After playing Massachusetts, the reigning Atlantic 10 champions, to a draw in its first exhibition match of the season, Boston College men’s soccer was in line for another stern test in its final preseason tune-up of 2018 when it faced Colgate, the two-time reigning Patriot League champions. The Raiders—ranked No. 25 nationally in the most recent United Soccer Coaches preseason poll—made it all the way to the Sweet Sixteen in 2017, notably knocking out UMass, before bowing out to a familiar BC foe in ACC rival Louisville.
The match itself took a strange turn before a ball was even kicked. Due to inclement weather on the horizon, both teams agreed to play three separate 30-minute periods, rather than the traditional two 45-minute halves. And when the match did start, the play on the field reflected the weather—choppy and uneven—as both teams looked to rotate players frequently in an attempt to get some final preseason work in prior to the start of the 2018 campaign. The contest was eventually called because of lightning with 22:40 to play in the final third of the match, with the Eagles and Raiders still deadlocked at 0-0.
In the first period, both teams struggled to gain a foothold. Chances were scarce for the first 20 minutes as neither team was able to find a way to cut open the opposing defense. Colgate got the first real good look on goal with 10 minutes to play in the first third, when Oliver Harris managed to find his way into the BC box and get a shot off, but Joe Fryatt—who was handed the start in the Eagles’ net—denied him with an excellent kick save.
The middle period led to more opportunities for both teams. Kristofer Konradsson attempted to beat Colgate keeper Jacob Harris from distance, but Harris did just enough to make the save. Just minutes later, Konradsson’s corner kick led to a pair of headers that were blocked in the box before Tyshawn Rose’s follow-up attempt was pushed wide.
The Eagles’ best chance of the period was orchestrated by captain and last year’s leading scorer: Simon Enstrom. In the middle of the third, he made a nice run through the heart of the field, powering his way into the box before trying to beat Harris with a driven shot. Unfortunately, Harris was equal to it, showing off some nice reflexes to push the ball wide. The ensuing Eagles corner was headed just over the crossbar by Tyler Stott.
Though BC wasn’t able to break through the Colgate defense too often, its own defense performed well against a dangerous Raiders attack, limiting chances and communicating well. As the season progresses, Eagles head coach Ed Kelly will rely heavily on senior leader Joshua Forbes as well as Stott, both of whom had solid showings, to solidify the Eagles’ backline. After conceding 1.79 goals per game in 2017—more than any other team in the ACC—Kelly has to be pleased with Saturday’s clean sheet, preseason or not.
Featured Image by Jake Evans / Heights Staff