LINCOLN — Boston College figured out the best way to slow the potent Nebraska attack — don’t let the Huskers have the ball.
The Eagles dominated possession and outshot NU 30-12 Friday afternoon at the Nebraska Soccer Field. As a result, Boston College knocked off the 10th-ranked Huskers 4-1 in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Eagles coach Alison Foley said she wanted her team to be patient with the attack and work the ball on the wings before setting up a shot.
“We thought we would have (the ball) a lot on our half and we didn’t want to go fast and furious forward,” she said. “To deny a counter, you have to keep the ball. And I thought our possession rate was excellent.”
The Eagles (12-9-1) neutralized the playmaking of forwards Jayce Johnson and Mayme Conroy.
Johnson scored four goals in the Huskers’ first-round win, but managed only two shots Friday.
“We’ve had games like that in the Big Ten where one of our attacking players didn’t have their best day, but generally another couple did,” Nebraska coach John Walker said. “It is rare to have a day where as a group that we weren’t not as dangerous as we’ve been.”
Boston College midfielder Kate McCarthy said the game plan was drawn up to perfection.
“We knew exactly what they were going to do,” the 5-foot-7 senior said. “If we could prevent (Conroy) from even winning the ball, that would prevent (Johnson) from getting the ball. And we did that very well.”
The Huskers (19-4-1) failed to record a shot on goal in the first half and finished with six for the game.
Nebraska was content to allow the Eagles to pass the ball in the midfield for long stretches, but when the Huskers tried to build an attack or counter most of the time the offense fizzled out.
“They did a good job out front trying to nullify some of our dangerous counterattacks,” Walker said.
Hayley Dowd scored the Eagles’ first goal in the 26th minute, 66 seconds after she entered as a substitute. The freshman’s shot snuck past a diving Emma Stevens, off the post and into the net.
NU opened up the game in the second half, but the more aggressive play also benefited Boston College as it build its lead with goals by McKenzie Meehan and Gibby Wagner.
Conroy finally put the Huskers on the board in the 85th minute as she headed in a cross from Jaylyn Odermann. However, it was too late as Lauren Bernard added another goal for the Eagles three minutes later.
As time wound down, NU senior midfielder Jordan Jackson sunk to her knees in the middle of the frozen field. Moments later, Johnson joined her. The pair remained on the field for more than 10 minutes until a coach came and placed a coat on their shoulders.
The loss ended Nebraska’s 10-game winning streak and hopes of making a deep postseason run.
“Our girls played fantastically hard,” Walker said. “They (B.C.) were just the better team today.”
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Video: NU coach John Walker after the match: