CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - The No. 24 Boston College men's soccer team opens ACC play Friday night when it hosts No. 4 Maryland at 7 p.m. at the Newton Campus Field.
The Eagles (2-1-0) are coming off of a 1-0 win at Fairfield on Labor Day while Maryland (2-0-1) is fresh off of a 6-0 win against California. The Terrapins other two games came against ranked opponents with a win against Louisville and a tie versus UCLA. Friday night marks their first match away from College Park.
The two teams split a pair of meetings last season. Maryland won the regular season matchup, 4-0, September 9 in College Park. Boston College beat the Terps, 2-1, in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament which was also held at Maryland's Ludwig Field.
EAGLES HOST MARYLAND IN ACC OPENER
No. 24 Boston College welcomes No. 4 Maryland to the Newton Campus Field on Friday night during the opening weekend of ACC play.
The teams split a pair of games last year as Maryland won, 4-0, in College Park during the regular season. BC defeated the Terrapins, 2-1, in the quarterfinals of the ACC Championship at Maryland's Ludwig Field.
BC is 3-6-1 against Maryland since 2005.
LAST TIME OUT
Senior Kevin Mejia scored the match's only goal in the 78th minute to lead Boston College to a 1-0 victory at Fairfield Monday night at Lessing Field.
Mejia scored his second goal of the season in the second half off of a cross from freshman Derrick Boateng, who collected his first collegiate point with the assist.
BC was efficient in its attack as eight of its 11 shots were on goal. The Eagles outshot the Stags 11-4 in the match.
The first 45 minutes was relatively quiet with a combined five shots and three on target. Boston College did a majority of the attacking, getting off four of the shots. Mejia challenged Fairfield keeper Michael O'Keeffe in the early going, forcing him to make a save in the eighth minute.
Senior Justin Luthy notched his first save in the 30th minute by stopping a Jordan Ayris attempt, and then the only other threat was when senior Kyle Bekker put a shot on net that was turned away.
The Eagles came out firing in the second half and forced O'Keeffe to make three saves in the first 10 minutes. BC kept the pressure on and it paid off in the 78th minute when Boateng sent a cross into the box that Mejia put away for the game-winner.
Fairfield was only able to muster one more shot in the remaining time and it sailed wide.
O'Keeffe was credited with seven saves in the match while Luthy had to make one to earn the clean sheet.
LAST YEAR vs. MARYLAND
Maryland's Patrick Mullins provided two goals for the Terrapins to lead Maryland past BC, 4-0, in the regular season meeting last year.
Mullins led a Maryland offense that outshot BC 18-4 in the match. Casey Townsend and Taylor Kemp provided the other two goals for the Terps while Sunny Jane pitched in with a pair of assists.
The Eagles got their revenge in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament in College Park, winning 2-1 to advance to its fifth-straight semifinal.
Sophomore Diego Medina-Mendez and senior Charlie Rugg provided both goals early in the first half.
The Boston College defense has allowed just two goals in its first three matches, which is tied for the third least in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Its 0.67 goals against average ranks fifth.
The offense has scored three times which is tied for sixth in the league. The Eagles have taken 32 shots, which ranks eighth.
NEWCOMERS MAKING IMPACT
The new faces of Boston College have made quite the impression early in 2012.
Freshman Jason Abbott made his presence known immediately, scoring a goal and adding an assist in the 2-1 season-opening win at Quinnipiac.
Local freshman Derrick Boateng assisted on the game's only goal at Fairfield Monday night, helping BC to a 1-0 win.
Both Abbott and Boateng have started all three matches this year.
Sophomore Matt Wendelken and freshman Dylan Pritchard have both started every match in the backfield. The BC defense ranks third in the ACC in goals allowed with three.
BEKKER BACK FOR FINAL SEASON
Senior Kyle Bekker was the catalyst for the attack all season long last year, leading the team with eight goals, seven assists and 23 points.
Bekker was an All-ACC First Team honoree in 2011 and was also named to the All-South Atlantic Third Team.
The Canadian product ranks seventh all-time at Boston College in assists (18), 10th in points (50) and 11th in goals (16).
Bekker led Canada to the semifinal stage of the 2012 CONCACAF Men's Olympic Qualifying tournament in March. He started two of the three games in group play and started the semifinal match against Mexico.
RUGG SPARKS ATTACK
Senior Charlie Rugg put up similar numbers as Kyle Bekker last year. He also had eight goals and was second on the team with 21 points and five assists. He led the team with five game-winning goals.
Two of those game-winners came in overtime victories against ACC opponents - Virginia Tech and Duke. Another one came in the quarterfinal win against Maryland in the ACC Tournament.
Rugg was named to the All-ACC First Team and the ACC All-Tournament Team.
He ranks sixth all-time at BC in goals (23) and points (60).
Rugg has missed the first three matches with an injury.
MEDINA-MENDEZ'S STELLAR FIRST YEAR
Sophomore Diego Medina-Mendez started 17 matches and appeared in all 21 in 2011. He was the only freshman to earn a start last season.
The speedy midfielder tied for the team lead with eight goals and assisted on two others for 18 points - that ranked third on the team.
His four ACC goals led BC and ranked fifth in the conference.
The Lindsay, Calif., product was named to the All-ACC Freshman Team and the ACC All-Tournament Team.
Senior Justin Luthy has been a mainstay in goal since his arrival on campus four years ago.
He has started all 65 matches in goal the last four seasons and ranks among the all-time greats.
He is the all-time Boston College leader in wins (39), setting the mark at Fairfield Monday night with a 1-0 shutout.
He also ranks second in minutes played (5981), fourth in shutouts (19), and fifth in saves (252) and goals against average (1.05).
MEJIA ON THE ATTACK
Senior Kevin Mejia has stepped into the starting forward role in the absence of classmate Charlie Rugg.
He leads the team with a pair of goals, including the only one of the match in a 1-0 win at Fairfield Monday night.
He also leads the team in shots (6) and shots on goal (4).
Mejia has eight career goals and 20 points. His only other multiple goal season came back in 2009, his freshman year. He had five goals that season.
AT HOME IN THE ACC
Boston College has dominated at home during Atlantic Coast Conference contests since joining the league in 2005.
After a disappointing start in 2005 when BC went 0-3-1 at home in conference matches, the Eagles are 17-3-4 since 2006.
Boston College's last loss came at the hands of North Carolina on November 2 last year.
It was the first loss for BC at home in an ACC contest since October 3, 2008 against Duke. The Eagles were 10-0-3 in their previous 13 conference matches in Newton.
TOUGH AT HOME
BC has been hard to beat at the Newton Campus Field over the last few seasons.
The Eagles went 6-0-3 at home in 2010 and were 7-2-1 last year.
Boston College is 20-5-3 in its last 28 regular season home games dating back to 2009 and is 21-6-4 overall in Newton since 2009.
BC's last home loss came at the hands of Boston University on August 27.