Tommy Garcia-Morillo raised his hands in exasperation. It appeared like he let out a big sigh: “Finally.” His teammates crowded around him in a hug. It was the freshman’s first career goal for Boston College men’s soccer (6-2-0, 2-1-0 ACC). He was not the only one who made that accomplishment during the game, though. All four of BC’s goals against Virginia Tech (4-3-1, 0-2-1 ACC) were a player’s first career goals, bringing a 4-1 victory for the Eagles.
BC’s gameplay was more heavily reliant on defense early in the game. The Hokies kept BC goalkeeper Cedric Saladin on his toes, forcing four saves in the first half and outshooting the Eagles 15-10 for the game. Yet BC’s defense put up a good front and did not allow many opportunities for real scoring attempts.
BC finally saw a scoring opportunity in the 35th minute on a free kick, when Abe Bibas headed a beautiful goal past Virginia Tech keeper Ben Lundgaard, who only could graze the ball with his fingertips in an attempt to catch it. Less than a minute after, the Hokies responded with their own goal. After stripping the ball from BC, Virginia Tech forward Ricardo John streaked up the field and subsequently scored after a fabulous cross by teammate Rory Slevin and pass in the box by Alessandro Mion. Saladin was too far out from the goal to stop the ball, and it went through his legs.
The Eagles struggled in the stalemate for only a few minutes before forward Henry Balf scored from a few yards outside the penalty box off a rebounded shot by Derek Lyons. Trevor Davock moved quickly out of the way so the ball would roll in, and though he was technically offsides at the time of the goal, it was only to make room for Virginia Tech’s goalie, who dove trying to make the save—the goal allowed the Eagles to go into the half with the lead.
Two minutes into the second half, Lyons, who assisted Balf in the previous goal, scored one of his own. He first headed the ball toward the goal from a corner kick before knocking in his own deflected shot. The Hokies racked up 10 corner kicks, putting heavy pressure in the Eagles’ box, but continually couldn’t finish. Each corner was cleared out by the Eagles’ stellar defense. After the third goal, it was clear that Virginia Tech’s energy was sapped.
After a fairly uneventful second half, BC commanded the audience’s attention with its final goal of the game in the 82nd minute. With Davock drawing out the Hokies keeper from the goal, he passed to Garcia-Morillo, resulting in a goal on an open net. With the accompanying celebration, his goal put the game too far out of reach for the Eagles’ third consecutive victory of the season. They have already surpassed last season’s win total of five.
BC’s young team will be an advantage throughout the season. Fourteen of the team members are freshmen and five are sophomores, a majority of the 26-man team. The Eagles can expect a lot from these underclassmen, as Bibas, Garcia-Morillo, and Lyons, are freshmen and Balf is a sophomore. Now that each has notched his first goal, the Eagles can only hope for a better offensive attack and more scoring opportunities.
Featured Image by Daniella Fasciano / Heights Editor