Sports, Men's Soccer

Ten-man Eagles Blanked By Louisville

In his first collegiate showing, sophomore goaltender Brennan Klein recorded eight saves against No. 25 Louisville. With four saves in each half against a ranked team, Klein kept BC in it all game long.

Despite his efforts, Boston College men’s soccer (3–4–1, 0–2–1 Atlantic Coast) fell 2–0 to the Cardinals (6–2, 3–0) on Friday night.

The Eagles struggled to maintain Louisville’s level of offense, particularly during the first half, as they relied on a narrow defense to challenge Louisville’s pressure. 

Stuck in their own defensive zone, the Eagles faced a 10–0 shot deficit and eight corners throughout the first 45 minutes. Klein’s effort and the speed of the BC defense prevented the 11th-best scoring offense in the country from capitalizing on any of its scoring chances, and the two teams entered the second half scoreless.

Louisville continued to dominate the field throughout the rest of the match, though both of its goals came in the last 15 minutes of the game. Ugochukwu Achara headed a corner inside the left post to give the Cardinals a 1–0 lead in the 77th minute, and Nico Diaz beat Klein to the net off a rebound with four minutes left in the game to ice the win for the Cardinals.

The Cardinals attempted a total of 22 shots, 10 of which were on goal, in addition to earning 12 corners. Meanwhile, BC recorded just one shot on net out of three total, and one corner. In addition to Louisville’s relentless offense, the Eagles faced 14 fouls as opposed to the Cardinals’ five. Despite the statistics, the Eagles came out visibly stronger in the second half, managing to gain more possession in their offensive zone.

Directly after Achara’s goal, officials brandished a red card against BC’s Adama Kaba for a tackle that initially was awarded a yellow, leaving the Eagles stunned and shorthanded. Even down to 10 players, the Eagles came up with more scoring chances than they had all night and displayed a valiant effort and determined mentality following the call.

Stefan Sigurdarson led the BC offense with two shots, while Michael Suski assisted his attempts in penetrating Louisville’s defense. 

After tearing his ACL during the first minute of BC’s contest against Yale, Amos Shapiro-Thompson’s absence was still sorely felt among the offense. In addition to Shapiro-Thompson, five other players are out for the season due to injuries. 

Consistently facing pressure from Louisville, the BC defense showcased its strength and depth throughout the match. Junior back Victor Souza continued to dazzle, as he prevented multiple attacks by the Cardinals’ offense and controlled the field, assisting Klein at the net. 

Klein recorded his first two collegiate saves back-to-back on Eric Danquah’s shots in the 28th and 30th minutes. Less than a minute after two low shots, Klein stopped a header attempt directed toward the top of the net. He continued to demonstrate his agility and awareness as he dove and jumped, catching the ball five more times to keep the Eagles within reach of a comeback against a powerful offense. 

Featured Image by Steve Mooney / Heights Staff

September 26, 2021