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For The Heights

Published: Monday, October 29, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01

It was not pretty. It surely was not dry. It was simply just another frustrating point for the Eagles.

Boston College (8-4-4, 3-1-3 ACC) and Virginia (8-6-2, 2-4-1 ACC) toiled to a double overtime 0-0 draw on Friday night, in what could have been the seniors’ final home game in Newton.

Seniors Kyle Bekker, Stefan Carter, Justin Luthy, Kevin Mejia, Colin Murphy, Charlie Rugg, and Isaac Taylor were all honored before the game. Rugg did not dress, however, because he was out with a hamstring injury. Head coach Ed Kelly does not have a clear timetable for his return, but hopes Rugg will suit up Thursday at powerhouse North Carolina.

Without Rugg, who leads the Eagles in both goals (five) and points (14), a team already struggling to put the ball in the back of the net continued to have inefficiencies up top. BC has not scored more than one goal in their last seven matches, dating back to Sept. 28. This is one of the longest stretches in recent season for the program.

“We put Stefan [Carter] up top,” Kelly said. “He scored the winner against Duke. Ultimately, it was a bit slippy tonight and very hard to play on.”
Neither team could find traction on a wet pitch. Whether due to a slick pitch or plain sloppy play, the match concluded after 110 minutes with only five shots on goal between both teams.

BC had three quality chances. In the 18th minute, winger Diego Medina-Mendez crashed from the left wing into the muddled middle of the pitch and feathered a through ball to a streaking Dylan Pritchard behind the Cavaliers’ back line. Virginia keeper Spencer LaCivita broke out to cut off Pritchard’s angle. Pritchard fired a left footed shot that was blocked by LaCivita again to the foot of Pritchard, who had drifted toward the goal line. Pritchard lofted the ball over the fallen keeper headed for the net, but it landed right in the lap of a waiting Virginia defender.

In the 62nd minute of the match, forward Derrick Boateng was taken down from behind just eight yards outside the box. Bekker took the kick and bent the ball up and over the Virginia wall, hitting the side netting of the goal. Kelley thought for sure that Bekker had put the team ahead.

“I thought [Kyle Bekker] scored on his free kick, but it was a very hard passing game,” Kelly said. “It was very hard to [pass] that out there.”
Virginia threatened mostly through six corner kicks, while striker Will Bates, who entered the match as the ACC’s top goal scorer with 10 goals in 14 matches, left the pitch with just one shot in 110 minutes of play.

“We’re doing very well defensively,” Kelly said. “We’re working very hard, but just the connection part was not there tonight. We’re just not scoring goals.”
Boateng subbed in for Pritchard midway through the first half and provided the usual “Nana” excitement along the left wing. BC fed Boateng the ball on the left wing, but he often found himself sandwiched between Virginia defenders. With the physical play of the Cavaliers’ defenders, coupled with the slick pitch created by the elements, Boateng could not ignite the spark he’s  often had this year.

With their third conference tie, the Eagles have seemingly solidified the fourth position in the ACC, which would guarantee at least one more home game for this year’s senior class in the ACC Tournament.

“We still got the tie which is good for the standings in the ACC,” Kelly said. “It’s another shutout so there are some positive things, but neither team had a lot of chances.”

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