Boston College 2, UCF 1

Â

Â

With the temperatures in the low 60s, it was a day more suited for Chestnut Hill than Gainesville, Fla. The Boston College womens soccer team used that to its advantage, however, as the Eagles remained hot and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament with a 2-1 win over Central Florida on Sunday afternoon.

The Eagles and Golden Knights played a scoreless first half, and it looked as if Boston College might be headed for another sudden-death shootout. The Eagles advanced on penalty kicks over Florida State in the first round on Friday.

After 168 minutes of scoreless soccer during the weekend, BC senior co-captain Laina Ceddia took matters into her own hands. Ceddia, clearly one of the quickest players on any soccer field, received a feed from sophomore Laura Georges at midfield and broke down the UCF defense, making her way to the top of the box. The defense retreated and allowed Ceddia to go one-on-one with Golden Knight goalkeeper Julie Snaman. Ceddia hammered a shot to the top right corner of the net, giving the Eagles their first goal of the tournament.

Ceddias teammates followed her lead as Boston College enjoyed an offensive surge throughout the next 10 minutes of the half.

In the 53rd minute, Georges gained control of a corner kick, just missing the goal with a header off to the right side. Five minutes later, freshman Kia McNeill gave the Eagles a two-goal lead by using a mixture of size, speed and acrobatic footwork to power past UCF defenders, firing the ball past Snaman on the left.

The Golden Knights answered BCs offensive onslaught with a goal of their own a little more than two minutes later. Sophomore midfielder Kate McCain picked up a loose ball in front of the BC goal and beat goalkeeper Kate Taylor with a chip shot to the right.

Boston College turned in another impressive defensive effort as Lindsey McArdle and Mary Schneck prevented potential UCF scoring opportunities from materializing with countless tackles that gave the Eagles possession. The backfield was also active on the offensive side, as a McArdle header flew just over the top post after a well-placed free kick by sophomore Jenny Mauer. The Eagle defense limited the Golden Knights to just two second-half shots and none after McCains goal in the 61st minute.

Boston College, the only team to make it to the second round of the tournament on penalty kicks, advances to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1999, when they fell to Big East rival Connecticut, 5-0. Coach Alison Foley improves to 4-3 in NCAA Tournament play.

The Eagles will head to Princeton next weekend for a third-round match with the Tigers. Princeton defeated Villanova in overtime, 1-0, on Sunday afternoon in New Jersey. The Tigers got the better of the Eagles in a 2002 matchup between the two teams, winning 1-0 at the Newton Campus Soccer Field.

-- Courtesy Boston College