Sports, Fall, Men's Soccer

Ten-Man Eagles Overcome Halftime Deficit to Beat BU

When the ball rolled to Stefan Sigurdarson, the Icelandic forward took a slow touch to his right before cutting quickly to his left and accelerating past a Boston University defender. With the game level at one apiece, he rocketed the ball inside the near post for his second goal of the night, giving Boston College men’s soccer the go-ahead it needed.

That slow start and strong finish was the story of the match for BC in the Eagles’ opener. The Eagles (1-1) overcame an early red card and 0-1 halftime deficit to claim a 2-1 victory over crosstown rival BU (0-2). 

After opting out of last season, it has been 503 days since BC has played a home game, and the rust was apparent in the Eagles’ first half.

BU dictated the flow of play for much of the half by controlling the midfield and creating attacking chances across the field. This strategy resulted in a handful of opportunities for the Terriers, and they netted the contest’s first shot on goal in the 23rd minute. 

Just five minutes later, the Terriers broke onto the score sheet when BU midfielder Quinn Matulis converted a penalty shot called against BC defender Moritz Frahm.

The Eagles’ first-half woes continued in the 31st minute when Frahm earned a red card after a hard tackle on a BU midfielder. A scuffle ensued, resulting in a yellow card against BU midfielder Colin Innes. 

Following the red card, the Eagles’ defense repelled a speedy BU attack which looked to capitalize on its newfound numerical advantage. The Eagles’ defensive line bent, but didn’t break, limiting the Terriers’ offensive chances. 

After a yellow card against BC’s Tyshawn Rose in the 37th minute, the Eagles ended the half with a flurry of offensive activity, recording five shots, one on target, and drawing three corner kicks in the half’s final eight minutes. 

“It was a special response,” BC head coach Bob Thompson said. “I think it’s a credit to our guys. I think we have an amazing group of guys. [There is] phenomenal character in the group, so I thought the response was special.”

BC carried its offensive momentum through the intermission and into the second half, where the Eagles took all of 62 seconds to equalize off the foot of Sigurdarson.  

“We told them [at halftime] that we had every chance to win, and we said that if we get one goal back they’re going to mentally be dropped a little bit, and then we can have a chance to try to go for the win,” Thompson said.

The Eagles, still a man down, opted to forgo the conservative strategy of playing for the tie and instead continued on the attack, pushing the Terrier defense to its breaking point. 

BC’s chances kept coming until the 62nd minute, when Sigurdarson scored the go-ahead goal by dribbling past the Boston University defender, allowing him a clear path to goal.

Despite playing with the lead and a man down, the Eagles continued to create offensive chances for the game’s final 28 minutes, outshooting the Terriers 7-3 in the second half.

Featured Image by Aditya Rao / Heights Staff

August 31, 2021