add_theme_support( 'post-thumbnails' );Men's Soccer Takes Senior Night Victory Over Wake Forest - BANG.
Photo courtesy of BC Men's Soccer / Twitter

Men's Soccer Takes Senior Night Victory Over Wake Forest

Boston College men’s soccer defeated Wake Forest 3-2 in thrilling fashion on Saturday, Oct. 23 to pick up the team’s second ACC win of the season. A brace from Michael Suski and a Stefan Sigurdarson penalty conversion led the Eagles to victory on senior night.

The game-winning goal came in the 75th minute, four minutes after the Demon Deacons had pulled a goal back to put themselves within one. Receiving the ball on the left-hand side of the pitch, Suski dribbled right, cutting with his right foot into the box as Wake Forest defender Garrison Tubbs backed away. Seizing the extra space and using two Demon Deacons defenders to screen goalkeeper Trace Alphin, Suski swung his right foot and skipped a bouncing ball off the near post and into the back of the net.

In a game of full-circle narratives, Suski also started the scoring in the 19th minute to kick off the Eagles’ high-flying performance. Receiving a throw-in on the far side of the pitch, Suski took a few touches to create space in the 18-yard box, separating himself from three Demon Deacon defenders. Planting his left foot, Suski drove a right-footed hanging shot up past a diving Alphin, who had no chance at saving the suspended strike.

Stefan Sigurdarson would find himself back on the scoresheet with his penalty kick conversion in the 44th minute. Wake Forest defender Prince Amponsah pulled Sigurdarson down just inside the 18-yard box to stop what would have been a one-on-one battle with goalkeeper Alphin. After a brief consultation, Sigurdarson stepped to the spot, adjusting and then readjusting the ball to the left edge of the penalty spot. On the referee’s whistle, Sigurdarson ran forward and tapped the ball into the lower-left corner with the inside of his left foot, faking out Alphin, who dove right.

The Demon Deacons would pull back two goals in the second, with the first coming in the 63rd minute. After sustained pressure from the Eagles, Wake Forest midfielder Roald Mitchell, in a last-ditch effort, managed to send a cross in front of the goal line, where a sliding Kyle Holcomb tucked the ball into the back of the net. Eagles keeper Brennan Klein didn’t make a play on the ball sent in across because he hadn’t realized Holcomb had beaten his defender and would reach the ball first.

Wake Forest would have a penalty conversion of their own in the 87th minute, elevating the tension as the final three minutes ticked off the clock. Jake Swallen stepped up to the spot and managed to outwait Klein, who stepped left before ultimately diving right as Swollen buried a right-footed, mid-level shot in the middle of the net. The referee awarded the kick after Eagles defender Victor Souza bodied a Wake Forest player just inside the box.

The Eagles made the win look effortless, if not easy, against a Wake Forest team that had won its last five games and received votes in the latest United Soccer Coaches NCAA poll. Facing a must-win situation in order to keep postseason hopes alive, the Eagles dominated possession and seemed in control of the game, even when Wake Forest was pressing desperately for an equalizer in the final three minutes.

The win took a total team effort, especially with a restructured backline that saw captain Ian Buehler sitting and Adama Kaba playing in his place. At one point, due to on-field injuries and substitution rules, forward and occasional midfielder Drew Serafino played as a defender for several minutes, demonstrating the individual commitment required of a gutsy, creative win.

The defense worked hard to eliminate Wake Forest counterattacks, with Kaba and Tyshawn Rose eliminating space on the wings and forcing the Demon Deacons to build slowly instead of springing into two-on-one situations.

Although Klein only faced three shots on goal during the game, his aggressive style once again aided the Eagles. Preferring to play a high backline, Klein pushed the defense forward, compressing Wake Forest into their own third. 

Before the start of the game, the Eagles honored the seniors and graduate students in the program for senior night, while also hosting a fundraiser for the National Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation. The team recognized eight players for their contributions during their time as members of the men’s soccer team.

The Eagles travel to Blacksburg, VA, to take on Virginia Tech on Tuesday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. in the ACC tournament opener.

Be sure to follow @BCGavelSports for all the latest updates on Boston College Athletics

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