The NCAA approved a series of rule changes in men’s and women’s soccer in April. One of the most consequential rule changes eliminated overtime in the regular season: If the score is tied after 90 minutes of play, the game ends in a tie.
And that’s what happened in Boston College men’s soccer’s matchup against Louisville (3–2–1, 0–1–1 Atlantic Coast) Friday night. After BC scored in the 65th minute to tie things up at one apiece, momentum was on the Eagles’ side. But when the final whistle blew, the Eagles (2–2–2, 0–1–1) didn’t get another chance to score in overtime—as they would have last season—and the game ended in a 1–1 draw.
At the center of BC’s attack was midfielder Augustine Boadi. The freshman used his quickness to generate scoring chances early in the game, but the Eagles couldn’t find the net.
“He’s really quick. He’s really fast,” BC head coach Bob Thompson said of Boadi. “I would say he’s really skillful for being that fast. He’s able to keep good control of the ball while traveling at a high speed, and that’s hard to find.”
Louisville center backs Josh Jones and Bryce LeBel contained BC striker Stefan Sigurdarson for much of the first half. Sigurdarson, who’s scored six goals this season, had little time and space with the ball.
“[We were] not being productive enough on the ball,” Thompson said. “[Sigurdarson] was kind of battling against two center backs more than he needed to.”
The first major scoring opportunity for either team came in the 37th minute. From the left flank, BC left back Tyshawn Rose swung a cross into the box that went untouched until Amos Shapiro-Thompson rocketed a half-volley from the weak side, but a lunging LeBel got in front of it. The center back was in the right place at the right time, and he kept the Eagles off the board.
But soon after, in the 44th minute, the Cardinals broke the scoreless tie on a goal from Nico Diaz. Damien Barker John slotted a perfectly placed through ball toward the penalty spot, and Diaz converted on a one-time finish that ricocheted off the left post before it trickled into the net to put Louisville up 1–0.
Coming out of halftime, BC shifted its focus to attacking Louisville with aerial balls over the top of the Cardinals’ back line. This resulted in a few chances for the Eagles, most notably a scramble in the box that ended with a Ted Cargill shot that went just wide of the bottom-right corner of the net.
“It looked like their back line was a little tired, and [they] started having a flat line, and they weren’t really alert, so the backside runs seemed to be on quite a bit,” Thompson said.
The Eagles were rewarded for their efforts in the 65th minute when midfielder Nacho Dominguez knotted the score at 1–1, finishing a ball from 10 yards out. Center back Diego Ochoa lifted a ball toward the far post, where Sigurdarson headed it into a vacant area of the box. Dominguez pounced on the unaccounted-for ball and calmly shot it into the net.
“I saw that the goalie was very close to the near post, so I knew that I just had to redirect the ball to the far post,” Dominguez said.
Dominguez, a substitute who entered the game late in the first half, said that coming off the bench was no problem for him.
“I think the whole group was just focused on this game, especially after the loss against Clemson,” Dominguez said. “We knew that we needed to get some points, and the whole team was just so focused on the game that I feel like coming off the bench is almost like starting.”
Having seized the momentum after their goal, the Eagles generated several chances in the minutes following the equalizer. Senior captain Shapiro-Thompson had perhaps the most dangerous scoring opportunity in the 77th minute, when he moved past a Louisville defender and blasted a low shot that just missed the goal, hitting the side of the net.
Louisville stormed back with one final chance in the 89th minute when a Louisville forward connected on a header on a lofted corner kick. BC goalkeeper Brennan Klein was positioned perfectly, though, and saved the header.
“I think this is something to build on,” Thompson said. “I think the guys that are older and that have been around longer know that a point in the ACC is important. So for me, actually coming back from 1–0 down against a good team and getting a point out of it is a really big momentum builder.”