MEN'S SOCCER: Late Rally Leads Eagles To Victory Over Pitt
Published: Sunday, September 15, 2013
Updated: Sunday, September 15, 2013 23:09
Pittsburgh soccer’s ACC era continued its rough start Saturday night, as Ed Kelly’s Boston College team dominated the Panthers in the attacking third. Despite allowing an early opening score from the home side, the Eagles bounced back with two goals in the final 10 minutes to beat Pitt 2-1.
The first 13 minutes of play were scoreless for both teams, but it was the Panthers who struck first off of a free kick from about 25 yards from the goal. Sophomore Ryan Meyers whipped the ball in to the waiting foot of junior Zane Meehan. Meehan beat BC keeper Keady Segel on what was only one of two shots on goal for the Panthers of the night.
Striker Cole DeNormandie gave Segel’s counterpart on the opposite end much more to do. After suffering what looked like a severe injury in collision with an opposing player last Saturday against Wake Forest, the forward was back in action, launching three shots on target.
“He did really well last night,” Kelly said. “He worked his tail off and was a big help. He had a couple of really good shots and he’s a big man for us. He was laying balls off. He did a fine job.”
Despite the strong comeback performance, DeNormandie was not the only contributor for the Eagles. Junior Giuliano Frano had four shots—two on goal—and a goal.
Other teammates chipped in four additional attempts, forcing seven stops from Pitt’s Dan Lynd.
Despite the strong offense from BC, the Panthers remained on top until the end of the half. Even after the Eagles returned to the field with fresh legs, it took 35 more minutes of play for them to tie the game.
There was a close moment with just over 10 minutes remaining when the Panther keeper received assistance from the post as Atobra Ampadu’s shot failed to find the net and ricochetted. Ampadu, who appeared as a substitute, redeemed himself moments later, making no mistake with a header that found its way into the Pitt net. Frano was attributed an assist for the equalizer.
Multiple forays from the Eagles followed and they earned the game winner through Frano. Zeiko Lewis spun off his mark, before slotting a gorgeous ball through to the holding midfielder to give BC a 2-1 advantage at the end of play.
It was a tough loss for Pitt as they are now 0-2 in their first two conference matchups of the young season, and 0-2-2 overall.
“It was a very disappointing loss because I thought we played our best game thus far,” said Pitt head coach Joe Luxbacher in an interview after the game. “When you’re playing top teams every week, even if you’re playing well, you’ve got to close it out. The effort was there. We played well but if you have a few lapses when you’re playing at this level that can determine the outcome.”
The return of DeNormandie gave BC the tactical flexibility that allowed the Eagles to stage their second half comeback.
“In the first half we played 4-3-3 and in the second half we switched it to a 4-4-1-1. Cole had a partner last night and that worked really, really well,” Kelly said.
It gave Lewis the opportunity to play just off the team’s target man.
Even with the team’s record improving to 2-2-1, 1-1-0 ACC, Kelly still sees plenty of room for imrovement in his young team. At the top of his list is working on getting the defense in order and having them fit as a unit.
“It takes us a bit of time to get know them,” Kelly said, “We have so many new guys out there, it’s crazy. We have to get our back four straightened out.”