CHARLOTTESVILLE – The No. 6 Virginia women’s soccer team recorded its first-ever win over a top-ranked opponent, downing No. 1 Boston College 3-2 in overtime Sunday at Klöckner Stadium. Meghan Lenczyk’s (McLean, Va.) goal in the 97th minute lifted the Cavaliers to the historic victory, as they improved to 8-2-1 overall (2-1-0 ACC). The loss was the Eagles’ first of the year, dropping them to 9-1-1 overall (2-1-0 ACC).
“I am just so happy for the team,” said Virginia head coach Steve Swanson. “All season long I have felt strongly about this group, that they had the mentality to win these types of games. But you have to go out on the field and earn it, and that is what we did today. This was a significant result that we knew we were capable of. However, the season is a marathon and there is still a long way to go.”
The Cavaliers started the game strong and scored their earliest goal in a game this year, taking the lead in the fifth minute. Sinead Farrelly (Havertown, Pa.) sent a cross that was flicked on by Erica Hollenberg (Fairfax Station, Va.) to Lauren Alwine (Elizabethtown, Pa.), who volleyed in her fourth goal of the season. The Eagles drew even in the 20th minute when Victoria DiMartino went through a Cavalier defender to win the ball, played it to Amy Caldwell, who set up a wide-open DiMartino to tap in the equalizer. The game remained 1-1 at the half.
Boston College took a 2-1 lead in the 57th minute. DiMartino collected a ball in the midfield, took a touch before rifling a shot off the inside far post from 25 yards out for her ACC-leading 11th goal of the year. Virginia rallied to equalize in the 77th minute as Alwine’s corner kick found Colleen Flanagan, who headed home just her second career goal, first this season.
Virginia scored the overtime winner in the 97th minute. Farrelly sent a cross towards the corner of the 6-yard box. Lenczyk beat the BC keeper Jillian Mastroianni to the ball and lifted it over her and into the net to give the Cavaliers the win. It was Lenczyk’s team-leading ninth goal of the year, and her fifth game-winner.
“It is one thing to come back to get a tie in a game like this, but to come back and get the win shows that this team has the intangibles you want to see in your team,” said Swanson. “Those are the things you need in order to succeed at this level. Boston College is a very good team and they are going to be tough to beat in the league. This win, especially coming back in the second half, says a lot about our team.”
Overall, Boston College had a 16-14 edge in shots and a 10-4 corner kick advantage. Chantel Jones (Midlothian, Va.) made five saves for the Cavaliers, while Mastroianni made eight saves at the other end for the Eagles.
Coming into the game, Virginia had a 0-18-1 all-time record against No. 1 teams. The draw came against North Carolina in the 2004 ACC Tournament final, when the Cavaliers took the title in penalty kicks following a 1-1 tie.
The win was a historic one for Swanson, as he recorded his 250th career victory. He becomes just the 22nd Division I women’s soccer coach to accomplish the feat.
“I have just been blessed to have a supportive family, tremendous coaches that I have worked with over the years, and amazing players who have so much character and talent,” said Swanson. “Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today and I am thankful for them.”
The Cavaliers continue their homestand on Friday as they host No. 3 North Carolina. Game time at Klöckner Stadium is set for 7 p.m.
No. 6 Virginia 3, No. 1 Boston College 2 (OT)
#1 Boston College (9-1-1, 2-1-0) 1 1 0 – 2
#6 Virginia (8-2-1, 2-1-0) 1 1 1 – 3
UVa. Lauren Alwine 4 (Erica Hollenberg 1, Sinead Farrelly 2) 5′
BC. Victoria DiMartino 10 (Amy Caldwell 6) 20′
BC. Victoria DiMartino 11 (Kristie Mewis 9) 57′
UVa. Colleen Flanagan 1 (Lauren Alwine 6) 77′
UVa. Meghan Lenczyk 9 (Sinead Farrelly 3) 97′
Shots: UVa 14, BC 16
Corners: UVa 4, BC 10
Saves: UVa 7 (Jones 5, Team 2), BC 8 (Mastroianni 8)
Fouls: UVa 7, BC 12
Offsides: UVa 0, BC 1