Boston College men’s soccer came to an end with their 1-0 loss to Virginia Tech in the first round of the ACC tournament Wednesday night in Blacksburg, Virginia. The game-winning goal came six minutes into the first overtime period, and was scored by Jack Dearie.
Dearie’s goal started with a throw-in by the Hokies into the Eagles’ box. Ian Buehler’s initial headed clearance found its way to Welnilton Da Silva Jr., who took a one-touch left-footed shot that Victor Souza cleared away from the six-yard box. Dearie was feet away and pounced on the clear, sending a left-footed shot towards the left corner. The ball took a deflection off an Eagles defender and spun just millimeters over Christian Garner’s outstretched hand and into the back-left corner of the net. Dearie’s golden goal to send the Hokies to the ACC quarterfinals was his first goal of the season.
Michael Suski had a chance to win the game in regulation. In the 83rd minute, the Eagles managed to spring the transition from their own end, sending significant numbers down the field for the first time in the game. Suski found himself with space and rifled off a low, skipping shot towards the post that forced Hokies keeper Ben Martino into a diving save. The Suski shot was the Eagles’ only attempt on frame all game.
The matchup was largely a defensive one. Neither team took significant risks on the ball. The Eagles displayed patience, passing backwards when open looks did not present themselves and refusing to institute a high press. Both teams wanted to win, but the commitment was to defense and preventing an opening goal, not the attacking third.
Wil Jacques made a huge defensive sliding tackle in the 39th minute to prevent Conor Pugh from having a clear look at the goal. Seemingly beaten, Jacques, in a dead sprint, managed to get his left leg in front of Pugh to slide cleanly, taking away Pugh’s shot. The perfectly timed tackle caught only the ball despite Virginia Tech attempting to argue contact.
The tackle also bought time for the defense to regroup. Jacques sliding clear sent the ball towards another rushing Hokies player who was unmarked at the top of the six-yard box. Souza and Garner raced towards the open player to cut off the angle, with Souza leaving his feet as the Virginia Tech player shot the ball. The ball went out for a corner kick, but the two sliding tackles helped keeper Garner from having to make difficult saves.
As has been the story all season, injuries dominated the Eagles’ lineup. Garner returned to the starting role due to Brennan Klein getting injured against North Carolina State. Suski, one of the leading goal-scorers on the team, was subbed in the 60th minute, playing only 36 minutes of the game.
Farwell went down with a knee injury with twenty minutes remaining in the second half. The injury came off of a defensive play, where Farwell’s plant leg bobbled at an odd angle. The freshman left the game in pain and the Eagles, playing with an already depleted bench, were forced to further shuffle their lineup.
The other recurring story of the season also made an appearance, with Sigurdarson narrowly avoiding a second yellow card in the 88th minute. The first yellow card, given in the 69th minute, was arguable, with Sigurdarson’s tackle coming in just a second too late. The referee awarded the yellow due to previous chippy behavior from the forward. Sigurdarson avoided the second yellow, despite his tackle coming after the Hokies player had distributed the ball. Kristofer Konradsson also received a yellow in the 93rd minute for pulling down a Hokies player who had gotten around him.
The Eagles end their 2021 campaign at 6-7-2, with an ACC record of 2-5-2. Undefeated at home, the team won only one road game and finished below .500 on the season.
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