PU Women’s Soccer Battles Hard in Home Opener But Rally Falls Short in 2-1 Loss to Boston College
HIGH NOON: Princeton University women’s soccer player Caroline Noonan, right, goes up for a ball in a 2018 game. Last Sunday, sophomore midfielder Noonan notched the first goal of her career in a losing cause as Princeton fell 2-1 to Boston College in its home opener. The Tigers, now 1-1, host Boston University (0-3-1) on September 5 and Rutgers (4-0) on September 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
As the Princeton University women’s soccer team hosted Boston College last Sunday night in its home opener, it was locked in a scoreless battle with the Eagles an half hour into the contest,
But then BC struck for two goals in a three-minute span as Sam Smith scored at the 30:39 mark and then at 33:43 and the game became an uphill battle for the Tigers.
Princeton responded with a goal by sophomore midfielder Caroline Noonan late in the first half and applied pressure on the Eagles for the rest of the night but couldn’t break through with the equalizer in losing 2-1.
Reflecting on the defeat that dropped Princeton to 1-1, Tiger head coach Sean Driscoll saw plenty of positives.
“In general, I thought it was a great college game. We conceded two goals and dug ourselves a hole, but we got one back,” said Driscoll, whose squad started the season by edging Saint Joseph’s 1-0 last Friday in Philadelphia.
“We had some good chances, we really did. We did some good things and they did some good things. It was back and forth. We just weren’t clinical in the final third and that is what it comes down to in the end. You have to finish your chances. I have zero issue with our effort, I thought we worked hard. We still need to get some things accomplished. We still need to improve but I am happy with the effort of the team.”
Driscoll was very happy to see Noonan notch her first career goal. “Caroline is a tireless worker, she is a great kid,” said Driscoll.
“I am happy that she gets a goal for all of her hard work. She has been asked to play wide back as well as center mid. She has asked to do a lot; she is always smiling and always wants to do whatever it takes.”
Noonan, for her part, smiled as she reflected on her breakthrough tally.
“I just saw the ball coming in and I saw the keeper rebound it and then Amy [Partenoster] back-heeled it, I thought that was going in, and then the keeper made another good save,” said Noonan in a post-game video interview on the Princeton athletics website.
“The next thing I knew, it was at my feet and all could do was finish. It was an awesome moment, my first goal. I am really excited but I wish I could have gotten another one for the team.”
While the defeat to BC stung, Noonan is excited about Princeton’s prospects going forward.
“From this weekend, we can see how much depth our team really had,” said Noonan, a native of Highlands Ranch, Colo.
“We were using player after player. It is really exciting to see how many players we have for the season. Also, I think we saw how hard our team can work. Last year there were moments when we weren’t working as hard as we thought we could. I think this year in both games we have really laid it out on the field.”
Driscoll, for his part, is confident that his team will keep working hard as it hosts Boston University (0-3-1) on September 5 and Rutgers (4-0) on September 7.
“We are very deep, we can mix in a lot of players,” said Driscoll. “I am looking forward to seeing what we do in those games. They are two very good teams, it will be fun for us.”