Boston College men’s soccer’s offensive drought continued on Friday. For the third time in the past six games, the Eagles failed to get on the board. Louisville on the other hand, found the back a handful of times, en route to a 4-0 victory.
No. 10 Louisville (6-1-1, 2-1 Atlantic Coast) capitalized on four second-half goals to top BC (3-5, 0-3) and keep the Eagles in the basement of the ACC’s Atlantic Division. After a strong and evenly played first half, BC lost the possession battle in the latter portion of play. This took a toll on the Eagles’ defense, which became more porous as it tired down the stretch.
Like most ACC games, Friday’s match was fast-paced and physical from the jump. Opportunities on each end were squandered by a variety of high and wide misses. Both defenses were blocking shots and protecting their goalies early on.
This changed in the 30th minute, when BC junior forward Simon Enstrom’s shot on goal was denied by Louisville goalie Jake Gelnovach. Enstrom willed himself into a plethora of opportunities in the first half, but Louisville’s defensive unit prevented him from cashing in. Gelnovach saved what would be the only shot on goal by either side in the first half.
The second half was controlled by Louisville. In the 47th minute, forward Tate Schmitt volleyed an Adam Wilson cross past BC freshman goalie Antonio Chavez Borrelli to start the Cardinals’ scoring spree. The goal gave Louisville instant second half offense, and the Cardinals never looked back. After the teams traded missed opportunities by Enstrom and Schmitt, respectively, Louisville midfielder Cherif Dieye scored on a point-blank shot in the 67th minute. Dieye was just barely snuck the ball past BC defenseman Younes Boudadi and Chavez Borrelli. Schmitt—the driving force behind the Cardinals’ offense—was credited with the assist.
In a last-ditch effort to beat Louisville, BC upped its tempo. After two unsuccessful corner kicks, the Eagles started to tire out. Louisville 2016 All-ACC midfielder Tim Kubel made them pay. In the 69th minute, Kubel tucked a shot towards the left post and into the net, giving the Cardinals a 3-0 lead. The Louisville faithful in attendance shook the stadium with their cheers as the entire Louisville team celebrated together. The match, at this point, was all but over.
Kubel’s fourth goal of the season furthered a productive start to his senior campaign. His score was the 19th of his esteemed college career. Kubel, a Louisville fan favorite, was given a standing ovation as he exited the match later in the game.
In the 74th minute, Schmitt put the finishing touches on his masterful performance by scoring off of a corner kick. Kubel’s service slipped out of Chavez Borrelli’s hands, and Schmitt hopped on the loose ball and put it in the back of the net for the Cardinals fourth and final goal of the match.
Friday marked Louisville’s fourth shutout of the year, further establishing itself as a polished and daunting defensive unit that should be feared throughout the ACC. Its defense limited BC’s opportunities, and allowed Louisville to retain possession of the ball. This put pressure on the BC’s defense, wearing out the unit as the second half progressed.
Louisville improves to 3-0-1 against BC historically. The series has been played since 2014, when Louisville joined the ACC.
The Cardinals accentuated the question marks that currently exist for BC. This is a team that is struggling to score in ACC play, with only one goal in three conference games.
Featured Image by Lizzy Barrett / Heights Editor