Boston College vs Ohio State – 7:00 PM
It’ll be a minor miracle if Boston College delivers another performance nearly as entertaining as the one on Sunday in which they outlasted Hofstra in a 6-5 slugfest in Hempstead. It’s probably not an experience BC head coach Alison Foley wants to repeat though, as her side were down two goals almost eleven minutes into the match and then managed to throw away three goal lead after having scored five unanswered. It would’ve been one of the most infamous meltdowns in college soccer history had McKenzie Meehan not finished a hat trick in extra time. In the end, the match will go down as a curious and entertaining footnote with both positives and negatives for BC to take away. The Eagles got a chance to see the potency of attacking duo Stephanie McCaffrey and McKenzie Meehan firsthand, especially the former who had a blistering two goals and four assists against Hofstra. Of course, there’s not telling if the offense can keep that pace up, as they had scored just two in three before Sunday. The club’s defense, which had seemingly leveled out with just three goals allowed in three got torched by the likes of Leah Galton and co., which isn’t exactly the best sign with ACC play looming. The fact that ACC play is imminent also places pressure on BC to get another big non-conference win. Wins over BU and Hofstra are OK in the grand scheme of things but unlikely to move the needle too much in the quest for a national seed.
Another in desperate need of a non-conference boost is Ohio State, who are a very soft 3-0-1 at the moment. The Buckeyes did a hell of a lot of huffing and puffing against Morehead State and Eastern Michigan on opening weekend, needing extra time to beat the latter. Pittsburgh was dispatched a little more easily, but then more questions were raised when the club couldn’t do more than net a 0-0 draw at home against an Arizona squad theoretically in major rebuild mode. It has to be concerning that the club has been having all these struggles at home, as the away effort looks to be a lot more daunting on paper. Not just Boston College on Thursday. How about Wisconsin, Penn State, and Michigan all on the road as well? At least the club was able to work some of the defensive kinks out last weekend with two clean sheets after conceding to mid-majors on the first weekend. The offense is inconsistent, with Canadian youth international rookies Nichelle Prince and Lindsay Agnew leading the line, though both have a ton of promise. Thursday’s a big acid test for the Buckeyes. BC’s the best team they’ve played by far and their first trip away from Columbus this season. A win would set a lot of minds at ease as league play beckons in a few weeks.