Sports, Fall, Men's Soccer

Strong Second Half Not Enough as Eagles Fall to Yale 1–0

Heading into Tuesday’s game against Yale, four of Boston College men’s soccer matches had been decided by one goal, resulting in two wins and two losses.

Against the Bulldogs in Newton, Mass., BC (3–5–4, 0–3–2 Atlantic Coast) failed to generate meaningful scoring opportunities until the second half, which wasn’t enough as the Eagles fell 1–0 to Yale (6–3–2 Ivy League). The Bulldogs overwhelmed the young BC midfield and forced the Eagles backline to make mistakes, which led to its narrow victory in a tale of two halves.

“The intensity, overall, was way better,” BC head coach Bob Thompson said. “That was probably the biggest positive from the night, was just the edge and the competitive spirit the guys showed in the second half.” 

Yale started the game with a lot of pressure, playing the whole field and constantly switching the ball among its offense. BC, meanwhile, struggled to control midfield and had several turnovers. 

It was a physical game from the start, as a foul was called on Yale’s Eric Lagos and Joseph Farouz in the 14th and 15th minute. A Jonathan Murphy handball in the 18th minute gave Yale a free kick near the halfway line. Lagos fired a shot, but Yale was flagged for offsides, keeping the score tied.

Yale rocketed a barrage of shots in the 20th minute, but the Eagles put their bodies on the line to block the attacks. CJ Williams, however, fouled Lagos in the box to give Yale a penalty kick at the 22:17 mark. TJ Presthus took the kick and nailed it off the left post past BC goalkeeper Brennan Klein into the back of the net, giving Yale a 1–0 lead.

“I think we were playing too direct in the first half and we kinda played into their hands a little bit,” Thompson said. “In the second half we played the ball on the ground a lot more which suits us and I think that our ball speed was way better.” 

Klein managed to stay strong, notching a phenomenal save in the 26th minute, tipping a flying shot onto the post and away from the goal. But Yale continued to apply offensive pressure and dominated the first half.

BC was outshot eight-to-one in the first half and recorded zero corner kicks compared to Yale’s three.

“I think we wasted the whole first half not creating chances at all,” Thompson said. “In the second half, I think if we were doing that the whole game, we would’ve gotten a goal.” 

The Eagles started the second half with more energy and aggression, applying more pressure and winning second balls. Jack Burkhardt had a volley hit wide in the 47th minute, a promising sign the Eagles could generate offensive chances. 

BC was awarded its first corner kick of the night in the 51st minute, but Marco Dos Santos’ shot was blocked. 

Dos Santos continued to fire, as he had a rocket of a shot from the right side of the box in the 58th minute, but Yale’s backline moved in front of it.

Xavier O’Neil displayed some incredible dribbling in the 67th minute but could not get his shot to fall. BC, however, registered eight shots in the second half compared to Yale’s four.

Drew Serafino nearly tied up the match for the Eagles in the 75th minute. He received the ball on the run in the 6-yard box, but Yale goalkeeper Chris Edwards jump-tackled Serafino for the save.

As the final minutes ticked by, BC became more desperate, focusing more on the offensive. 

Yale, as a result, almost doubled their lead in the 83rd minute when a Yale Pelle shot soared just over the top of the goal. But the Bulldogs bench was on their feet, loudly cheering their teammates for the victory. 

BC’s final chance came with 11 seconds remaining on a free kick, but Moritz Gundelach could not convert, and the Eagles fell 1–0. 

“The second half was way better at getting crosses into the box and creating chances,” Thompson said.

October 11, 2023