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Third time’s the charm: UW defeats Boston College to advance to Sweet 16

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Third time’s the charm: UW defeats Boston College to advance to Sweet 16

Jaret Townsend celebrates his goal in the first half of Washington's opening match in the NCAA Tournament against Boston College at Husky Soccer Stadium on Nov. 24, 2019.

The No. 6 Washington men’s soccer team won its first postseason match in three years with a 2-0 victory against Boston College, proceeding to the third round of the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2016.

“If you host or get the bye, it mentally feels like you should win and it puts a weird piece of pressure on you,” head coach Jamie Clark said. “But in soccer, there’s no games you should win, there’s games you earn.”

The Huskies (16-3, 8-2 Pac-12) started off the game with offensive firepower, maintaining constant possession and winning five corner kicks in the opening five minutes. The Eagles (9-6-3) struggled to get any offensive momentum and did not register a shot on goal until the 43rd minute.

The UW struck first in the 25th minute when Blake Bodily scored off a cross from Lucas Meek. This was Bodily’s 11th goal and Meek’s sixth assist of the season and gave the UW a 1-0 lead.

“[Christian] Soto ran it hard up the field and put it out wide to [Meek],” Bodily said. “He crossed it right to my foot and I didn’t have to do much because it was such a great ball by him so I just kicked it in.” 

Washington would double its lead shortly after in the 30th minute when Bodily headed the ball to Jaret Townsend for the finish. The score was Townsend’s sixth goal and Bodily’s sixth assist and put Washington up 2-0.

“I saw the ball pop up and I figured Blake was going to let it go so I started my run forward and made sure I got to the ball to finish it,” Townsend said.

The UW offense registered 24 shots, with eight on-target, and had a season-high 17 corner kicks. Meanwhile, the defense protected the 2-0 lead by recording its 12th clean-sheet of the season and limited Boston College to five shots.

Clark said the biggest difference between this year and the previous NCAA tournaments was the fact that his team took the early lead headed into the half and played a more relaxed and composed game from there.

“The pressure’s on us because we don’t want this thing to come to a close,” Clark said. “It’s a special group and we believe we have the ability to win the whole thing.”

Washington will host No. 11 Marshall at Husky Soccer Stadium on either Nov. 30 or Dec. 1, with time to be determined. 

Reach reporter Le Bui at Twitter: @LeBui18

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