With a crowd of 1,028 filling the stands, Boston College men’s soccer faced its toughest opponent yet: defending national champion No. 1 Clemson.
Clemson rattled off two goals before BC’s Stefan Sigurdarson scored in the 70th minute, but the Eagles (2–2–1, 0–1 Atlantic Coast) couldn’t net the equalizer and fell 2–1 to Clemson (5–0, 1–0).
“The crowd was amazing—that’s what’s so special about playing at home,” BC head coach Bob Thompson said. “We’ve been great at home and that’s for good reason, the crowd was awesome.”
Freshman Augustine Boadi generated BC’s first real offensive opportunity early in the first half, bursting through midfield before passing to captain Amos Shapiro-Thompson. The captain whipped the ball across the box, and the play resulted in a corner kick for the Eagles. Shapiro-Thompson took the corner, and Victor Souza connected on a header, but the ball landed just wide.
“That’s probably my biggest note of the game: just how well the freshmen played in their first ACC game,” Thompson said. “It’s a good sign for the future.”
Five minutes later, BC’s Ted Cargill picked up a yellow card, inciting an even greater intensity in the crowd at the Newton Soccer Complex.
Clemson took the lead in the 34th minute on a goal by Tim Ströbeck.
Adrian Zenko and Shapiro-Thompson got into a tussle with Clemson players at midfield, resulting in a yellow card against Zenko. BC goalkeeper Brennan Klein commanded his defense after the card to preserve the narrow deficit.
Freshman CJ Williams picked up a red card four minutes later, putting BC down a man. Thompson and Shapiro-Thompson both said that they disagreed with the call but were pleased with the way BC responded.
Up a man, Clemson doubled its lead in the 68th minute off a free kick.
Sigurdarson, BC’s leading scorer, netted one for the Eagles just two minutes later to pull back within one goal.
“To be down to 10 men for a red card that was absolutely not a red, and to respond by scoring a goal, defending well, having more chances than them—I’m just proud of the fight and the togetherness,” Shapiro-Thompson said.
BC dominated the last 10 minutes of the game. The Eagles took corner after corner but couldn’t beat Clemson’s defense, falling 2–1 to the Tigers.
“I thought we were really unlucky,” Thompson said. “The guys fought really hard even through a couple of really bad calls, which was unfortunate. But I thought the heart of our team was tremendous.”