Men’s Soccer Earns Tie With No. 3 Clemson

In the second minute of the game, Zeiko Lewis sent a through ball to Trevor Davock, whose curling effort with the outside of the boot hit the post. For the remaining 118 minutes of the game, that would be the closest either team got to scoring.

davock postIn a quick-paced game, Boston College men’s soccer drew 0-0 with No. 3 Clemson after regulation plus two periods of overtime. For the Eagles, this was their fourth game out of the last seven against top-10 opponents. After losses to Syracuse and North Carolina, BC has drawn with No. 4 Louisville and Clemson.

The Eagles (6-4-2, 2-2-2 Atlantic Coast) took the game to the Tigers in the first half, outshooting the visitors 6-2 and taking three more corners. Lewis and Davock spearheaded the attack down the left side, linking up well together and getting Davock’s strike partner Simon Enstrom involved in the build-up.

Clemson (8-2-3, 3-1-2) matched BC in the opening 15 minutes, with leading scorer Diego Campos threatening down the right side, but the Eagles took the momentum for the remainder of the half after Clemson’s second forward Austen Burnikel went out with an injury.

In the 28th minute, Davock nearly broke the deadlock again, with a turn and shot from the top of the box that just went wide after deflecting off a defender. Five minutes later, Lewis found Davock again for a turn and shot that sent the keeper sprawling.

davock deflectionAfter a terrific freshman year as one of the team’s leading scorers, Davock has yet to find the back of the net this year since battling an ankle injury over the summer. On Friday night, though, Davock returned to his old form. He got the start at forward alongside Enstrom after starting the year out wide. He held the ball up very well, looking to combine quickly with Enstrom or Lewis, and led all players at the half with four shots.

In a quick game, Lewis was the fastest player on the pitch, and came into the middle of the pitch just as much as he was in his outside starting position.

Head coach Ed Kelly has shifted his front five players around a lot this season, and admitted after the game that, even this far into the season, the team is still looking to find its system. The season had started with Zeiko at his usual central midfield position, Davock out wide, and Enstrom as the lone striker. With the emergence of Maximilian Schulze-Geisthovel, Enstrom then dropped to midfield with Lewis and Davock out wide. Now, with Schulze-Geisthovel injured, Kelly has opted to put Davock and Enstrom up top and keep Zeiko out wide. Callum Johnson performed admirably down the right flank, but the real firepower came from the deadly combination of pace and skill between Davock and Lewis, with Enstrom playing off the two of them.

On the defensive end, Mohammed Moro returned from injury after missing five games as the Eagles look to regain some consistency at the back. He looked sharp in the first half, handling Campos well, before being subbed off at the half for Fintan Devlin. BC was also without its other starting fullback, Younes Boudadi, who picked up a knock against Harvard on Tuesday, but Abe Bibas filled in with a solid outing. BC only used two subs the whole night—Devlin for Moro at the half and Ike Normesinu for Joshua Forbes in the first OT, which pushed Callum Johnson to rightback as a third-stringer.

In the second half, Clemson fought back and regained the offensive momentum for a large stretch, putting a lot of pressure on the Eagles and forcing a lot of rushed clearances. One such mishap from Forbes in the 76th minute left Campos with the ball on the left side of the box, but the striker fizzed a ball just wide of the far post. A few minutes later, a dangerous cross went over BC keeper Cedric Saladin, but Bibas was at the back post to clear the ball off the line with a backward half-bicycle kick.

abe clearanceIn the final 10 minutes, BC got back some chances of its own. A quick counter in the 81st led to a diving save from Clemson goalie Ximo Miralles off an Enstrom strike. Two minutes later, Davock danced down the sideline and sent a ball across the box just out of reach of Johnson. An ensuing corner was flicked on but just missed the towering head of Gudmundsson.

Davock and Johnson chance Enstrom shot, diving saveNot much happened in the 20 minutes of overtime, save for one low cross in front of the net for each team and a penalty shout from Clemson with 1:30 remaining.

Enstrom OT chance“Massive point, but could have been a massive win,” Kelly said. “We kind of dominated, yeah? But we have to win the games we dominate.”

Early mistakes have plagued the BC in losses against North Carolina earlier and Harvard on Tuesday, but the Eagles rose to the occasion of a Friday night ACC game and matched Clemson the whole way and then some. Just a few more inches to the right and Davock would have had his first goal of the year to convert this big point into a major upset.

Featured Image by Lizzy Barrett / Heights Staff

October 14, 2016

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