Previewing 2018 Men’s Soccer: Connecticut

boston college men's soccer

Boston College men’s soccer nearly knocked off Louisville—its first ranked ACC opponent of the season—on Friday, but, with a last-minute goal, the Cardinals handed BC its first loss of the 2018 campaign. The Eagles faced a lot of challenges against the Cardinals, but still put up a tough fight and hung with Louisville for most of the match, despite the rampant physicality. BC (2-1-3, 1-1 Atlantic Coast) now looks to redeem itself on Tuesday night in a non-conference matchup against Connecticut (4-2).

The Huskies are yet another tough opponent. Even if the Eagles struggle to get on the board in the early stages of the match, they can’t afford to let their frustrations get the best of them. Although BC is no longer undefeated, its season is only just beginning.

Who is BC playing?
UConn

When is BC playing?
Tuesday, Sept. 18, 7 p.m.

Where is BC playing?
Joseph J. Morrone Stadium, Storrs, Conn.

How to Watch:
The match is available to watch on ACC Network Extra.

By the Numbers:

BC:

1) Callum Johnson and Kristofer Konradsson both sit behind Trevor Davock with two assists apiece. Those three players combined have totaled seven of the Eagles’ nine assists this season.

2) Simon Enstrom’s goal streak ended at two games against Louisville last Friday. He has a total of six goals and 13 points this season, with a shot on goal percentage of .417.

3) BC is averaging 13 shots per game and has a .397 shots on goal percentage, whereas its opponents are recording 12.3 shots per contest and have been launching 36.5 percent of their shots on net.

UConn:

1) Abdou Mbacke Thiam recorded a hat trick in a double-overtime victory over Loyola Maryland on Saturday night. It came in the 106th minute of the game and marked Mbacke Thiam’s fifth goal of the season.

2) Junior goalkeeper Austin Aviza has a 0.72 goals against average and a .70 save percentage average.

3) UConn has a shots per game average of 11.3 and a shots on goal percentage of .382. On the flip side, its opponents are logging 7.2 shots per match, and 37.2 percent of those are on net.

Last Meeting:

The Eagles and Huskies met last year on October 17 at home. BC beat UConn, 3-2, in double overtime. The Huskies had a two-goal lead until the second half, at which point both Simon Enstrom and Joshua Forbes scored for the Eagles, tying the match at 2-2. Johnson notched the game-winner shot in the 104th minute, guiding the Eagles to victory. Overall, BC outshot UConn, 21-11, and had a 9-7 edge in shots on goal, as well as 5-2 shot advantage in extra time.

BC wins if…

It prevents the Huskies from capitalizing on too many of its own mistakes. Against Louisville, the Eagles had their fair share of shots, but only one landed on net. In order to get back into the win column, they’ll have to be more careful handling the ball and create better looks, rather than firing impulsive shots. Defensively, BC will have to tighten up the midfield, something that head coach Ed Kelly was critical of after Friday night’s defeat. Above all else, Antonio Chavez Borrelli will have to protect the cage, just like he has the past few weeks.

BC loses if…

It doesn’t take advantage of key opportunities. Enstrom and Johnson had a challenging game against the Cardinals and couldn’t draw up a single scoring play. They weren’t the only ones to struggle on the offensive side of the pitch, though. The Eagles missed a lot of chances because of sloppy mistakes. Possession and shot selection will certainly be a focus heading into the matchup. Enstrom has scored or assisted on seven of BC’s 10 goals this fall—if he’s hot on Tuesday, BC could very well record its third win of the year.

Featured Image by Jonathan Ye / Heights Staff