[BOSTON COLLEGE-WISCONSIN 1-0]Boston College advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time in program history with a 1-0 victory over Wisconsin, its third straight shutout of the NCAA Tournament, in front of 924 fans at the Newton Soccer Field on Friday night.
Junior Brooke Knowlton changed the game when she scored in the 62nd minute of the match. Knowlton picked up a loose ball when Victoria DiMartino collided with a Wisconsin defender. Knowlton ripped a shot high and into the top left corner from 22 yards out for the 1-0 lead.
"Coach (Alison Kulik) always says to take it when you have an open shot. It could have been anyone but it happened for me today,'' said Knowlton. "Our biggest strength is our depth. Everyone has the opportunity to score, I just had it today and took it''
Knowlton almost had a goal earlier in the half when she ripped a shot from just 16 yards out. Wisconsin goalkeeper Michelle Dalton smothered the hard shot from Knowlton to keep the game knotted at 0-0.
BC could not capitalize on another great chance just 13 minutes into the half. Junior Hannah Cerrone had a direct kick from just outside the box. Cerrone's shot went low to the far post and just went wide.
In the first half Boston College held a 10-3 advantage in shots. The Eagles had a number of great chances two off the foot of freshman Kristen Mewis. The midfielder from Hanson, ripped a shot from 25 yards out that sailed just over the cross bar with 10 minutes to play in the half. Mewis had three shots in the half, while Victoria DiMartino registered three shots.
The Eagles defense was a key to the win as well as the corps surrendered only two shots on goal. The foursome in the back - Kelly Henderson, Hannah Cerrone, Alaina Beyar and Alyssa Pember - have allowed only 12 shots, zero goals in three NCAA games.
"The heart and soul of BC soccer is our team defending,'' said Kulik. "They don't get a lot of publicity but to give as little chances as they do in the ACC is amazing.''
Boston College finished the game with 21 shots, eight on goal, while Wisconsin managed seven shots, and just two on goal. BC sophomore goalkeeper Jillian Mastroianni picked up her third shutout in the NCAA Tournament.