BC women kick after soccer loss
NEWTON - Since it was a confounding and curse-worthy result, BC women’s soccer coach Alison Kulik censored her postgame comments and called the No. 6 Eagles’ 2-1 loss to the No. 1 University of North Carolina Tar Heels “unfortunate.’’
Considering UNC needed two penalty kicks to defeat BC last night at Newton Soccer Field, anger and frustration understandably simmered just below the surface for the Eagles. Kulik restrained herself from confronting the officials, who called two second-half hand balls in the box against BC. The second call was more galling since defender Alyssa Pember was cited while running away from the BC goal.
“Basically, the way the rule is, if it’s an inadvertent hand ball and you’re running kind of away from goal, you never call it,’’ said Kulik. “It’s an accident basically . . . Clearly, both of those weren’t intentional. It’s unfortunate . . . What’s done is done. I can’t change the result. For me, to go after the middle guy [lead referee Andrew Chapin], as tempting as it might have been, serves me no purpose. I’d let my team down. They need me on Sunday and I need to be there [for a home game against North Carolina State]. That’s my job. It crossed my mind.’’
The Eagles (9-2, 1-2 ACC) are 0-6 against the Tar Heels (10-0-1, 3-0) since joining the ACC. A victory for BC would have been a major breakthrough for the program.
With 35:02 remaining in the second half, Gina DiMartino pushed BC ahead, 1-0, giving the home team a much-needed boost. Sophomore midfielder Julia Bouchelle threaded the ball through traffic to a waiting DiMartino. From the upper right corner of the goal box, DiMartino chipped the ball toward goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris. Attempting to make the save, Harris dove to her right. But instead of knocking the ball over the crossbar, it skimmed off her fingertips and into upper left corner of the goal.
“I feel we were right there with them and it could have gone either way,’’ said DiMartino. “We had some unfortunate calls at the end . . . They usually have a lot of shots in games and we held them to a low amount .’’
UNC evened the score when Casey Nogueira notched a penalty kick after a hand ball against Kristen Mewis in the box. Nogueira put the ball low and to the left, just out of reach of diving BC goalkeeper Jillian Mastroianni. Nogueira had peppered Mastroianni all game, accounting for five of the visitors’ seven shots in the first half.
The Tar Heels took the lead for good when Ali Hawkins scored on a penalty kick with 7:26 left. Hawkins actually attempted two penalty kicks. The first attempt was disallowed when a BC player illegally crept into the box. But the second shot was good.
When asked if UNC had been lucky or good to earn a two-penalty-kick win, coach Anson Dorrance said, “It was one of the most bizarre games I’ve ever been a part of in 33 years of coaching. BC is an outstanding team. And I really think they earned the right to be up one.’’
BC’s best first-half opportunity came when Victoria DiMartino found her sister Gina for a strong, low shot from the left wing. The Eagles had four shots on goal in the first half. The DiMartino sisters had one each.
“We’ll play them again,’’ said Gina DiMartino. “And, hopefully, we’ll have a different result.’’
Shira Springer can be reached at email@example.com.