Previewing 2018 Men’s Soccer: N.C. State

bc men's soccer

North Carolina State has recorded back-to-back ties, and if Friday night’s match against Boston College men’s soccer is anything like the teams’ 2017 meeting, the Wolfpack could very well have another draw coming its way. Last year, the Eagles traveled to No. 22 N.C. State and played 102 minutes with only 10 men on the field after goalkeeper Antonio Chavez Borrelli registered a red card in the eighth minute for handling the ball outside the penalty area. Luckily for BC, Jack Bacon held down the fort in net, logging a pair of crucial saves, including a diving stop in double overtime to preserve a scoreless tie.

Like last year’s matchup, the Wolfpack enters the weekend ranked, but this time the Atlantic Division foes are separated by just one point in the ACC standings. No. 17 N.C. State (6-2-2, 1-2-1 Atlantic Coast) burst onto the scene this fall, winning five of its first six matches—at one point ranking as high as fourth in the the United Soccer Coaches Poll—but since has had to grind out points on a week-to-week basis. BC (2-3-3, 1-3), on other hand, hasn’t tallied a single one since its Sept. 11 meeting with Holy Cross. After starting the season undefeated, the Eagles eventually dropped their first game of the year two weeks in—and unfortunately for head coach Ed Kelly, they still haven’t truly recovered.

Who is BC playing?

North Carolina State

When is BC playing?

Friday, Oct. 5, 7 p.m.

Where is BC playing?

Newton Soccer Field, Newton, Mass.

How to Watch:

The match will be streamed on ACC Network Extra, which is available on WatchESPN.

By the Numbers:

BC:

1) All eight of the Eagles’ games this season have been decided by one goal or less.

2) Last time out against Notre Dame, Callum Johnson was held without a shot attempt—that hadn’t happened all year.  

3) Simon Enstrom notched six goals and 23 shots in the opening five matches of the season. But over the course of the past three games, he’s failed to find the back of the cage once and has only mustered a total of five shots.

N.C. State:  

1)  The Wolfpack has nine different goal scorers and 12 players that have recorded at least one point this season.

2) Gabriel Machado leads the N.C. State scoring attack with 10 points, courtesy of four goals—three of which have been game-winners—and two assists.   

3) Goalkeeper Leon Krapf is currently posting a goals against average of 0.945 and has five shutouts to his name this season, the third most in the ACC.

Last Meeting:

BC played its regular season finale at N.C. State last year. Because of Chavez Borelli’s red card, the Eagles were at a disadvantage all game, but still managed to blank the Wolfpack. In overtime, Johnson and Heidar Aegisson nearly put the match to bed, yet both of their shots were slightly off the mark. Bacon closed out what was BC’s third shutout of the season, capturing the team’s fourth and final ACC point of its dismal 2017 campaign.

Outlook:

Even though the Eagles find themselves on a three-game losing streak, there are reasons for BC fans to be optimistic about the team’s Friday night matchup. For one thing, the meeting marks the Eagles’ first home game in three weeks. And when they’ve played N.C. State in Newton, they’ve never lost. In fact, they’re 5-0-2 in said matchups. Not only that, but BC’s previous three losses—all against ranked ACC opponents—have gone down to the wire. Perhaps the fourth time’s the charm. At this point in the year, neither side can afford to dip too far below .500 in ACC play, especially a team like N.C. State that had its eyes set on Wake Forest and Louisville earlier this season.

Featured Image by Jonathan Ye / Heights Staff

Andy Backstrom
About Andy Backstrom 318 Articles
Andy is the sports editor of The Heights. He is from the suburbs of Philly, but has been an Arizona Cardinals enthusiast since the first grade. Every so often, he'll replay Super Bowl XLIII on Madden to exact revenge on his father's beloved Steelers. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyHeights.