If you were a newcomer to the sport, watching Boston College men’s soccer since the beginning of its game against No. 3 Clemson Friday evening, then for 210 minutes of gameplay you may have been wondering what exactly the objective of soccer even is. For 210 minutes, the Eagles had not found the back of the net. Conversely, they had also not allowed their opponents the same satisfaction. The streak was broken with just seven seconds remaining in the first overtime period in their Tuesday night contest against the University of Connecticut.
UConn (11-4-0, 3-1-0 American Athletic) scored the golden goal, after squandering many of its previous opportunities, to hand BC (6-5-2, 2-2-2 Atlantic Coast) a tough 1-0 loss in overtime.
The breakthrough goal came off the boot of redshirt sophomore Dylan Greenberg, who was set up from the top of the box by senior Kwame Awuah. The defender managed to sneak a shot to the right post past BC keeper Cedric Saladin for his first goal of the season and for his team’s 11th win.
It was far from the first time that the Huskies had produced a quality scoring opportunity. Saladin was in the hot seat all night as UConn ripped 14 shots to BC’s four. But like a blind man playing darts, the Huskies had a tough time hitting the target, managing to only direct five of its shots on goal. One of the near-misses came in the form of a 54th minute penalty kick that struck the crossbar, keeping Saladin’s clean sheet intact.
It seemed as though the Eagles’ biggest opponent was the time, which seemed to be creeping slowly along. BC seemed to be desperately trying to run out the clock by simply trying to keep UConn off the board. It was difficult to shake the feeling that it would only be a matter of time before the Huskies would take advantage of one of their chances and pull ahead.
The constant bombardment of its box kept BC on its heels for a majority of the match. In addition to out-shooting BC, UConn also won the corner kick battle by a 9-2 margin. Breathing space was hard to come by for the Eagles, who managed only a few forays into Husky territory. These fleeting moments of offensive attack resulted in only two shots on goal, which were deftly handled by UConn keeper Scott Levene for his 10th clean sheet of the season.
This loss is one that will be tough to swallow for BC, especially after battling two top-10 teams to draws in its previous four games. Historically BC has not fared well against its New England nemesis, with UConn holding a 32-9-3 all-time advantage over the Eagles.
With only 11 days and three games remaining in its regular season, including two conference games, BC will have a chance to find some consistency that has been missing. The last time BC won consecutive games was when it played its second and third games of the season on Aug. 28 and Sep. 2. Moments of brilliance have been interwoven with missed opportunities. At their best, the Eagles have proven they can play with the best in the country, but losses like this one and against Harvard last week suggest that BC has been unable to sustain that elevated level of play that had gotten it ranked earlier in the season. If BC wants to make a run deep into the ACC tournament and beyond like it did last season, it will need to find a way to play to its full potential every game.
Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor