BC Drops Conference Opener To NC State

Boston College men’s soccer fought tooth and nail in its ACC opener against North Carolina State in Raleigh, N.C., on Friday, but a Wolfpack golden goal from defenseman Caleb Duvernay in the 109th minute proved to be the death knell in a double-overtime loss for the Eagles.

Though BC drew first blood in the 52nd minute off the foot of freshman Trevor Davock, N.C. State dictated the tempo from the opening whistle. If it weren’t for the acrobatics of sophomore netminder Cedric Saladin—who tallied five saves for the game—the contest never would have gone to overtime in the first place.

N.C. State whiffed on a number of point-blank opportunities, just another factor in a series of events that kept the Eagles in a game they had no business sticking close in. A mishandled volley by Yanni Hachem here, an errant header from Julius Duchscherer there. Opportunities abounded for the Wolfpack, who struck for goal 17 times but could not break through a magnetic force field deterring the ball from crossing over the goal line. To boot, the home team had converted on a corner kick chance in the 19th minute, but the goal was disallowed after the referee determined that a foul had occurred during the play. Fate appeared to be on the Eagles’ side.

N.C. State kept chipping away, and in the 67th minute, inevitability set in, as Wolfpack forward Ade Taiwo knotted the score at one apiece thanks to a beautiful service from Duvernay. Wolfpack midfielder Simon Blotko had an active night from the right side of the field, serving in dangerous crosses and opening up the field with timely passes, and sophomore striker Zach Knudson challenged Saladin twice with a pair of shots on goal.

In the first overtime period, BC’s Simon Enstrom had an early opportunity from the right side just outside the goal area, but N.C. State’s Alex McCauley turned away the shot for his lone save of the evening. In the ensuing period, Duvernay punched home a cross from Blotko in the 109th, and the Wolfpack held on for a well­-deserved 2-­1 victory.

The loss comes on the heels of an embarrassing 1­-0 defeat to Loyola Marymount in Newton last Sunday, where the visiting Lions scored a minute into the match and hunkered down for a one­-goal victory. Previously, the Eagles had recorded wins against Quinnipiac, cross­town rival Boston University, and Southern Methodist University. BC has a week of practice to regain its form before hosting the Panthers of Pittsburgh next Saturday at 7 p.m.

Featured Image by Emily Fahey / Heights Senior Staff