Sports, Fall, Men's Soccer

No. 2 Clemson Blanks BC for First ACC Loss

Prior to Friday evening’s contest, Clemson had beaten Boston College men’s soccer a commanding eight times, tied once, and lost just once in the teams’ last 10 matchups. Clemson has not lost this season, outscoring its opponents 22–1 across its previous games. In every sense of the word, the Eagles were the underdogs.

Though No. 2 Clemson emerged with a 3–0 win, which may seem like a sound defeat, the Eagles battled against the Tigers, outshooting them in the first quarter and pressuring them until the final minute.

BC (3–2–1, 0–1–1 Atlantic Coast) traveled to Death Valley to challenge undefeated Clemson (7–0, 2–0) on Friday night at Historic Riggs Field, looking to continue its five-game unbeaten streak. Despite a strong first half, the Eagles’ defense struggled to contend against Clemson’s attackers in the final 45 minutes.

After playing two straight games into overtime, the Eagles are used to hard-nosed competition. These high-intensity games prepared BC for the fast-paced Clemson attackers, as the Eagles came out extremely aggressive in the first half. Although BC did not find the back of the net in the first half, it was not for lack of trying. The Eagles outshot Clemson 7–6 in shot attempts and 3–1 in shots on goal. 

In the 17th minute of the game, the Tigers went stampeding toward BC goaltender Christian Garner, looking to get the first point on the scoreboard. Ousmane Sylla sent a shot toward Garner, who blocked the ball with his body but was unable to secure a hand on it. Sylla’s shot deflected toward the feet of Tigers forward Isaiah Reid, who sent the ball sliding past Garner, giving Clemson a 1–0 lead. It marked Reid’s sixth goal of the season, putting him in a tie for most goals in the nation. 

Down by one goal, the Eagles refused to relinquish control of the game. In the 40th minute, Michael Suski made a quick cut inside, setting himself up for a shot 20 yards away from the net. He maneuvered his body and crushed the ball toward Tigers goaltender George Marks, but the ball went just wide of the net. 

BC attacker Kristofer Konradsson was also a force to be reckoned with, pressuring the Clemson defense with multiple attempts on net. Konradsson and Suski combined for seven shots on net, both playing nearly the whole game. Despite a strong first half from the visiting side, Clemson outshot the Eagles 15–13. 

Adama Kaba made a similar move to Suski in the 55th minute of the game, cutting toward the left side of the field and sending an explosive shot toward Clemson’s goal, but a Clemson defender blocked it before reaching the net. 

The second half of the game was a different story for the Eagles’ offense. Although BC had the early-game momentum, Clemson began to take over in the second half. The switch began with a cross-field pass for the Tigers that gave Brandon Parrish the ball. Parrish slid the ball to teammate Josh Hallenberger, who slotted the ball into the left side of the net, doubling Clemson’s lead. The Tigers did not stop there, as Parrish notched his team’s third goal of the game in the 83rd minute, earning a comfortable 3–0 lead. 

Featured Image by Steve Mooney / Heights Staff

September 18, 2021