Sports, Men's Soccer, Fall

Eagles Caught in Tie With Irish After Scoreless Second Half

A one-man advantage seems to work opposite from expectations for Boston College men’s soccer. After going down a player against Boston University in late August, the Eagles came from behind to win. But when the Eagles went up a player over Notre Dame, fortune was not in their favor.

Under the lights of the Newton Soccer Complex, Boston College men’s soccer and Notre Dame battled to a 1–1 deadlock through the end of a second period of overtime in their ACC opener, reminiscent of the teams’ last matchup against the Fighting Irish in the first round of the 2019 ACC Tournament

Both goals came in the first half, as the Eagles (2–1–1) and the Irish (1–2–1) went toe to toe. Unlike the rest of the contest, the Irish started off controlling the field, attempting four corners and taking seven shots in the first half alone. The Eagles trailed with just three shots and no corners in the frame.

Stefan Sigurdarson, however, needed only one shot on goal to find the net in the 16th minute, as he continued to build on his impressive season. Off a soft touch by Michael Suski, Sigurdarson buried a hard, left-footed shot into the bottom-right corner past Notre Dame defenders and keeper Bryan Dowd. 

Sigurdarson had been named ACC Offensive Player of the Week on Tuesday, and his ability to get the Eagles on the board further confirmed his distinction. 

With just 1:45 remaining in the first half, Notre Dame freshman Matthew Roou picked up a lofted ball and slotted a shot inside the far post to equalize the score at one apiece. It seemed to come as a surprise to the BC defense, and goalkeeper Christian Garner raised his arms in disbelief. 

Neither team found the net again for the rest of the double-overtime thriller, as both the Eagles and the Irish ramped up their defensive efforts. 

Despite the even result, the Eagles maintained a physical style of play against the Fighting Irish, dominating possession and shots attempted after the first half. The Eagles finished with 13 total shots and nine corner kicks.

BC’s ramped-up, physical effort also resulted in two yellow cards and 15 fouls. The Irish countered with aggression of their own, and officials handed down a red card to Tyler Shea for a sliding challenge on BC’s Victor Souza in the 34th minute, leaving them shorthanded for the remainder of the game. 

Facing a 10-man team, the Eagles completely outmatched the Irish. They peppered Dowd with a total of eight shots and eight corners in the second half, and one shot during each overtime. On the other side of the field, BC’s defense took care of any balls headed toward Garner and eliminated any possibility of an Irish goal. In fact, the Irish had no corner kicks or shot attempts after the first half.

Although the one-man advantage strengthened the Eagles’ offensive attack, they couldn’t capitalize on any of their scoring chances. Amos Shapiro-Thompson led the offense with three shots. With 10 minutes left in the second half, he hit the crossbar with a powerful, left-footed shot.

He then quickly followed up with a right-footed volley off a header in the final seconds of regulation, but Dowd dove to come up with the save. 

Suski also suffered from the same unluckiness as Shapiro-Thompson, as his shot in the fifth minute of the first overtime went just inches over the bar. 

Featured Image by Leo Wang / Heights Staff

September 12, 2021