Sports, Fall, Men's Soccer

Konradsson’s Fourth-Minute Strike Holds up Against Rival BU

In a season-opening win for Boston College men’s soccer against Quinnipiac on Thursday, midfielder Kristofer Konradsson—a preseason All-ACC selection—had three shots that came close but just missed the frame. On Sunday against rival Boston University, though, the dangerous sophomore from Gardabaer, Iceland, didn’t miss.

It took just four minutes for Konradsson to find the back of the net against the Terriers, and in what was another physical back-and-forth edition of the Green Line Rivalry, the Eagles hung on for a 1-0 win—and stayed undefeated against BU since 2012.

BC (2-0) took the early lead as the result of counterattacking quickly from the back. Goaltender Giacomo Piccardo, a freshman who finished with five saves, knocked out a BU (0-2) cross, and the defense was able to clear it out. Konradsson gathered the ball in transition and found room to run before striking a hard left-footed shot into the far post from 25 yards out.

It was the third career goal for Konradsson, who had been introduced to the rivalry last season and had an assist in a dramatic 3-3 draw. It was also an opening salvo that the Terriers couldn’t recover from, as they failed to get anything past Piccardo and were outshot down the stretch as well.

After Konradsson’s goal, the rest of the first half was largely controlled by BC, as it piled up seven shots to BU’s four. Amos Shapiro-Thompson and Konradsson both had chances, but neither could put a shot on goal. In fact, the Terriers came away with a 3-1 edge in shots on goal in the first half, including a header chance from Matt McDonnell in the 42nd minute that Piccardo saved.

In the second half, the pace of play started to swing more in BC’s favor. The Eagles went on to double BU in shots, 10-5, and Terriers’ goaltender Michael Stone was called on for five saves. Adam French had the first chance in the 54th minute after sustained buildup, then Heidar Aegisson fired off a shot just eight minutes later. Headers from Victor Souza and Stefan Sigurdarson also required saves from Stone, while his counterpart in Piccardo was rarely tested.

BC freshman Mike Suski, who entered as a sub in the 28th minute, started to make his mark on the game. Suski’s speed at the top of the Eagles’ formation was tricky for BU to contain, and he had a shot miss high and another blocked. He’s a player to keep an eye on moving forward, as he seems to be head coach Ed Kelly’s first choice off of the bench.

The game featured the usual level of chippiness, with the teams combining for 32 fouls. BU saw yellow cards issued to Satchel Cortet and Zion Balogon, both in the second half when the Terriers were furiously trying to will their way to an equalizer.

They were unable to find a goal, though, and Souza had a pair of excellent defensive clears in the final minutes to secure the win for BC. It was an important one, as—even though BU was picked to finish fifth in the Patriot League—the stakes are always raised against a rival. The Eagles’ ability to close out tight defensive games is huge and even more so when you consider it’s freshmen like Souza and Piccardo who are stepping up. The level of intensity will ramp up this coming week, though, as a stiff opponent in Rhode Island stands in the way of BC’s first 3-0 start since 2016.

Featured Image by Bradley Smart / Heights Editor

September 2, 2019