Sports, Fall, Men's Soccer

Second-Half Surge Lifts Eagles to Shutout of Northeastern

On Tuesday afternoon, Boston College men’s soccer welcomed in local foe Northeastern. The Eagles were fresh off the best win of their season, a nailbiting 2-1 upset of No. 3 Wake Forest, but had drawn with a much worse Merrimack side just a few days prior. So, there was reason for fans to be frustrated when BC played to a scoreless deadlock through the first 45 minutes with the Huskies.

The two teams were all even in shots and corner kicks, and it seemed like it could easily be a scoreless repeat. Instead, whatever head coach Ed Kelly said at halftime worked, as the Eagles woke up and took control of the game, doubling up Northeastern in shots in the second half, en route to a 3-0 shutout win.

BC (7-2-2, 1-2-1 Atlantic Coast) saw underclassmen lead the way, with freshman Mike Suski and sophomore Kristofer Konradsson each registering a goal and an assist, while first-year Stefan Sigurdarson found the back of the net for the second game in a row. The Eagles scored all three goals in a span of less than three minutes, sending the Huskies (5-5-3) reeling just eight minutes into the second half.

Goalkeeper Christian Garner, who won BC’s starting job from Giacomo Piccardo six games ago, stayed unbeaten as he pushed his record to 3-0-2 on the season with the shutout. Garner was rarely tested as Northeastern struggled against the Eagles’ defensive core of Tyshawn Rose, Victor Souza, David Longo, and midfielder Joe Kellett. The four played the entire game, limiting the Huskies to a single shot on goal—Jordan Murphy’s attempt in the 33rd minute. By and large, the Eagles were in control, and it’s a strong sign that the team has now held opponents to a solitary goal in the last 290 minutes. 

Offensively, it took a bit for BC to get going. While Northeastern keeper Noah Abrams was called upon to turn away Sigurdarson in the third minute, he wasn’t tested again in the opening 45 minutes. The Eagles racked up nine fouls to the Huskies’ zero, too, resulting in a lot of stop-and-start play that worked to Kelly and Co.’s detriment.

The second half was a different story. Konradsson came on to start the period after not appearing in the first, and alongside Suksi—who entered in the 31st minute—the Eagles’ offense suddenly started to look more dynamic. After back-to-back corner kicks failed to create anything, BC kept the pressure up and broke through in the 53rd minute. Midfielder Lasse Lehmann switched the field, sending a long pass to Kellett, who deftly played it back to teammate Jesus Sahugan. Sahugan, who came off the bench against Wake Forest after racking up nine straight starts, had regained his starting job and lifted a cross into the box for Sigurdarson to head home past Abrams.

Just a minute and 12 seconds later, Suski found Konradsson with shooting space, and the sophomore made no mistake with a one-timed finish. Then, a minute and 26 seconds after the restart, the duo switched sides in the box score. Konradsson, who led the team in assists last season but has struggled to find his way on the field this year, fed Suski down the right side where the speedy freshman eventually rifled a high shot by Abrams. In just 2:38 of game time, the Eagles had taken a decisive 3-0 lead, one that the Huskies wouldn’t touch.

Northeastern entered the game second in the Colonial Athletic Association in shots and goals, trailing only No. 18 James Madison, but its offense was more than held in check on Tuesday. The Huskies’ trio of Timothy Ennin, Benjamin Klingen, and Ryan Massoud all boasted four goals to their names—equal with Sigurdarson’s total that leads BC—but they couldn’t find the back of the net against the Eagles. With Garner playing at a high level and his defense performing exceptionally well in front of him, BC should feel good about trying to play spoiler again on Friday night against No. 1 Virginia—a sentiment that was hardly felt after last week’s frustrating draw with the Warriors.

Featured Image by Jess Rivilis / Heights Staff

October 9, 2019

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