The Boston College Men’s Soccer team traveled to Storrs, Connecticut to take on the twentieth-ranked UConn Huskies on Tuesday night. The game ended the brutal stretch in which the Eagles faced six top-20 teams in a seven-match span, losing five of those matches each by a one-goal margin. The Eagles fell by a score of 3-2, the comeback bid ultimately coming up short after they found themselves in an early 3-0 hole.
Both teams struggled to break through early on, as each defense stifled any serious scoring chances. However, an opportunistic UConn squad took full advantage of their chances late in the first half, opening the scoring in the 28th minute with a goal by senior forward Abdou Mbacke Thiam, the experienced and proven leader of a talented Huskies team.
Despite the 1-0 deficit, the Eagles had a chance at an equalizer just three minutes later, as a UConn foul in the box afforded BC an opportunity for a penalty kick. In perhaps the most crucial moment of the match, Simon Enstrom, BC’s leading scorer, saw his penalty attempt batted away and off the post by Huskies goalie Austin Aviza.
This proved to be a critical missed opportunity for BC—a common theme throughout their season thus far. The Eagles, now 4-5-3, have seen each of their matches end with a margin of one goal or less, often failing to capitalize when given the opportunity to topple ranked opponents.
Aviza’s critical save provided some life to UConn’s offense, and midfielder Josh Burnett snuck a shot past Eagles goalkeeper Antonio Chavez Borrelli just twelve minutes later to double the Huskies’ lead. The momentum carried over to the second half, as Burnett added another goal in the 50th minute which gave the Huskies a 3-0 lead.
The growing deficit gave the Eagles a much-needed sense of urgency, but Aviza and the UConn defense continued to stifle the Eagles’ attackers. BC freshman Kristofer Konradsson scored his first career goal in the 79th minute, beating his defender after uncorking a beautiful shot to the top right corner of the goal.
Konradsson would not stop there, however, resurrecting the Eagles’ hopes of a road victory with a second goal in the 85th minute. This time he split two defenders and struck a sliding a shot into the back of the net.
The Eagles furiously attempted to put the ball in the net for a third time to even the score, but they ran out of time. The three-goal deficit proved too much to overcome for a squad which has suffered a number of narrow losses this year. The team can only be left wondering whether a road win would have been in the cards had Enstrom been able to convert on the penalty kick.
BC will return back home this week as they host North Carolina on Friday night at 7 p.m. in their final home game of the year. The Eagles (4-5-3) will look to get back to .500 with a key ACC victory.
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