Boston College snapped a seven-game winless streak with a 2-0 win over NC State Friday night, securing their first ACC win of the season with a little aid from across the pond. Ted Cargill and Stefan Sigurdarson, from England and Iceland respectively, scored for the Eagles.
Cargill’s first collegiate goal came in the 28th minute, following a fast start from the Eagles. The goal started with Walker Davey forcing a turnover near the right-side line that Augustine Boadi collected and passed to Adrian Zenko. Head up, Zenko took a touch and moved the ball on to Camilo Ponce at the top of the box. Ponce lulled three defenders to sleep with his crafty footwork, before cutting the ball and slipping a pass through to Cargill on the left side. Running on to the ball, Cargill one-touched it with his left foot over the head of NC State goalkeeper Lucas Hatsios and into the back of the net. Ponce recorded an assist on the play.
Sigurdarson would score his seventh goal of the season in the 84th minute, snapping a four-game scoring drought. The Eagles earned a corner that Cargill served into the box to an open CJ Williams, who managed to head the ball towards the goal. The ball took a deflection off of either Sigurdarson or an NC State defender and bounced out of the six-yard box. Davey headed the ball towards Sigurdarson, unmarked at the corner of the six-yard box. On the bounce, Sigurdarson rifled the ball inside the near-post on a full extension with his left foot.
The Eagles came out swinging with Boadi ringing a shot off the crossbar a minute after the game started. Good movement kept the pressure up as BC pushed for an early goal, playing with an intensity usually reserved for the last twenty minutes of a match. Early creativity propelled the Eagles forward, preventing NC State from building momentum until around the 25th minute, as possession began to swing the Wolfpack’s way. The intensity contributed to the Eagles ten shots in the game, though NC State would outshoot the Eagles with 13.
Starting the second with the intent of protecting the one goal lead, BC preferred a back pass to the defense rather than pressing forward. NC State applied a press, with one or two forwards running at the backline to try and force mistakes or slip a ball through. The adjustment, combined with the Eagles' resistance to going forward into space, kept NC State in the game and prevented BC from finding the back of the net earlier in the second half.
Preferring to build out of the back, the Eagles always do well when their defenders are confident and both CJ Williams and Davey played their strongest game of the season. Williams, stepping up due to injuries on the backline, confidently dribbled the ball forward and was calm under pressure, taking moments to settle the ball and pass rather than a hasty distribution to space. Davey, in his first career start, made an immediate impact, playing a role in both goals even if not officially showing up on the box score.
Brennan Klein made three saves on his way to his first shutout of the season, including one in the second half on a dangerous free-kick at the top of the box that meant NC State had their choice of where to aim the shot. Another good sign that Klein is returning to full form was his long pass under pressure that found Sigurdarson, who brought the ball down but could not manage to get a shot off with his back to goal. Sigurdarson chopped the ball to Amos Shapiro-Thompson, who gave the ball to Boadi, whose shot went right to the NC State keeper.
Averaging 2.7 yellow cards a game, Wil Jacques, Christian Bejar, and Deigo Ochoa all picked up cards in the match, though total fouls were 11 for NC state, 15 for BC. The Eagles also gave up nine corners in the second half, allowing NC State several looks at a set piece goal, although BC defended well. The repetitions on corners will help the Eagles going forward, as set piece defense has never been their strong suit, but nine corners points to desperation defense and an inability to clear the ball out of the defensive third.
The Eagles (3-4-3) take on Brown (5-2-1) for a non-conference match up at 7 P.M. on Tuesday, October 11th at home on Newton.
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