Nebraska Soccer falls 4-1 to Boston College in NCAA Tournament

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

First Half

The match kicked off under blue skies but windy and below freezing temperatures at the Nebraska Soccer Field. The game started off pretty slow but the Golden Eagles had the first chance when Jana Jeffrey took a shot from outside the penalty area that sailed over the crossbar. There was a lot of exchange in possession in the midfield area but neither team had any clear chances on goal.

The first shot on goal came from forward Stephanie McCaffrey off a Boston College corner in the 15th minute. Both teams struggled to gain control on the cold playing surface. In the 21st minute, leading goal scorer MacKenzie Meehan unleashed a low shot on goal from inside the box that was comfortably saved by Emma Stevens. Boston College was played a very high defensive for most of the game was able to snuff out any through balls or crosses from the Huskers.

Boston College pressure finally paid off in the 25th minute. Shortly after Hayley Dowd was subbed on, she dribbled through the Husker defense and from a tight angle, curled a beautiful shot over Emma Stevens and into the top corner of the net to make it 1-0 Boston College. Five minutes Dowd has another great scoring chance by controlling the ball in the box to set herself up for a shot but Emma Stevens came out quickly and made a big save with her legs to prevent the Golden Eagles from doubling their lead. The Huskers best chance of the half came with under five minutes left when Katie Kraeutner latched onto a corner clearance but her volley from outside the box went inches wide of the left post.

Hayley Dowd had another scoring chance after another giveaway in the Husker midfielder but her shot was saved by Emma Stevens who jumped up to snatch the ball out of the air and the score stayed 1-0 Boston College going into halftime. The Huskers ended the half on a high note with some good scoring chances but they still did not manage on a shot on goal in the half and Boston College had 14 shots compared to the Huskers four shots.

Second Half

The Huskers started off the second half the way they ended the first half and two minutes in Jaycie Johnson has the Huskers first shot on goal that was saved by keeper Alex Johnson. Shortly afterwards the Golden Eagles had a flurry of chances. A Hayley Dowd header hit the bar in the 5th minute and shortly after that a through ball to Dowd left her one-on-one against the keeper but Emma Stevens came up with a big stop. Emma Stevens had to come up big again a minute later when Stephanie McCaffrey dribbled through on goal and took a shot from the center of the box that was blocked by Stevens.

Nebraska began to control more of the possession as the half went on but could not get any good scoring chances. In 68th minute, Jana Jeffrey tried a shot from distance that was comfortably saved by Emma Stevens. Two minutes left Jaycie Johnson dribbled the ball towards the center of the box and took another low shot that was saved by Alex Johnson. In the 74th minute, the Golden Eagles doubled their lead on a excellent passing sequence. Hayley Dowd left the ball for Lauren Bernard who sent a through ball to MacKenzie Meehan who beat the offside trap and finished in the bottom corner to make it 2-0. The Huskers were on the ropes.

Four minutes later Boston College nearly answered again by a Hayley Dowd shot from the left wing was parried about by Emma Stevens. With just under eight minutes left in the game, Boston College put the final nail in the coffin. This time it was Gibby Wagner eluding Husker defenders and dribbling into the box before unleashing a low shot past Emma Stevens into the bottom left corner of the net.

In the 85th minute the Huskers got a consolation goal when Jaylyn Odermann put a nice cross into the box that was comfortably headed into the back of the net by Mayme Conroy. After a free kick by the Huskers that was cleared away by Boston College the Eagles countered and Lauren Bernard put a shot into the empty net to rub salt onto the Husker wounds and completed the second upset of the afternoon in Lincoln by stunning Nebraska 4-1.

Post-Game Notes

-Nebraska came into this game without a lot of knowledge about Boston College this season and it seemed to show in the match. Boston College seemed to come into this match with a game plan and it paid off. Boston College outshot Nebraska 30 to 12 in the match and the Eagles had 11 shots on target compared to six for Nebraska.

-Husker coach John Walker said they faced "an excellent team who passed the ball really well…they executed a little better than us and they were the better team." Walker admitted the Huskers "got themselves into a game they didn’t want to play" when they went down early in the game and said "our counterattacks weren’t dangerous" throughout the match. Walker also mentioned the cold weather did not affect the match for them and that the whole team was giving full effort throughout the match.

-Boston College coach Alison Foley said she wanted her to team to "be patient on the ball and let our opportunities develop. Foley pointed out their ball possession was excellent and attributed her team’s tough ACC conference schedule as excellent preparation for the NCAA Tournament. Foley also said "our team spent two training sessions specifically working to deny the counterattack." Boston College midfielder Kate McCarthy praised their coaches efforts into preparing them for this game and said "we knew exactly what they were going to do" by preventing Mayme Conroy from getting the ball and giving it to Jaycie Johnson.

-If you said at the beginning of the season Nebraska Soccer would have made it this far into the NCAA Tournament I would say it would be quite the accomplishment. The Huskers exceeded many people’s expectations which such an excellent regular season but bowed out early in the NCAA Tournament.

GO BIG RED!!!

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