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Optimism for Women's Soccer

12/12/13
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The women’s soccer team exults after advancing to the NCAA Tournament “Elite Eight” round. (Photo courtesy BC Athletics)

By Michael Maloney | Chronicle Staff

Published: Dec. 12, 2013

The Boston College women’s soccer team continues to be a national contender, advancing to its 11th consecutive NCAA Tournament this season and falling just one game short of the College Cup, soccer’s version of the Final Four.

After three wins in the NCAA Tournament and outscoring their opponents by a margin of 10-2, the Eagles fell to Florida State in the Elite Eight round, 4-0. The team finished with a 13-10-1 record, and left head coach Alison Foley with a lot of positives to look back on in 2013. 

“I think the team had great chemistry all year,” said Foley, who has won more games in program history than any other women’s soccer coach at the Heights. “When you report Aug. 5 and you’re still playing in December you need to have a committed team, great leadership, and certainly talent.  We had a great balance of all three.”

The Eagles will graduate seven seniors, who during their time at BC played in four NCAA tournaments, three Sweet 16s, two Elite Eights and the 2010 College Cup — and compiled a 52-30-8 record. The character of a team is often defined by its senior class, said Foley.

“They have represented BC the longest, take a lot of pride in wearing the jersey, and played knowing it’s their senior year,” said Foley. “Our senior group was one of the most determined classes we have ever had and certainly put the team on its back towards the end of the season.”

That character and determination was on full display in the NCAA tournament in the person of senior captain Patrice Vettori. Right before the NCAA Tournament, she blew out her knee and found herself sidelined for the remainder of her final season. But rather than wallow in sadness, Foley noted, Vettori remained a huge part of the 2013 Eagles.

“Patrice just continued to be an incredible leader and motivator for the group. She was one of our best examples of selflessness, and of the team-first mentality that is the foundation of being a BC women’s soccer player.”

Making the Elite Eight was not only important for the 2013 team, Foley said, but for the future of the women’s soccer program.

“When you are successful and have good runs into the Final Four and Final Eight, the best recruits in the country want to play at the best schools,” explained Foley. “Keeping our standards high as a coaching staff and continually not settling for mediocrity as a program has always been a creed to our coaching. It’s a motivated staff and that is contagious to the players and recruits.”