You could hear the shouts of “Trevor!” from across Newton Campus Field, and you could tell by the glowing expression of the baby-faced freshman that he was not going to leave his fanatic flock empty-handed.
Freshman Trevor Davock propelled Boston College men’s soccer (4-2-0, 1-1-0 ACC) to a 2-0 victory against Pittsburgh (3-2-1, 0-2-0 ACC) on Saturday night, tallying a goal and an assist en route to the team’s first ACC victory this season.
But that’s not why there was a swarm of children screaming for Davock’s autograph after the win.
The Massachusetts native spent most of his childhood as a member of New England FC, a local youth soccer club that was allowed to take the field with the Eagles prior to the opening whistle on Saturday. During his time with NEFC, Davock met and played under current BC head coach Ed Kelly, who also serves as NEFC’s senior boys director.
“I always looked up to [Coach Kelly] because he was the director of NEFC,” Davock said. “I knew that if I did good then, hopefully, one day I’d be able to come here. It’s been my dream ever since.”
“See those little babies running around?” Kelly joked as he pointed at the eager flock of middle school soccer players. “Trevor was one of the first Academy kids we had.”
If Kelly hadn’t signaled at the children receiving autographs, you might’ve thought he was talking about the “little babies” on his own team. With three or four freshmen starting on any given night—and a whopping 14 total freshmen on the roster—the Eagles sport the youngest lineup in a very competitive ACC division.
But what BC lacks in experience and a refined passing game, it makes up for with sheer explosiveness on the attacking front. Freshman forward Simon Enstrom has wreaked havoc on opposing defenses this year, combining with Davock for six goals and four assists in just six games.
Against Pittsburgh, the high-octane strikers proved to be the difference once again. In the 12th minute, a cross off the boot of midfielder Isaac Normesinu found Enstrom streaking toward the back post. Elevating for a header, Enstrom deflected the ball back into the middle of the penalty box, where a leaping Davock grazed the ball just enough to eke past the Panthers’ goalkeeper.
Overshadowed by BC’s flashy forwards has been the stellar defense. After allowing two late goals in a double overtime loss to NC State on Sept. 11, the defensive front—featuring 6-foot-4 center back Len Zeugner and habitual midfielder-turned-left back Atobra Ampadu—kept Pitt quiet in the second half to secure the victory.
Goalkeeper Cedric Saladin helped anchor the Eagles’ defense on Saturday night and picked up his second shutout of the season. On one play in particular, Saladin ranged to his right to stop an errant pass by Zeugner from bouncing out of bounds. With a Pitt striker charging full speed at him, Saladin took a soft touch before clearing the ball, preventing a corner kick and a potentially game-altering play.
Saladin, a sophomore who redshirted last year, has racked up 16 saves in his first six collegiate games, ranking him amongst the top goalies in the ACC.
While the defense deserves its due recognition, Enstrom and Davock continue to showcase why the lethal duo is in fact receiving so much hype.
Playing with his back to the goal in the second half, Enstrom controlled the ball long enough to draw the defense’s attention away from Davock, who saw his opportunity to make a run through Pitt’s back line. After fielding a picture-perfect pass from his Swedish classmate, Davock fired a shot that curled off the left post. The rebound fell right into the feet of midfielder Idrissa Bangura, who hammered it home past the diving keeper.
“[Enstrom] is a great player to play with because of his build,” Davock said. “He can hold the ball up. I know that if I lay it on the ground to his feet, he’s going to lay it back to me. We have good chemistry like that.”
If Enstrom keeps hooking Davock up with promising goal-scoring opportunities, Kelly believes that Davock will continue to capitalize.
“Trevor’s a goal-scorer,” Kelly said. “The second one, that was phenomenal. The quickness of it, the recognition of it … he’s got that nose for the goal.”
And what’s the scariest part about Davock?
“He’s only a kid,” Kelly said.
Featured Image by Daniella Fasciano / Heights Editor