NEWTON, Mass. – The Boston College women’s soccer team kicked off the 2012 season in style, cruising past Providence College on their way to a 3-0 victory in front of 831 at the Newton Campus Soccer Field.
Senior Kristen Mewis, who was named to the Hermann Trophy Watch List earlier this week, led the charge with a goal and an assist, while freshman McKenzie Meehan and junior Patrice Vettori also scored.
The 11th ranked Eagles scored two goals just before the halftime break and added another early in the second half to sink the visiting Friars. Mewis opened the scoring in the 41st minute, blasting in a shot from outside the box.
Four minutes later it was Meehan with an easy tap-in after Friars goalkeeper Jessica Goudreault failed to handle a cross from Mewis. Vettori put the game out of reach with a header nine minutes into the second half.
“Every time you start off the first game with a victory, it’s a good start to the season,” said Eagles head coach Alison Foley, now in her 16th season at the helm. “We talked about the score, 2-0 at halftime is sometimes a dangerous score. We talked about the importance of getting the next one in the next 15 (minutes). I thought they got after it. It was good to do that. We got a lot of players in. A lot of players had their first game in a BC uniform, so I thought our freshman did really well.”
The Friars looked dangerous on the counterattack early in the match and just seven minutes in Alexia Shea found her way behind the Eagles’ defense only for her breakaway to be stopped by an offside call. Catherine Zimmerman and Amanda Webster would also come close for the visitors against the run of play within the first 20 minutes.
“[Providence plays] pretty direct,” said Foley. “But it made us deal with balls over the top and it made us deal with facing our own goal, so that was certainly good practice for us.”
But BC controlled the possession and Gibby Wagner forced Jessica Goudreault into a save with a long range blast in the 10th minute. Eleven minutes later Wagner was unable to finish off a decent chance, sending a shot from about 15 yards well high after some good offensive pressure from the Eagles.
Mewis perhaps could’ve done better in 38th minute after PC was unable to properly clear a corner kick that eventually found its way to the midfielder inside the six yard box. The U.S. Youth International didn’t seem to see the ball until it was too late and it deflected off her and rolled over the line for a goal kick.
Mewis would find her goal on a much more difficult shot in the 41st minute. The senior midfielder received the ball just outside the box from Maddie Payne and rocketed a shot past Goudreault to make it 1-0.
“Maddie Payne played me a great ball back,” said Mewis. “I was at the top of the 18 and I just took a shot. I saw a little opening on the near side and I just shot it.”
Still, PC nearly found an equalizer just two minutes later after Alyssa Martino found Allison Walton at the far post with a cross off a free kick. Walton attempted a header, but couldn’t keep her shot on frame.
It was the closest PC would get to a comeback. Seconds before halftime Mewis spearheaded the attack again, sending in a cross that Goudreault failed to handle. Meehan, a Smithfield, R.I. native, was there to tap it in, giving the Eagles a 2-0 lead just before the half time break.
“I was just was just kind of looking back post [with the cross],” said Mewis. “It was a little bit close to the goalie, but she just kind of fumbled it a little bit and McKenzie was right there, so she finished it off.”
The home side finished off the visitors in the 54th minute through Vettori. After some more offensive pressure from the Eagles, Rachel Davitt sent a cross from the right flank towards the penalty spot, where Vettori was well positioned to head it in to give BC a commanding lead.
Vettori would threaten again in the 71st minute, but this time Goudreault was equal to the task, denying her close range shot with a diving save.
Mewis nearly created one last quality chance in the 83rd minute after a great run through midfield to the right flank. The Hanson, Mass. native sent a cross to the far post that just eluded Bria Washington and found Meehan, but she was unable to direct her shot on frame from a tight angle.
The Eagles defense – along with some key plays from goalkeeper Alexa Gaul – kept the Friars mostly silent in the second half as BC would open the season with a shutout in their commanding 3-0 victory.
The Eagles return to action on Friday with a trip to face the University of Connecticut. The Friars return home to face Army on Sunday.