BC impresses in College Cup debut

CARY, N.C. -- The best season in the history of the Boston College women's soccer program ended without a goal in Friday's national semifinal against No. 1 Stanford. That it ended here at all, in a tense fight with the tournament's top seed in front of 8,323 fans at WakeMed Soccer Park and a national television audience suggests the Eagles achieved a goal all the same.

After playing more than three hours of soccer against Stanford this season, first in an August draw and again in Friday's rematch, there is little doubt the best team moved on to play in Sunday's championship game. Stanford wasn't better by a lot, perhaps not even by as wide a margin as the 2-0 final, but it was better. It's just that there is equally little doubt that Boston College belonged on the field in its first College Cup.

"I thought tonight was one of the best women's soccer games that I've ever seen in my life -- two fantastic teams, two teams that like to attack, both extremely disciplined," Boston College coach Alison Foley said.

For much of the first half, it was difficult to make a case that either team had the edge in play. Boston College finished the first 45 minutes without an official shot, the first time all season it didn't record a shot in a half, while Stanford was credited with seven. But with the exception of perhaps the final 10 minutes before halftime, that was hardly an accurate reflection on the even nature of play. The Eagles escaped calamity a couple of times against Stanford All-American Christen Press, but they also endured their fair share of near-misses on passes that skipped just inches long of springing a player or runs that started half a beat too soon or too late.

"Give credit to Stanford for their defending, but sometimes chances aren't necessarily shots on goal," Foley said. "They're opportunities, created corner kicks, balls in behind the defense, so we created some different looks of dangerous attack."

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