, and it was 4 – 0. And the rout was on.
Swanson subbed in his green team of Emma Dawson (central midfielder), Cam Lexow (right wing) and McKenna Angotti (right defensive back). While all are capable – Dawson in particular is going to be good – BC was given a lifeline and they grabbed onto it. After 60 minutes of failing to get a single shot on goal, the Eagles got three, including the goal that snapped the scoreless streak on a fine shot by Gaby Correiro, and another that required a fine save from keeper Laurel Ivory. For five minutes, BC was in the game. It was too little, too late, and Swanson had seen enough. He quickly brought back Taryn Torres and Alexa Spaanstra who restored order in midfield and two minutes later, Courtney Petersen scored her first goal of the year. Two minutes after that, Emma Dawson recorded the first goal of her UVa career.
The final score: Virginia 6 – 1. And we learned that Boston College is competitive with Virginia’s green team. That has to be a pretty dispiriting revelation for Syracuse, who host UVa on Halloween Night.
All that was left was for Swanson to sub out Laurel Ivory so that she could receive the applause of the 1800 in attendance. It’s been quite a month for the keeper. She’s been named ACC Defensive Player of the Week three times and she helped record UVa’s third longest scoreless streak in team history. Michaela Moran came right in and made a pair of really saves of her own. It was a good night for everyone.
Injury Notes: Claire Constant, who missed three games this season already for a twisted ankle (?) seemed to twist that same ankle again in the second half. She was helped off the field, in seemingly more pain than when she first incurred the injury vs Minnesota. Here's hoping she only has to miss the Syracuse game.