On a clear Friday night in South Bend, Boston College men’s soccer team looked to get back on track and win its first conference game of the season. The Eagles were up against reigning ACC champion Notre Dame, however, and came up one goal short against the Fighting Irish.
The Eagles (2–4–3, 0–3–1 Atlantic Coast) were without all-ACC defender Victor Souza and freshman defender CJ Williams on Friday, and it proved costly, as Notre Dame (5–3–1, 2–2) defeated BC 2–1.
Heading into Friday’s matchup, the Eagles were struggling offensively and either lost or tied its last six games. BC tried to resolve its offensive struggles with more aggressive play, but it overcompensated and allowed Notre Dame to get control of the ball. Within the first 18 minutes, the Irish had registered four shots on goal, two corner kicks, and had a handful of opportunities with the cross.
Fortunately, BC was able to pack the box and force the Irish into tough looks early. That was until the 16th minute of the game when defender Kyle Grenebacher had a powerful cross that found the foot of freshman forward Borso Wyatt. Wyatt spun off the BC defender and fired it to the bottom left corner of the goal. Wyatt’s second goal of his collegiate career gave the Irish a 1–0 lead.
The Irish attack continued to push the ball and get scoring opportunities. Forward Eno Ntu received a through ball for a scoring chance but BC’s Leon Musial dove on the ball just in time, which knocked the wind out of him. The Eagles were fired up to gain possession for sometime and had a few opportunities across the center of the field.
The Eagles were unable to score, but they kept the Irish from gaining and maintaining possession for much of the remainder of the first half. That was until Irish goalkeeper Bryan Dowd was able to filter the ball to Daniel Russo who proceeded to head it to Nto. Nto beat the last defender and rolled it by Musial. Notre Dame took the 2–0 lead in the 40th minute.
At the end of the half, Eagles midfielder Ted Cargill created space with the dribble and fired it to the bottom right corner, but Dowd made a diving save. Although the Eagles were gaining some momentum, they still could not get on the board and exited the half down by two.
That was until the 53rd minute when Cargill made a pass to midfielder Jack Burgess who looked up the field to make a cross. He fired it off of his left foot expecting it to find the head of Cargill but it slipped by him and past Dowd, trickling into the bottom left corner of the net. This cut the Irish lead in half.
For the next 15 minutes, both teams went back and forth with neither side getting a good look on goal. Notre Dame got the ball into the box and headed it to KK Bauffor for what looked like an easy goal, but Musial jumped in and batted the ball out.
The Eagles broke out for a final offensive surge as they quickly got the ball back into scoring position. In the final 15 minutes, Cargill found midfielder Amos Shapiro-Thompson for a shot on net that was saved by Dowd. Burgess got the rebound right in front of the net–and it seemed like he was going to tie the game–but Dowd made a sweeping kick save to keep the Irish advantage.
Dowd saved the play, but this was the final blow for the Eagles who could not find an equalizer in the closing minutes. Despite the loss, the Eagles’ offense looked its best all season and proved it could hang for all 90 minutes of the game.