MEN'S SOCCER: Eagles' Loss To Tar Heels Sends Them To Clemson
Published: Sunday, November 4, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
The Boston College men’s soccer team ended regular season play on Thursday night with a 4-0 loss at the University of North Carolina. The Eagles were thoroughly outplayed for the full 90 minutes and the Tar Heels won to earn a share of the ACC title. It was a game that was never in doubt, as North Carolina controlled it from the opening kick and never let go, pinning BC back in its own end for much of the game and pressuring its defense almost constantly.
The first half saw the Tar Heels playing almost exclusively in the Eagles’ back third but unable to break through in the beginning. Goalie Justin Luthy had to be sharp early on in order to keep the game level but even his strong play was not enough. In the 20th minute, Andy Craven managed to get behind the BC defense and in on Luthy alone. His shot hit the inside of the far post and bounced into the net, giving UNC a lead that it would never surrender.
The rest of the first half was very similar to the first 20 minutes. Instead of backing off and trying to just hold their lead, the Tar Heels continued to pressure the BC defense and forced Luthy to make some nice plays. The Eagles escaped the half without any more damage, however, and went into the break down 1-0. UNC ended the first half with a 6-1 advantage in shots to go along with its lead and clearly looked like the better team for the opening 45 minutes.
Just seven minutes into the second half, North Carolina managed to double its lead and put the game out of reach. After a BC foul close to the box, Danny Garcia took a free kick that managed to get past the Eagles’ wall and beyond Luthy’s reach. The 2-0 lead all but ended the game for BC, who was never able to create any serious chances to threaten the Tar Heels.
It wasn’t until the 78th minute that the Eagles managed to get their first shot on goal, and even that did not bother the North Carolina goalie. Just seconds after that shot on goal, the Tar Heels managed to make the game 3-0 with a goal in transition. Alex Olofoson netted the goal that put BC away for good. The goal came off a brilliant pass from Craven that left Luthy with no chance to make a save. Just three minutes after that, Raby George continued the route for UNC with goal off of a corner kick.
The loss dropped the Eagles to 8-5-4 on the season and 3-2-3 in ACC play, and kept them tied with Clemson for fourth place in the conference. North Carolina, meanwhile, improved to 14-2-1 and 6-1-1 in the ACC, and earned a share of the conference title. Craven was a part of every goal for the Tar Heels, earning four points on the night. BC managed only one shot on goal the entire night while Luthy made four saves. The 4-0 result was the Eagles’ worst loss of the year, matching the score from a game against Maryland early in the season.
The game was the Eagles’ last in the regular season as the ACC tournament begins on Tuesday. While a win or even a tie would have given them a game in Chestnut Hill, the loss puts them in the No. 5 seed because of goal differential. That means they will travel to No. 4 seed Clemson to open tournament play. The two teams met earlier this year at BC and played to a 0-0 tie in overtime. Their quarterfinal matchup will take place on Tuesday night.