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MEN'S SOCCER: Eagles Force Tie At Harvard After Trailing

Mejia Nets Equalizer To Give BC A Point On Road

For The Heights

Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01


Graham Beck / Heights Editor

The Boston College men’s soccer team fought back from an early deficit to tie Harvard 1-1 on Tuesday night at Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium in Cambridge.

The Crimson (1-5-3) came out firing, as it took just over a minute for a ball to find the back of the net. An unmarked Hiroki Kobayasha headed in a successful cross from Ross Friedman for the score.

Just minutes later, a missed header from Harvard’s Michael Innocenzi saved the Eagles (5-3-2) from a 2-0 hole.

“It’s tough, to work all week and see a ball in the back of the net like that,” said head coach Ed Kelly. “I told them we just have to keep playing and not panic.”

Harvard continued to test the Eagles’ defense as Jake Freeman fired another shot on goal in the 26th minute. However, BC goalkeeper Justin Luthy made one of his three total saves for the game on the play.

While the pace of the game favored the Crimson early, BC was able to gain momentum as the minutes ticked away.

“It was a bad start, but the pace came back in the game and things were looking good,” Kelly said.

The Eagles capitalized on the building momentum, as senior Kevin Mejia sent in the equalizing goal in the 31st minute off an assist from ACC Player of the Week Charlie Rugg.

The rest of the game featured an exchange of possession and missed opportunities.

A second shot from Mejia was saved and a late attempt from Rugg sailed off the crossbar. Harvard’s Zach Wolfenson also missed a shot just left on the Crimson’s best second-half attempt.

Only the Eagles were able to get a shot off in an ultimately uneventful overtime. Eight minutes into the first overtime period, a third attempt from Mejia soared just above the crossbar from 35 yards away.

“It was a scrappy game,” Kelly said. “We played well enough to win, and they played well enough too.”

In the end, the Eagles outshot the Crimson, 12-9, and had a 4-1 advantage in corner kicks. Yet, they were unable to secure a victory over a struggling Harvard team.

While the Eagles didn’t play poorly, Kelly did attribute many of their struggles to injury, as the team has consistently missed the presence of four to five starters.

That absence of some of the team’s most talented players has left BC in a tough spot getting ready for No. 14 Wake Forest this Saturday.

“It’s difficult to prepare with so many injuries,” Kelly said. “We’re not crying about it, but it’s not the situation we would like to be in.”

While the task certainly seems daunting, Kelly emphasized sticking to fundamentals as the best way to get the team back on track against its ACC foe.

“We need to match up, play tough defense, and treat it like any other game.”

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