SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Anne Jeute scored the game winner 4:16 into overtime to send the Connecticut to the NCAA Regional finals on Saturday afternoon. UConn improves to 18-4 on the season while the loss drops Boston College to 12-8 overall. The win avenges a regular-season loss to the Eagles, when BC bested UConn in overtime by a score of 4-3.
The Huskies dominated the first half of play, with Chloe Hunnable giving UConn the lead in the 12th minute of play. Fellow English countryman Sophie Bowden let loose a shot from close range that Eagles netminder Leah Settipane turned aside, but she collected her own rebound and slid a pass across the goal mouth for Hunnable to tap into the open net. Hunnable reached a milestone with the score, notching her 50th career goal. Hunnable, a junior, currently sits at sixth all-time on UConn’s career tallies list with 21 of those goals coming this season.
The Huskies worked feverishly to increase the lead, finishing the first half with an 8-3 edge in corners and a 17-3 advantage in shots. Anna Middendorf nearly found the back of the net on a shot off a corner 13:51 into the contest, but Sarah Hospodar made a skillful defensive save to keep BC within one. The Huskies earned four corner attempts in a 1:46 span of time toward the end of the first half but could not get a shot to go, as Settipane stood tall between the pipes and a redirected shot by Mckenzie Townsend ricocheted off the crossbar.
BC regained momentum in the second half as it attempted to close the scoring gap. The Eagles possessed the ball UConn defensive half of the midfield for a solid 13 minutes of the second half but could not generate many shots.
UConn nearly doubled its lead on a strange play midway through the second frame when a high shot by Anne Jeute careened off the underside of the crossbar and away from the cage but struck the official in the leg and nearly rolled into the net before Settipane dove to stop it on the end line.
Boston College elected to pull its goaltender and add the extra attacker in the waning minutes of the game, allowing Kelci Hromisin to find the late equalizer off a loose ball in front with 3:13 to play. Neither team could take the lead in the closing minutes, sending the contest to an overtime period.
UConn would regain momentum in the overtime period to seal the win. Maria Elena Bolles drew a trip in the circle to give UConn a corner with just more than 11 minutes to play. After inserting the ball, Jeute positioned herself in front and grabbed the ball as it trickled over off a blocked shot. Settipane denied the first shot but Juete, all alone in front, flicked the rebound up and over the Eagles goaltender for the win.
Settipane finished with 12 saves in the effort for BC, logging 73:38 of playing time. Sarah Mansfield made four saves in her 18th win of the season. UConn finished with a 22-8 advantage in shots and a 9-8 edge in corners.
UConn advances to the NCAA Regional final and will face Michigan State at 2 p.m. Sunday.