Sports, Fall, Men's Soccer

Eagles Hold Off Suffolk 2–0 for Third Win of Season

Boston College men’s soccer accumulated just one win in both August and September, respectively. In the Eagles’ October opener on Monday night against Suffolk, BC matched that mark with a win in its first game of the new month. And it accomplished that feat in commanding fashion. 

The Eagles (3–4–3, 0–3–1 Atlantic Coast) dominated the entire matchup. Suffolk (7–3–1, 2–0–0 Commonwealth Coast) struggled against a physical, aggressive BC team. The Eagles controlled possession, constantly generated offensive opportunities, and were never threatened by the Rams in the attacking zone. Goals by Jonathan Murphy and Augustine Boadi secured an effortless 2–0 BC win.  

“I think that it was a fun game,” BC head coach Bob Thompson said. “It was a good chance to get some different guys some looks and playing time that haven’t played quite as much. So that was positive.”

BC dominated possession early and controlled the tempo. A Diego Ochoa free kick in the second minute outside of the box sailed over the right side of the net, but the Eagles notched two corner kicks within their possession and another shot from CJ Williams. They produced 11 shots in the first half, a mark higher than their season shots per game average. 

Suffolk received a free kick near the halfway line in the fifth minute, but the kick-in was picked up by BC goalkeeper Brennan Klein. The Eagles recovered the ball quickly and won the 50–50 battle, sending it the other way.  

The Eagles attacked down the wings and snaked through Suffolk’s defense from angles behind the backs. A Rams handball granted BC a free kick on the right side of the box, but it deflected off the Rams’ defense and was punched out by Suffolk goalkeeper Nathan Harlow. 

Murphy opened the scoring for BC in the 16th minute, winning the ball outside the box, dribbling to the middle, and ripping a shot that deflected off a Suffolk defender past Harlow to give BC a 1–0 lead. It marked his third tally of the season. 

Suffolk, cheered on by crowd support, attempted to get back on offense quickly. BC’s defense showed its strength and physicality, however, outcompeting the Rams’ offense in all departments. 

The Eagles doubled their lead in the 37th minute. Boadi fired a rocket from the right side of the box, which sailed over Harlow into the left corner of the goal. Boadi’s second goal of the season allowed BC to go up 2–0 before the end of the first half. The Eagles possessed the ball for 77 percent of the time in the first half, with 33 percent of their possession in the final third. 

“Sometimes when you play a team at a different level it’s hard to keep the professionalism up,” Thompson said. “I thought the mentality for our guys was really good.”

In the 50th minute, Suffolk fouled Alfie Hughes who earned a free kick 20 yards out. Hughes screamed the ball low, but Harlow picked up the save.  

Xavier O’Neil almost added a third goal with a curling shot in the 63rd minute, and BC continued to send in crosses but struggled to put them in the back of the net. 

In the 77th minute, Hughes dribbled the entire field, danced around defenders at the top of the box, and hit a low shot just wide. BC continued to control the game and was never pressured by Suffolk. The Eagles recorded 23 shots and 13 corners—both season highs—and the contest ended in a comfortable 2–0 win. The victory marked BC’s first win since Sept. 1 and ended a six-game winless streak, but still, Thompson wasn’t completely satisfied. 

“We need to work on finishing,” Thompson said. “I think we haven’t scored enough goals this year and this game was another good example of like, we’re creating a lot of chances but we definitely need to finish more.” 

October 2, 2023