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Stanford escapes with 2nd overtime win over BC

NEWTON, Mass.—It took only took 108 minutes, but in the end, Stanford was able to eke out a 2-1 win in second overtime with Alex Doll’s golden goal to dash Boston College’s hopes for a win at its home opener.  Despite the Eagles doing well to disrupt Stanford’s offense and minimize the effectiveness of forward Chioma Ubogagu’s touches, Stanford was able to grind out the overtime victory.

[More NCAA 2013: Find out where BC and Stanford stand in ACC and Pac-10, plus can UNC defend its crown?]

Lauren Bernard netted the first goal of the game and season for Boston College in the 7th minute.  After picking up a stray rebound from a jumble between Stephanie McCaffrey and the Cardinals defense, she pushed down the left side and beat Stanford goalkeeper Emily Oliver on a tight angle shot to give BC the surprise lead early.

It wouldn’t take long for Stanford to even it back up, with Sydney Payne being in the right place at the right time to push the ball past BC’s goalkeeper Jessica Mickelson off an awkward scramble caused by an Ubogagu shot/cross from deep in the left corner.  Despite BC managing to limit Ubogagu’s danger in the box, she still ended up with the assists on both Stanford goals.

The two teams would need another 97 minutes to score.  While Ubogagu shone in the first half, BC frustrated her in the second.  The Eagles defense sometimes lost sight of her, but generally forced her into awkward first touches, even a couple of give-aways on bad passes.  She did have two notable chances in the second half, though neither would even be credited as a shot on goal.  In the 76th minute, Ubogagu launched a shot that went over the crossbar by only inches, and in the 82nd, she beat her defender with her back to goal, turned, fired off her shot but the BC defense was able to put a body in front of it and block it out to the sidelines.

The first ten minute OT came and went without much in the way of chances for either side. The BC defense came up big to prevent Stanford from producing anything from it’s offensive looking more cohesive in the final minute of the first period of extra time.  The second would not be quite as lucky for the Eagles, with the referee calling a handball on BC just outside of the box with only 2:50 remaining to play.

With both Courtney Verloo and Chioma Ubogagu hovering behind the ball on the free kick, first Verloo would step up in a fake-out, then Ubogagu aimed for Mickelson’s right side.  Mickelson was able to get herself in position to make the save on the direct kick, but was unable to control the rebound and manage to land safely.  As she lost her balance into the net, Stanford’s Alex Doll mopped up the rebound for the golden goal and victory.

After the match, Stanford Head Coach Paul Ratcliffe said BC proved to be the tough competition he expected heading into the match for his young Cardinals.  “We’re definitely trying to find our chemistry and find our stride, but they showed great character to come through and get the result in the end.”

Ratcliffe admitted that fatigue was an issue, even before the overtime started.  The major adjustment for him in extra time was substitutions.  “I’m trying to keep everyone fresh, as much as I can.”  That could be a challenge later this weekend as the team buses to Hartford tomorrow to take on Connecticut at 3 pm on Sunday.

As for Boston College, Alison Foley was positive despite the final numbers on the scoreboard.  “I thought the sophomore group, I thought they were stars.  Lauren Benard, Madison Meehan, Coco [Woeltz], McKenzie [Meehan].”  While these players weren’t all starters last year, Foley said, “We’re doing our jobs as coaches, we’re developing them in the off-season in hopes they can step in for the likes of a Kristie Mewis or Vickie [DiMartino].”

[More: FC Kansas City’s Kristie Mewis already subsidized by U.S. Soccer]

And while much is being made out of the loss of Mewis and DiMartino for the Eagles, it’s not something Foley is sweating.  “All in all, if I have to match this game up against last year, I think we have a better team this year.”

She’ll have the chance to prove that theory this Sunday when BC hosts neighbors Boston University at 3 pm at the Newton soccer fields.

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Other notable scores on the first day of the NCAA season for Division 1 women’s soccer:

  • North Carolina defeated Santa Clara 2-0 on two Crystal Dunn goals.
  • Notre Dame took out the Fighting Illini 4-1, with 4 different goal-scorers for the night.
  • Virginia defeated VCU 4-2, again with 4 different goal-scorers.  Morgan Brian had 2 assists.
  • Georgetown edged William & Mary in overtime 2-1.  Kaitlin Brenn had the winner for the Hoyas.
  • The University of Maryland demolished The Citadel 9-0.  Sophomore Ashley Spivey had a hat trick and an assist for seven points on the night.
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