When Boston College men’s soccer set up for a corner just 12 minutes into the game, the Eagles had already been knocking on the doorstep. Minutes after an Augustine Boadi shot nearly slid by Syracuse’s defensive perimeter, the Eagles came firing again. The corner was launched towards the net as midfielder Walker Davey swept in and connected his head with the ball, which dribbled into the back of the net.
After a full 90-minute fight that saw glimpses of strong offensive pressure, BC (4–6–5, 1–4–3 Atlantic Coast) tied No. 4 Syracuse (12–2–3, 5–1–2) 1–1.
With Syracuse on the lookout for an ACC championship run this year, the team was more physical than ever and played the Eagles with intensity. BC was prepared for this, though, and moved the ball rapidly before any player in the bright orange could get close to the ball.
The Eagles flocked to wherever Syracuse held possession of the ball, and it was impossible for Syracuse to dribble for long durations. BC was a cohesive unit. By the end of the first half, the Orange had four shots compared to BC’s five. Levonte Johnson was the only player on Syracuse who registered two shots in the first half.
“We haven’t been our best on the road, so getting in an early goal obviously gives the guys confidence.” head coach Bob Thompson said at halftime.
While BC’s confidence was noticeable on the field in the first half, the same cannot be said of the second half. As Syracuse increased its intensity, the Eagles could not keep up their level of playing. When the Orange had possession of the ball in their offensive half, BC’s defense started to lose steam and were unable to force turnovers.
Throughout the second half, Syracuse was more and more hungry for the ball, and started sending a flurry of shots. The Orange took 14 shots to BC’s three and held possession of the ball for the majority of the half.
The Eagles were exhausted through the 20-minute mark of the second half, and started to struggle with Syracuse’s physicality.
Syracuse’s tenacity in BC’s box eventually paid off, as it was able to get a penalty called on Amos Shapiro-Thompson resulting in a free kick to tie the game. Jeorgio Kocevski pulled through for the Orange, recording Syracuse’s only goal off the penalty kick.
There weren’t high expectations for BC heading into Friday’s matchup with the No. 4 overall ranked team in the nation. A tie not only gave the Eagles a confidence boost–it prevented Syracuse from adding to the win column for the second straight game.