Sept. 29, 2005
Senior defender Lindsey McArdle, of the eight-ranked women's soccer team (7-0-1, 1-0-0), has played a large role in Boston College's strong start. Through the first eight games of their inaugural ACC season, the Eagles have outscored the opposition 13-1. McArdle has started in each of her team's eight games and looks forward to Friday's 4 p.m. showdown against the Duke Blue Devils at the Newton Campus Soccer Field.
Q: In your most recent match, at Clemson in the team's first-ever ACC contest, Clemson took an early 1-0 lead. How did it feel being able to come back late in the game to notch your first conference victory?
A: It definitely felt different, being down one goal, because that was the first goal that has been scored on us. That was a little shocking. But, we knew it was going to happen at some point. I don't think that anyone was really all that nervous about being down. I thought that we had so many chances early on against Clemson. We were outplaying them. Everyone knew in the back of their head that while we had been scored on, at some point in the game we would score. It happened and then later we got the game-winning goal. It was a test, most definitely, because we had never been in that position. But, it was good to get a little experience with it.
Q: Two weeks ago in a 0-0, double-overtime tie at Northeastern, you saved a ball off the goal line late in the second half. Talk about that play and the team's effort to keep the Huskies from scoring.
A: Going into every game, we have to know that a lot of teams are out to get us. Everyone wants to knock us off. They almost scored a couple of times, and that really caught us on our heels. That game was tough for us, and we had so many opportunities. We just couldn't finish it off. When that happens, you just have to deal with it. Our defense played a strong game. It was still nerve-racking a couple of times when Northeastern almost scored. Our goalkeeper made a couple of big saves, too.
Q: Boston College has continued to reel off wins this season and climb in the rankings. What is the team's mindset heading into Friday night's ACC clash with Duke?
A: We just have to come out really strong. We have nothing to lose. Every team in the ACC would really like to knock us off because we are the newcomers. We sometimes have a problem where we just come out too slow. Everyone on our team is really in shape, and we really press the ball. If we can play like that, it'll make it tough for a team. We are all really confident coming in, especially having that ACC win under us. That will be a big help going into this game.
Q: With a 7-0-1 record, what has surprised you most about your team's play this season?
A: We have a lot of new kids that have come in and made a big impact on the team. It was surprising to not have any goals scored against us before that [Clemson] game. That is a position which we have never been in. It's just a different environment, in terms of how we play. Our technical ability is so much higher. Everything is a bit quicker, and I think that is why we are working so well. Everyone is working so hard. That's a big part of it, too. The pace of play is a lot different, and that was surprising coming in.
Q: Boston College has outshot the opposition 144-45 and allowed just one goal in the team's first eight games. Talk about the defensive play through the first half of the season.
A: This is my fourth year playing in the back, and I've never been with a back four that has been so good [McArdle, Laura Georges, Mary Schneck and Kerri McNicholas]. There is not a weak point in any part of the field, back there. The midfielders are great defenders too. Obviously, if they are not defending the middle, it's going to hurt us. It's team defending all over the field, and it has been so good. I'm so confident with the back four. There is not a weak point anywhere. Our communication has been really great. We are used to having played with each other and that's helped a lot. When you know how other people play in the back, it helps you to know what is going on. Our defense is really deep, too. If anyone does go down, we've got other people who can play there.
Q: What can you tell us about the level of play in the ACC and what will it take to stay on top as the season continues?
A: It's going to take a lot of focus. The ACC is just so different. The competition is so much tougher. After each game, I'm sure that everyone is going to be hurting. It's going to be that kind of down-to-the-last-second kind of game. Compared to the shots that we have had in the past, we'll probably have about five to ten shots per game and then a couple on net. We're going to have to stay focused and come out really strong. We have to really finish our opportunities. That's going to be huge in this.
Q: Talk about the young talent on this team and the importance of the freshman and sophomore contributions.
A: These kids were recruited for this conference. Their technical ability is great. They are very tough kids and tough competitors. We have freshmen starting, and then we also have starting sophomores. That definitely helps us out.
Q: As a freshman in 2002, you saw action in 19 games. Is there any advice or pointers which you have given to this year's freshmen?
A: It's tough, it really is as a freshman. I struggled with it as a freshman, balancing the academics part and competing. Soccer takes up so much of your time. It takes a lot of discipline and getting used to. You can be able to get out there on the practice field and get your work done as well, so that you can enjoy the other parts of your college life, such as hanging out with your friends. I struggled with it in the first semester of my freshman year. I know that I went through it, and I was far from being perfect freshman year.
Q: As one of five seniors on the team, how does it feel to have been a part of the women's soccer program that not only finished in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament last season but has also improved by joining the competitive ACC this year.
A: It's funny to look back because you see the strides that this whole program has taken - the changes that you've made. We have done well in the past. But it's just a different team all over the field - ability and knowing the game is just a step higher. Last year, we had a great team, too. A lot of us making it there was heart. Each year, our level of play has gotten higher. This year, it's definitely up there. Every day, our coach tells us that you have to fight for your spot. Our bench is the deepest it has ever been. Our starters often change from game to game, so our deep bench is really going to help us. A lot of teams don't have that.
Q: Having grown up in nearby Boxford, Mass., what does it mean to play collegiate soccer at a university close to home?
A: That was a big part of why I came here. I love having my family and friends at the games. I knew that this was an up-and-coming program when I chose to come here. It's still like I'm not close to home, in a way, because college is just a whole different world. I see my family and friends at games, and that helps. I just get up for games so much because of that reason, where you have people watching you. That's a great feeling.
- interview conducted by senior Alex Timiraos