MEN'S SOCCER: Conference Tournament Hopes Dashed For BC
The Eagles Lost On Penalty Kicks In The Opening Round Of The ACC Tournament Against Clemson
Published: Thursday, November 8, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
After 15 regular season games and over 1,500 minutes of soccer, the Boston College men’s soccer team’s ACC tournament hopes came down to a few shots on Tuesday night against Clemson, all 12 yards from the goal. After 120 minutes of even, back-and-forth soccer, the game remained deadlocked at a scoreless draw. The match went past double overtime into penalty kicks, where the Eagles sent their upperclassmen leaders to the line to seal the game. However, the efforts of seniors Isaac Taylor, Colin Murphy, and Kevin Mejia, along with junior Ryan Dunn, were not enough, as BC lost in penalty kicks 3-1. The Eagles return to Chestnut Hill knocked out of the playoffs, without a chance at an ACC title.
The match between the No. 5 seed BC and No. 4 seed Clemson took place on the Tigers’ home field in South Carolina, as the two clubs squared off looking to win and advance to the semifinals of the ACC tournament. Throughout the match, both teams proved why mere goal differential separated their No. 4 and No. 5 seeds.
After the first half, both teams were nearly identical on the stat sheet with shots on goal tied at zero apiece and overall shots differing three to five in Clemson’s favor. At the end of 45 minutes, the two teams were still locked at a 0-0 tie. Ireland native and freshman starter Jason Abbot, a major piece of BC soccer’s future, performed to his potential and dominated the first half, but despite his efforts, failed to net a goal.
Even with the lack of scoring action, the game was hardly without excitement. From the opening whistle, the game was a physical battle. Through just one half, the Eagles displayed their toughness by accumulating seven fouls while Clemson had three. By the end of the night after two overtimes, BC had attained 12 fouls to the Tigers’ 11. The desperation to win was further highlighted by Clemson’s four yellow cards in the second half.
Ultimately, the determination of the two teams led to a draw, even after two overtimes—not to say that the game was without chances. Through the full 120 minutes of play, BC had 12 shots while Clemson had 14, with three shots on goal apiece. The best chance for the Eagles came with minutes left in the first half. Freshman Derrick Boateng passed to Dunn, who placed an excellent cross onto the opposite side of the box. Junior Chris Ager headed the ball toward the goal, narrowly missing and hitting the left post.
The score remained tied for the remainder of play. In the tense penalty kick atmosphere, BC and Clemson began by trading goals, but the Tigers were simply better than the Eagles in PKs as they won 3-1 to advance to the ACC tournament semifinals.
The pain of the loss will resonate with the team, but the future is bright for BC. While last year’s team was largely composed of upperclassmen, the 2012 men’s soccer team was young. With three freshman starters, the Eagles hold the potential to build upon their 8-5-5 record and make another run at an ACC title next year.
Nevertheless, the season may not be over, as the NCAA tournament awaits. The brackets will be announced on Monday at 5:30 pm, as the Eagles wait and hope to hear their name called.