Notebook: New Formation Gives Eagles Spark on Offense

Boston College men’s soccer took to the field on Senior Night in the midst of a slide that saw the team go 1-5-2 since its 5-3 win against Albany on Sept. 20. The Eagles had especially struggled to create offense, including a stretch of four consecutive games in which they were held scoreless. But on Saturday night, the offense came alive in a 5-4 overtime victory, with BC (7-7-2, 3-3-2 Atlantic Coast) netting more goals against NC State (5-11-0, 1-7-0) than it had in its previous eight games.

“We had been struggling to score for the last couple games since Albany,” said sophomore Trevor Davock, who scored three goals to lead BC’s offense. “We finally, I think, found our right formation and it was good to get a win going into the playoffs.”

Fittingly, the seniors played a crucial role in the offensive display. BC started the scoring early when Zeiko Lewis stripped the ball from a Wolfpack player and sent it long for Davock, who powered around a defender and put it in the far corner of the net in the third minute. Lewis, one of four seniors on the team honored last night, was not credited with an assist on that play, but he was critical in setting up the chance.

He continued to be extremely active on offense all night. Shortly after setting up the opening goal, Lewis nearly created another when he came streaking down the side. He blew past the defense, and sent a pass across the goalie, but it was just too long. Lewis repeated that move a few times in the first half. He also had some good chances himself to score, finishing with two shots, including one that required a sliding save by Wolfpack goalie Alex McCauley.

Lewis finally got his name on the score sheet in the 23rd minute, with an assist on the second goal of the game. Ike Normesinu passed the ball across the box to Lewis, who used his head to bump the ball back toward Callum Johnson. Johnson then popped the ball up over the head of McCauley, and Davock tapped it into the net.

“It’s just the flow of the game,” Lewis said. “Trevor pulled out amazing plays, Isaac made amazing plays, Callum scores some good goals, it’s just how the game flows.”

Normesinu, who started the play, was another senior who helped drive the offense on Senior Night. The winger was constantly setting up plays, moving the ball along the outside of the box. He also earned an assist after feeding it to Johnson, who booted the ball into the net from deep. But it was Lewis who was the most prominent senior leading the charge, which was especially important with leading scorer Maximilian Schulze-Geisthovel sitting for much of the game.

But it wasn’t all about the seniors on Saturday. Perhaps the most important player on offense last night was Davock, a sophomore. Having not scored a goal all season after scoring six last year as a freshman, Davock finally found his touch on Saturday, scoring three of BC’s four goals.

His third, BC’s only goal in the second half, was a true individual effort, as he took the ball in the box and maneuvered his way around the defense and past a fallen McCauley to put it in the net and earn the hat trick. The goal came at a critical point in the game, barely a minute after NC State scored to tie the game after BC had taken a 3-1 lead in the first half.

“[Davock] was fantastic tonight,” head coach Ed Kelly said. “The last goal that he scored was a thing of beauty.”

Johnson, a freshman, was also an important player for the offense, finishing with three shots, a goal, and an assist. It really was a team effort, as the first half’s offensive outburst was ultimately crucial in giving BC room for error when the defense struggled in the second half. Although BC finished with only eight shots, six of those were on goal, which shows that the team was creating high-quality chances. In that regard, BC was successful, finishing with its highest offensive output all season (tied with the Albany game).

In the end, though, it was not a goal scored by BC that won the game. In a game defined by an offensive emergence for the Eagles, the winning goal was, ironically, an own goal by NC State.

Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor

October 30, 2016