add_theme_support( 'post-thumbnails' );Men's Soccer Hangs on for a 3-2 Win Over Northeastern - BANG.
Arthur Christory / Gavel Media

Men's Soccer Hangs on for a 3-2 Win Over Northeastern

Much like the first day of school, the men’s soccer team’s 3-2 victory over Northeastern was a chaotic affair that featured three penalty kicks and a breathless final 15 minutes. Amos Shapiro-Thompson would score the game winning goal in the 62nd minute, while Stefan Sigurdarson recorded his second brace in as many games. The Eagles also extended their unbeaten at home streak to 11 games.

The game-winning goal didn’t look like much of a chance at the start, with Sam White crossing a ball into the box with no obvious target and seemingly into the hands of Northeastern keeper Colby Hegarty. Instead, Shapiro-Thompson sprinted onto the ball, bodied it past the oncoming keeper, took a second, and then calmly slammed the ball into the wide-open net to record his first goal of the year and making the score 3-0. The captain’s work ethic created the goal, and although it seemed like icing on the cake at the time, Shapiro-Thompson’s goal proved essential to the Eagles winning and demonstrated the necessity of doing the small things to get a result.

Sigurdarson’s first goal of the game came in the 34th minute. After several near chances in the box, the forward finally capitalized, chopping at a ball that Northeastern defender Ole Kjørholt headed into the center of the box. Sigurdarson intercepted the clearance header, poking the ball into the center-left of the net and giving the Eagles both a 1-0 lead and the momentum heading into the second. Adrian Zenko sent the cross into the box, forcing Kjøholt to clear into space that Sigurdarson closed down.

The second half would pick up where the first half left off—a Sigurdarson goal. In the 47th minute, a Northeastern player committed a handball in the box that was immediately whistled for a penalty kick. Sigurdarson stepped up to the spot and on the whistle, buried the shot into the lower right corner, shooting across his body and confusing Northeastern goalkeeper Colby Hegarty who dove the wrong way.

With a little less than 20 minutes left, the Eagles looked comfortable with a 3-0 lead and made significant substitutions, allowing their starters rest due to the heat. It was at this point that chaos unfolded, with Northeastern pulling back two goals in six minutes off of two penalty kicks and poking holes in the Eagles defense that left the team reeling.

The first came when Northeastern forward Fraser Brown forced BC keeper Brennan Klein to come off his line and dive for the ball. Klein managed to knock the ball away but also caught a piece of Brown and the referee whistled for the penalty. Tobias Wangerud stepped up to the spot and buried the ball just inside the right post, past a diving Klein who had predicted Wangerud’s placement, but just couldn’t get to it fast enough.

Six minutes later, Klein would be called on to face another penalty shot, as the Eagles were whistled for a hand ball inside the box. This time, Sebastian Restrepo stepped up and took a quick strike with his right foot into the left corner, faking out Klein who dove to his left. With ten minutes to go, the Eagles were suddenly faced with a one goal game and were clearly on the back foot. Both penalty kicks had come from defensive miscues where the Eagles' shape was off, having been pulled out of position and allowing for Northeastern to slip into the space and force Klein to make a save (the first penalty) or launch a cross that contacted a BC player's hand (the second penalty).

As the sense of desperation mounted and Northeastern pushed for the equalizing goal, BC was forced into another round of substitutions, bringing captains Tyshawn Rose and Shapiro-Thompson back into the game, along with Victor Souza and Sigurdarson. Although Northeastern continued to press, the pace of the game returned to trading possession instead of the full-frontal attack from before. This early in the season, the chaos of the second half is a learning experience, demonstrating just how fast a game can change with a shift in momentum.

Worth noting is that this game marked Klein’s return to action after injury sidelined him from the postseason last year. He saw no shots in the first half—his major action being to track a late corner as time ran out in the first. The keeper is BC’s preferred starter and his return shorted the gap between the defense and the goalie, with Klein frequently only a few steps behind center back Wil Jacques. The vocal keeper definitely wanted to get his feet wet, repeatedly charging for balls that a defender easily could have mopped up in order to be more involved in the play. The two penalty kicks were Northeastern’s only shots on goal. 

Next up for the Eagles (2-0) is a non-conference away game against UMass this Saturday, September 3rd at 1:00pm.

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

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