Juliana Ryan’s last minute goal ties UMass with Boston College, 2-2 on Thursday

Lauren Bonavita gives the Minutewomen their first goal of the day

Caitlin+Mott%2F+Daily+Collegian

Caitlin Mott/ Daily Collegian

By Sophie Weller, Assistant Sports Editor

After an impressive showing along the backline in Thursday’s competitive contest between the Massachusetts women’s soccer team and Boston College, Juliana Ryan tied things up with under a minute remaining, leading the Minutewomen (1-2-2) to a 2-2 draw.

Olivia Gouldsbury lined up to take the corner kick, with UMass’ last hope of preventing a loss on the line. The ball soared above, finding the foot of Chandler Pedolzky, and through the mesh of bodies flying and as the chaos continued, it found its way to Ryan, who tucked it away. The entire team ran over to the sidelines, surrounding the goal scorer with praise and congratulations.

“A lot of times, our center backs have just a different mentality to seek it out because they want to influence the game so much and it’s great that [Ryan] got on the end of it,” Dowiak said. “It’s an exciting moment.”

Dowiak explained how the back line typically does not venture forward for corner kicks, but captain Fiona Kane announced that she was going forward, and the others followed. It turned out in UMass’ favor.

The Minutewomen needed the goal after Andi Barth’s shot went right into the knees of goalkeeper Megan Olszewski, deflecting off her and right back to the foot of Barth. With Olszewski still on the ground, Barth’s soft shot floated into the bottom left corner of the goal and gave the Eagles (3-1-1) the lead.

Physicality defined the game, with three yellow cards being issued in the first half alone after the Eagles’ Samantha Agresti received the first of the game. With just over 12 minutes remaining in the first, Serena Ahmed and Boston College’s Ella Richards were involved in a scuffle just outside UMass’ box and were both issued a yellow card. At the end of the game, the Minutewomen were called for 13 fouls, including two yellow cards, while the Eagles were called for 16 fouls.

Boston College struck first after Olszewski was caught too far outside the net trying to clear the ball and was no match for the speed of Eagles midfielder Sam Smith. The senior took a small touch outside, beating Olszewski, and fired a low shot that bounced off the right post and into the back of the net, connecting on the Eagles’ first shot of the day.

However, Boston College’s lead would not last thanks to the steady foot of Lauren Bonavita. Bonavita returned to UMass for her fifth year of eligibility and quickly earned a starting role after being sidelined most of last season with an injury. Despite the Eagles’ defenders having more speed, the graduate student proved that it isn’t necessary when playing at forward. With two touches around two Boston College defenders, Bonavita’s shot rolled past the hands of goalkeeper Wiebke Willebrandt and into the back of the net, tying the game at one.

The Eagles forward Sydney Segalla’s 5-foot-11 frame sped down the field with Kane nipping at her heels. The captain executed a slide tackle, knocking the ball away just enough so Olszewski could pick it up and prevent a potential scoring opportunity.

“I feel like there’s multiple games every year where I’m like, ‘that’s her best,’ but she’s just that good,” Dowiak said about Kane’s performance. “[Kane] was just so mentally switched on for this moment.”

In a game of many chances, Ahmed set up another opportunity for the Minutewomen, with Ashley Lamond in her prime position to strike. Reading the field and noticing the number of Boston College bodies surrounding the middle, Ahmed looked towards Bonavita for a small pass, who with one touch sent it to the foot of Olivia Gouldsbury. The captain took the ball down the left sideline, sending a cross into the middle and right on the head of Lamond, however, it had an awkward bounce and was grabbed by Willebrandt. Soon after, a ball deflected off the face of Lamond and out of bounds, but the damage was done, and she came out of the game. Lamond made her return to the pitch in the 13th minute. Despite the injury, the sophomore’s impact on the game was unmatched, hustling to every open ball and creating multiple chances.

“That was by far [Lamond’s] best performance,” Dowiak said. “Honestly, if she hadn’t taken the one off the face, I probably wouldn’t have taken her off at all. We were already saying 90 minutes for her today because she was that impactful. Her touch was fantastic. She was confident to pick the ball up and look and run at players and serve balls and create chances.”

Sophie Weller can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @SophieeWellerr.