MEN'S SOCCER: Tough D Stunts Eagles
Published: Monday, October 15, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
While both the Boston College and Clemson men’s soccer teams exited the pitch without a goal on Saturday evening in Newton, it wasn’t for lack of effort or creativity by the Eagles.
BC repeatedly sent its midfielders up field in attack. In response, Clemson held its midfielders back to aide its back line.
“[Clemson] didn’t want to lose, so it was obvious they were playing tough defense,” said head coach Ed Kelly.
The trio of Charlie Rugg, Kyle Bekker, and Derrick Boateng created most of the chances for BC. Both Bekker and Boateng had four shots as they operated on the wings for the most part, although Bekker often wandered toward the middle to link up with Rugg at the top.
The Eagles’ best chance came in the first 15 minutes of the game, when Rugg found himself alone 10 yards out from the penalty box behind the Clemson defense. BC played the ball into Rugg, who then had a clear shot at the top of the box but narrowly missed to the left.
Bekker also had several narrow misses. On a feed from central midfielder Colin Murphy, who beat Clemson defenders with ease throughout the night, Bekker fired a shot high and wide from the left side of the box.
In the second half, Bekker caught the keeper out and whipped the ball toward the goal from almost 40 yards out. Cody Mizell, the Clemson keeper, could only watch as the ball curved just over the corner of the goal.
“Charles [Rugg] had a great chance, Bekks had a great chance, but some of the other stuff, the scrappy stuff we could have picked up on,” Kelly said.
Boateng provided the scrappy stuff terrorizing the Clemson defense down the left flank, but he and the Eagle attack always needed one more touch, or one bit of luck, to put the ball in the net.
“We were a little unlucky,” Kelly said. “We played well enough. I thought we got the best of the game, but on the other side of the coin, these games, as a coach you always fear that you miss those chances, and they come back to haunt you.”
Clemson’s best chance near the end of the first half was when the Tigers chipped the ball over the BC back line onto a streaking Preston Gayton, who thought he was alone with the keeper, but BC defender Nick Corliss flew in from the right side and shouldered Gayton off the ball inside the box in a heavy collision. Gayton injured his ankle on the play, and to the outrage of the Clemson players, no foul was called.
BC hovers near top of ACC standings
Entering the match trailing both No. 1 Maryland and No. 2 North Carolina in conference play, BC could not afford a loss if it wanted to stay ahead in the ACC.
“Losing would have been awful the way we played,” Kelly said. “It was a tough game. It was a bit of a scrappy kind of game, but we’ll take it.”
Luthy named ACC Player of the Week
For the second week in a row, a BC player was named ACC Player of the Week. Luthy, following in Rugg’s footsteps, nabbed the award after saving eight shots in the second half of the 1-0 Wake Forest victory.
This season, Luthy is ranked fourth in the ACC with 16 saves. Luthy has been a four-year mainstay between the pipes and will go down as one of BC’s finest keepers. He leads the program in wins and minutes.