If the No. 1-seeded Penn State women’s soccer team needed more of an advantage to beat Boston College tonight, they got it.
Boston College forward Stephanie McCaffrey took to Twitter Thursday with a thread of controversial tweets taking jabs at former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse in June.
Associate athletic director Chris Cameron from Boston College released a statement forwarded from Penn State women’s soccer sports information director Greg Kincaid, reading “this type of behavior is not tolerated among our student-athletes. Miss McCaffrey has been suspended from the team and will not participate in Friday’s game.”
No players could be reached to comment on the matter as of press time Thursday.
McCaffrey is the Eagles’ second leading goal scorer with notching nine goals and tallying six assists in her sophomore season.
The game is set for 7:30 tonight and Boston College has fared well against the other No. 1 seeds this season, defeating Florida State 3-2, and forced a 1-1 draw with Stanford.
The Eagles also boast the No. 15 offense in the country averaging 2.33 goals per game.
That being said, Penn State coach Erica Walsh said that she has gone around and seen all of these different programs and does not see anybody better than her team.
The Lions have the No. 1 offense in the country averaging three goals per game they also have the most goals scored in the nation at 66 and spread their scoring between 13 different players.
“If our team can believe that, I know I do, then there is no reason to think anybody should beat us this year,” Walsh said. “If we’ve played against the best without Maya [Hayes] and [Taylor] Schram, and that was the best that the country has to offer then I can’t see one reason why we should lose a game the rest of this season.”
In order to counter the high powered offense of Boston College, Penn State’s defense will need to nearly flawless. Senior captain Maddy Evans said the team is feeling better than ever at this point in the season.
Walsh said the back line is the right combination and that they have good soldiers back there. She said goalkeeper Erin McNulty is in charge and sophomore defender Whitney Church is anchoring the group.
“I think we are feeling great. I have an extreme amount of confidence in our back line and our defense all over the field, so I think defensively we are going to be sound and I think as long as we show up and work hard I think we are going to do great,” Church said.
The keys to victory for the Lions will be to pressure Boston College early and capitalizing on scoring attempts.
“We really we just want to have the ball. If we have the ball we are going to be good,” Evans said. “[We were mainly on being] quick in transition and also make sure that we don’t give them any space in the middle.”
It is no secret that Penn State has an advantage when playing on Jeffrey Field as the players have adopted the motto “play for those who came before you.”
The Lions have a 24-6 NCAA playoff record at home after defeating Long Island-Brooklyn, 4-0 last weekend.
“I guess really just protecting it, we have always made it a point that we protect our home,” Evans said. “Not only do we not want to lose on Jeffrey, we don’t even want to let goals in on Jeffrey. We hold ourselves to a very high standard and we just have to live up to our own set of expectations.”