No. 12 BC Spoils Yale Upset Bid, 3-2
Borgo Scores Two Goals for Bulldogs
NEWTON, Mass. – A span of 40 seconds wound up being all that separated Yale from an upset win at No. 12 Boston College Sunday. The Bulldogs had a 1-0 lead on a first-half goal by freshman forward Erica Borgo, but the Eagles' Janna Anctil scored twice in less than a minute early in the second half to reverse that lead. Borgo tied it again with 15 minutes to play, but Anctil finished off her hat trick seven and a half minutes later to lift her team to the 3-2 win.
Yale (6-5) had the majority of the scoring chances early in the first half. Four minutes in junior midfielder Dinah Landshut led junior forward Mia Rosati down the left side with a nice pass, but as Rosati drove in on goal all alone she could not get enough control of the ball to put it past Eagle keeper Kristine Stigas.
Five minutes later Stigas had to scramble when she allowed a long ball played in from the midfield to get past her, thinking it was heading into the goal and thus would not count if it went in because it had been shot from outside the circle. But instead of going into the goal or out of bounds the ball bounced off the goal post. Senior forward Johna Paolino was there to grab it and just missed the chance to stuff it past Stigas, who hustled back to deny the shot.
Paolino later helped Yale draw the first corner of the game, but a shot by junior back Erin Carter was blocked and Stigas made a kick save when sophomore forward/midfielder Mary Beth Barham grabbed the rebound and fed it to Borgo.
Freshman goalkeeper Emily Cain played the first half for Yale and made the biggest of her six saves by kicking away a shot by Anctil from right in front off a bouncing pass 17 minutes in.
Shortly after that the Eagles began turning up the attack thanks to seven corners in a span of 12 minutes. Cain made nice kick saves on the first two, and Landshut deflected a shot away on the third.
Shortly after denying BC's fourth corner the Bulldogs had two more scoring chances. Junior forward/midfielder Kirsten Krebs just missed a cross from Borgo with 10 minutes left in the half. Rosati and sophomore forward Maddy Sharp then combined to take the ball away from BC in the midfield and bring it up the right side, but Sharp's pass went just beyond Borgo's reach as she drove to the goal.
Boston College's fifth corner featured a diving defensive save from freshman midfielder/back Georgia Holland, who cleared the ball away while laid out on the turf. The Bulldogs blocked the sixth corner, and Landshut kept the remarkable run of defensive corners going by breaking up a pass on the seventh corner and diving to the turf to clear the ball away.
"Our corner defense is a strong unit," Stuper said. "It's not easy when you have so many in such a short time frame. It says a lot about their character and perseverance that they kept BC off the scoreboard."
The Bulldogs then took advantage of their last offensive chance before halftime. On the counterattack, Paolino received a long pass. She drove in to pull Stigas out of position, and fed the ball ahead to Borgo with no BC defenders within reach. All Borgo had to do was tap it in, and suddenly the Bulldogs had a lead on the nationally ranked Eagles.
"It was a beautiful play," Stuper said. "That's something that you practice and hope you have a chance to see in a game. Johna made a beautiful reception, saw the goalie coming out and played the ball to Borgo. It was nice to finish on a counterattack, and that was really a key moment in the game."
But BC (8-5) came out firing in the second half, and while Carter was able to knock the ball away from the Eagles on their eighth corner they kept the ball in Yale territory. Anctil eventually scored from right in front of the net.
BC then marched down the field again and got another goal from Anctil to take a 2-1 lead. But just when it looked like the Eagles were ready to take control of the game, Yale responded. Three more BC corners came up empty, thanks in part to a pair of kick saves from senior goalkeeper Katie Bolling. And when the Bulldogs got their second corner of the game they made the most of it. A shot by Landshut was blocked, but Barham kept the ball in play right in front of the net. Borgo followed up Barham's shot attempt by knocking the ball in to tie the game 2-2 with slightly more than 15 minutes left.
"We never let up once we got scored on," Stuper said. "We stayed in it and went after it, forcing them to have to try to score again."
The Eagles went back ahead when Paige Norris drove in along the baseline and fed Anctil for a 3-2 lead with 7:28 left. The Bulldogs called timeout shortly after that, and with 3:20 to play earned another corner. But Carter's shot hit the post, a sign that the upset was not meant to be. Yale kept the ball in BC territory for most of the remaining time but could not get the equalizer.
After a pair of losses to nationally ranked non-league opponents this week (Yale fell to No. 5 UConn Wednesday), the Bulldogs return to Ivy League play next Saturday at Dartmouth with a better sense of their capabilities.
"These have been two really key games for us," Stuper said. "It is great to play strong opponents. We've learned a lot about ourselves defensively, as well as what we can do on attack."
Sunday's game at BC was part of the Eagles' fundraiser for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of New England in honor of former Eagle player Kathleen Murphy. Murphy, a 2009 BC graduate who was diagnosed with the disease in 2007, was on hand to accept an honorary check for the Society before the game. Both Yale and BC warmed up in orange t-shirts with Murphy's #17 on the back, and donations were accepted at the gate.
Every goal Yale scores this season brings the world closer to a cure for myotonic dystrophy. Sophomore goalkeeper Ona McConnell (London, England) has been diagnosed with the disease, the most common form of muscular dystrophy. The Bulldogs are taking pledges for a season-long "Goal-a-thon" as part of their "Get a Grip" campaign to raise awareness and funds for the Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation. For more information, visit http://www.yalebulldogs.com/getagrip
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity