Kristie Mewis and Amy Caldwell team up to BC soccer’s advantage
While playing for the South Coast Scorpions U-16 Club soccer team, Kristie Mewis was dubbed “Little Amy.’’
The 14-year-old was a budding star, and every time she stepped on the field, her teammates and coaches were reminded of Amy Caldwell, a member of the Scorpions U-17 team and one of the elite soccer players in Massachusetts.
“I’m no longer ‘Little Amy,’ ’’ said the Whitman-Hanson Regional graduate with a laugh. “I always looked up to her. She’s an amazing player, gets great crosses off, and never stops fighting. But I’m bigger than her now.’’
Mewis now sees Caldwell’s talent on display every day. The two are teammates at Boston College, which advanced to the national quarterfinals of the NCAA Division 1 Tournament for the first time since 1985 before losing, 3-1, to Stanford University. The Eagles (18-4-2) had the most single-season wins in program history.
“We knew we had the potential to make a run in the tournament, but there’s another step that we need to take,’’ said Caldwell, a former Braintree High School star. “Losing in the Elite 8 will inspire us and motivate us to improve in the offseason.’’
Mewis and Caldwell knew about each other and, occasionally, played against each other during high school. But this season was the first that they were teammates.
“We had high expectations for ourselves since the preseason,’’ said Mewis, who, along with her sister Samantha, was a member of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup team that lost to Korea DPR in the 2008 final. “We just need to move the ball quicker and can’t let the speed of the game slow down. If we can do that, hopefully we’ll take it to that next level.’’
Mewis, who missed the preseason with mononucleosis, was named to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) All-Freshmen Team and Top Drawer Soccer All-Rookie Team after compiling five goals and six assists.
Caldwell, a junior, had four goals and five assists as BC tied Florida State for the ACC regular-season title, a first for both programs. Along with freshman Victoria DiMartino (14 goals, six assists), the Eagles finished third in the ACC in goals (55), assists (48), and points (158).
“Our offense was good, but our defense carried us all season,’’ said Mewis, referring to BC’s 16 shutouts and 0.52 goals against average, both second-best in the ACC behind the University of North Carolina. “Our defense didn’t let anything by them.’’
BC seized an early 1-0 lead over Stanford less than one minute into the game, marking the first time the Cardinal had trailed in a match since late October against Washington State. Stanford took the lead in the 26th minute and scored an insurance goal in the 84th minute to seal the win.
According to Caldwell, BC will play Stanford early next season at home, which is more than enough motivation for the offseason. “Stanford is an amazing team,’’ Caldwell said. “I can’t wait to play them again. Hopefully, the result will be a little different.’’
The duo is among seven New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference players selected for the Senior Bowl, which features players from Division 1, 2, and 3.
“Soccer has been my life, and all of a sudden I won’t get to play competitively anymore,’’ said the 21-year-old biology major who wants to be a doctor. “I could play in a women’s league, but it won’t be the same. It’s been a great four years at Wheaton, so it will be nice to go out and have fun one last time.’’
McManus, who usually plays center back, moved to center forward for about half of Wheaton’s games this season. Despite the move, McManus finished second in the NEWMAC in assists (9), sixth in points (23), and ninth in goals (7) for the Lyons (18-4-2), who qualified for the NCAA tournament for the 10th consecutive season before losing to Middlebury in the second round.
“I would have played wherever the team needed me,’’ she said. “It’s easy to play a new position when you have teammates who work hard.’’
McManus scored three winning goals and assisted on three others. She finished her career with 19 goals, 24 assists, and 62 points in 92 games, tying for the ninth-most appearances in program history.
The Hanson native finished the 6,000-meter course in 22:34.1 to become Westfield’s third female runner to earn All-America status, joining Cindy Sturm, who won the inaugural national championship in 1981, and Colleen Murphy, who finished 24th in 1982.
Arouca finished 83d in her first appearance in the national championship in 2008.
Steve Crowe can be reached at email@example.com.