New England Soccer Today

BC Trounces Clemson

NEWTON, Mass. – The fifth ranked Boston College Eagles continued their fantastic start to the 2012 season with a 5-1 victory over the Clemson Tigers to open conference play on Thursday night at BC’s Newton Campus Soccer Field. Hermann Trophy candidate Kristen Mewis scored twice and Maddie Payne, McKenzie Meehan, and Zoe Lombard all added goals in the win.

The win improved the unbeaten Eagles to 6-0-2 (1-0-0 ACC), while the Tigers dropped to 5-2-2 (0-1-0 ACC).

“We had a good idea that this was a very good group,” said BC head coach Alison Foley. “In terms of the non-conference schedule, it is as tough as it has ever been, so you kind of think even though we’ve got this really good group we might find a loss somewhere. But, really in terms of evaluations of each game including Stanford and University of Central Florida, I think we’ve been the best team in all of our games.”

Goals from Mewis and Payne put the Eagles up 2-0 at halftime, then Mewis struck again early in the second half and Meehan and Lombard added goals to make it 5-0. Clemson would score a late consolation goal through Tabitha Padgett.

“It’s a fantastic [start to conference play],” said BC head coach Alison Foley. “We’re happy to get five goals, happy to get three points.”

BC controlled the early play, but struggled to break through Clemson’s compact defense in the early going, settling for several easily saved shots. The Eagles finally gave Clemson ‘keeper Hunter Rittgers some problems in the 18th minute when sophomore Casey Morrison hit a free kick on target from about 30 yards. Rittgers got enough of a touch on the ball to tip it off the crossbar before it was cleared out.

Mewis then put the Eagles in the lead in the 24th minute. The Hermann Trophy candidate got on the end of a long free kick for Morrison and directed it past Rittgers from close range to make it 1-0. The goal continued Mewis’ run of scoring a goal or an assist in all eight games this season.

BC nearly doubled their lead two minutes later when sophomore Stephanie McCaffrey was played down the left flank and held off her defender into the box. McCaffrey ran towards the 6-yard box and hit a shot on frame, but Rittgers was quick off her line and made the save.

Senior Maddie Payne would double the lead for BC in the 31st minute. A great cross from senior Victoria DiMartino on the left flank slipped through a defender and found Payne, who made no mistake, slotting it in from close range to put the Eagles up 2-0.

Boston College continued to keep the Tigers pegged back in their own end and freshman McKenzie Meehan rattled the post with a powerful shot from just inside the box in the 35th minute.

Clemson finally tested Eagles ‘keeper Alex Gaul in the 41st minute. Freshman midfielder Allie Kington charged through midfield to just outside the box before curling a shot on frame, but Gaul was well positioned to make the save.

That was the only shot of the half for the Tigers, who were outshot 14 to 1 in the opening period.

“Two-nothing is always a scary, scary score,” said Foley. “It would’ve been nice if McKenzie [Meehan]’s shot that hit off the post went in to secure — three-nothing is certainly a better place to be — but it was certainly a game that we had control of, we felt confident about, and it was nice to get the three goals in the second half.”

The Eagles added to their lead in the 55th minute after earning a penalty kick when McCaffrey was pulled down from behind in the box. Mewis stepped up and calmly slotted it past Rittgers, who dove the wrong way on the play.

Three minutes later the Eagles put the game firmly out of reach when Rittgers was unable to hold a long shot from junior Patrice Vettori. Sophomore Zoe Lombard was inside the six yard box and headed the rebound in to put the home side up 4-0. Lombard was shaken up on the play after colliding with Rittgers.

The two teams exchanged goals in the 72nd minute to finish the scoring with freshman McKenzie Meehan making it 5-0 off an assist from Rachel Davitt. The goal was Meehan’s fifth of the season.

Seconds later the Tigers would get their lone goal of the match off a penalty kick by junior Tabitha Padgett to cut the lead to 5-1.

With BC subbing in plenty of under classman late, Clemson finally put some pressure on with an 86th minute chance from Kylie Tawney. Tawney directed a powerful header on frame, but substitute goalkeeper Jessica Mickelson was there to make the save and the rebound was blown dead for an offside.

BC, who finished the match with a 26 to 3 advantage, next plays at Harvard on Saturday, Sept. 15, at 7 p.m.

“We’re healthy, we’re playing well, we’re not too bad, so all good things,” said Foley.

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