Entering Friday night’s game against Louisville, Boston College men’s soccer had not won a conference game all season.
That didn’t change on Friday, as Louisville’s Damien Barker John streaked across the field off a corner kick set piece and fired an untouched ball into the goal in the 28th minute to put the Cardinals ahead. The Eagles (3–6–4, 0–4–2 Atlantic Coast) couldn’t recover, and BC fell to Louisville (8–3–2, 2–3–1) 1–0 in Louisville, Ky.
BC has yet to win a game on the road this season and has never defeated the Cardinals away from home.
To open the match, Louisville was in control of the tempo, putting the Eagles on the back foot and forcing their defense and goalkeeper Brennan Klein to step up. The Cardinals forced Klein into action in just the third minute, as he saved Louisville’s Konstantinos Georgallides’ rocket.
Klein picked up another two saves in the 16th minute, providing an opportunity for BC to stay in the game.
“I thought we limited [Louisville’s] chances,” BC head coach Bob Thompson said. “And unfortunately, they ended up scoring a set-piece goal.”
Barker John’s goal marked his sixth of the season. His shot was a powerful one from outside the box and ended up sealing the Eagles’ fate.
Offensively, BC struggled on its set pieces compared to Louisville. In total, BC registered four corner kicks to the Cardinal’s three.
“We’re a bit of a small team,” Thompson said. “So all of our set pieces have to be short and they have to be a little bit more dynamic.”
Thompson explained that this requires the Eagles to use more movement and misdirection on their set-piece attempts rather than attacking more aggressively into the box. But Thompson also said that BC needs to produce more quality chances in that area in order to start converting off its set pieces.
Alfie Hughes had a shot attempt with four minutes left in the first half but could not find the back of the net, as the Cardinals’ Alex Svetanoff registered the save. BC entered the half down by a goal.
The Eagles, however, found chances all match, outshooting Louisville 14–12.
“We’re definitely creating chances,” Thompson said. “We’re definitely arriving in their penalty box just as much, if not more than them, but we’re just not finishing our chances.”
Thompson mentioned the team’s youth and inexperience as one of the reasons for its struggles.
“What I do love about our team and our staff is that nobody is giving up,” Thompson said. “We all want to try to play in the postseason, we know that it would be a long road, and we know it’s an uphill battle, but every game that we enter, we’re trying to build momentum.”
Augustine Boadi led the Eagles with four shots. Ted Cargill also recorded a shot early in the second half, but Louisville managed to limit BC’s offense the rest of the second half en route to the Eagles’ 1–0 loss.