STANFORD, Calif. – In a dramatic second-round match which ended 0-0 through regulation and two overtimes, Boston College advanced to the third round of the NCAA tournament in a 3-1 penalty kick round against California.
”I thought it was two great teams. I thought the game went in waves. We sort of had at them in the first 10 minutes. About midway through the first half, the momentum changed onto California’s side,” BC head coach Alison Foley said. “Then we came out strong again. Both teams had some great chances. [We had one] off the crossbar [by Gibby Wagner], out wide, etc. I give [California] a lot of credit. I thought they had a really talented midfield and were really active in midfield. They gave us some problems.”
Boston College got a boost in the penalty kick round when goalkeeper Jillian Mastroianni opened the session with a save on Cal’s first attempt by Taylor Comeau. BC’s Kristie Mewis placed the ball in the back of the goal to give BC a 1-0 lead in the PK round.
Cal’s Thelma Bjork tied it at 1-1. After a miss by BC and Cal, the Eagles defender Alyssa Pember calmly gave her team a 2-1 lead on a clean shot into the left corner. Mastrioanni would step up again as she got a hand on Emi Lawson’s shot and smothered it for her second save of the session. BC’s Gibby Wagner sealed the win when she placed her shot into the corner.
“Every game’s a battle in the NCAA [Tournament]. It can be anyone’s last game,” senior goalkeeper Jillian Mastroianni said. “We played our hearts out. Cal played their hearts out. We’re just excited to play another game. Me being a senior, every game [can be] my last. I’m just happy to have one more day.”
Boston College opened the game with three shots within the first five minutes of play. Julia Bouchelle, Victoria DiMartino and Stephanie Wirth had chances just outside the box but could not get the Eagles on the board.
Cal took control midway through the first half as the Golden Bears earned four corner kicks and had four shots. BC finished the half with six shots, while Cal had four. Cal did earn four corner kicks to zero for the Eagles.
In the second half, Boston College came out pressuring the Golden Bears. Kristen Mewis had a shot from 25 yards out sail high just three minutes into the half. Julia Bouchelle’s shot went wide minutes later followed by a Wagner’s shot that clanged off the crossbar six in the 51st minute of play.
All night BC’s defense came up big as Pember came up with a block on Betsy Hassett’s shot in the 69th minute followed by another block on a shot by Lauren Battung.
In the 82nd minute, Cal’s Miranda White sent a high shot towards the corner; Mastroianni got one hand on the ball and corralled it in for a key save. A minute later, the Golden Bears’ Rachel Mercik was the recipient of a poor back pass by BC. Mastroianni came out to cut the angle on Mercik’s shot. The Eagles goalkeeper reached high and tipped it just wide of the goal.
After a mild first overtime where BC registered the only shot, the second overtime continued a fast paced back-and-forth match. Both teams registered three shots but neither team could get on the board, leading to the dramatic saves by Mastroianni and key PK’s by Mewis, Pember and Wagner.
Boston College held an 18-16 edge in shots. California had 13 corner kicks to just five for BC.