If you blinked twice, you might have missed it.
After surrendering an early goal on a free kick by Southern Methodist University midfielder Mauro Cichero, Boston College men’s soccer flipped the script behind two back-to-back goals from midfielder Atobra Ampadu.
The first, an equalizer in the 23rd minute, came off of a well-placed through ball from forward Simon Enstrom. After appearing to control the shot, Mustang goalkeeper Michael Nelson (2014 AAC Goalkeeper of the Year) allowed the strike to sneak between his legs.
Ampadu regained possession moments later, taking a touch before netting the go-ahead goal on a 30-yard blast.
“I know I can shoot, I know I have good range,” said Ampadu, one of the Eagles’ only seniors. “When the ball came, I didn’t see anyone else but the goal. I just took the best shot I could, and thankfully the ball went inside the net.”
But No. 23 SMU (2-1-0) would promptly answer in the second half off the boot of Michael King, who cleaned up a scramble in the box following a free kick by Jared Rice. With three shots deflected off the post, an advantage in shots on goal, and more corner kicks than BC, the Mustangs were beginning to recapture the momentum.
In a season where freshmen have dominated the headlines, junior Zeiko Lewis—one of the team’s few veteran leaders—proved to be the hero on Friday night.
Lewis started his engines around midfield, dribbling and shaking defenders left and right while streaking up the middle. Cutting the ball back around the 18-yard box, Lewis confidently drilled the game-winner past the diving Mustang goalkeeper. The Newton Campus crowd, albeit small compared to the record-breaking attendance at Monday’s match against BU, erupted as Lewis was mobbed by teammates.
As the clock inched closer to an Eagle victory, SMU began firing on all cylinders in a last-ditch effort to even the score. With less than three minutes left, a BC counter attack produced an open net and a depleted Mustang defense. Without hesitation, freshman Simon Enstrom secured an insurance goal by nailing his third goal of the season from nearly 40 yards away.
“Simon was working like a mad dog,” said BC head coach Ed Kelly. “He just wasn’t going to lose.”
With their 4-2 victory, the Eagles improve to 3-0-0, their first such start since 2011. Friday’s offensive outburst also marks their seventh goal in the last two matches, an impressive feat considering their lack of experience and strength of opponents.
The men’s soccer team will look to remain undefeated when they take on LMU (3-0-0) Sunday at noon on the Newton Campus Field. Whether the magic will stem from a freshman or a senior is yet to be known, but as long as the Eagles can continue their late-game heroics, Coach Kelly and BC will continue to wallow in their winning ways.
Featured Image by Daniella Fasciano / Heights Editor