The first 45 minutes of men’s soccer’s game Friday night in upstate New York were all too reminiscent of the Elite Eight game nine months ago in December. Half of the game was over, with no score. To make the trip down memory lane really feel complete, Jonathan Hagman came out of the blast for a strike that no one would forget. In the 50th minute from 25 yards out, he netted the decisive goal of the game as No. 5 Syracuse went on to a 2-0 defeat of No. 15 Boston College.
The challenge wasn’t a surprise to head coach Ed Kelly. Earlier in the week, he had been asked about facing one of the best teams in the nation, the Orange.
“Well, we know a lot about those teams, Syracuse we lost to in the Elite Eight last year, we played them here in a great game,” Kelly told BCEagles.com. “It’s much better going in to play an opponent even though they are strong and a tough place to win rather than an unknown. It is much more intense here and easy to get people up for a game like this.”
Kelly was right about the intensity of the contest right from the first minute. When BC jumped out of the gate and took the first three shots of the match, it seemed like the team was prepared.
Senior Isaac Normesinu had the first shot of the game, which was on net, in the 16th minute. That shot would loom large because it would be the only one that BC (4-2-0, 1-1-0 Atlantic Coast) had on net for the entirety of the 90-minute contest. Younes Boudadi, a freshman, and senior Zeiko Lewis also took shots in the first half, and BC seemed the more aggressive side for the first 45 minutes.
Going into the break, BC had a 3-1 shot advantage. But Syracuse (7-0-0, 2-0-0) flipped the script in the second half.
Hagman’s goal came just after the start of the second half, and he swung the momentum over to Syracuse’s side. Opportunities for the Eagles to even things came in the 59th minute with two corner kick attempts, but BC failed to get a shot off on either of the corners.
In the 74th minute, the Orange added to its lead and effectively sealed the game. Chris Nanco crossed a ball into the box for Kenny Lassiter, who put the ball in the back of the net to give the Orange a more secure advantage. After falling down 2-0, the Eagles remained incapable of getting another shot off. Another corner kick opportunity came in the 84th minute, but, again, the Eagles couldn’t do anything with it.
Syracuse head coach Ian McIntyre credited BC after the game with disrupting the Orange early on until they were able to find their footing and score a couple of goals in the second half to put the Eagles away. That brings up an important piece for BC. With such a young team full of potential, disrupting strong teams like Syracuse is good, but they have to do more to convert chances when they can get them. With three corner kick opportunities down the stretch of the second half, the Eagles should have at least gotten a shot off.
Featured Image by Amal Agrawal / Heights Staff