Sept. 20, 2013
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - The Boston College men's soccer team hosts No. 2 Notre Dame on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Newton Campus Field.
BC-NOTRE DAME MEET FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2004
Boston College (2-2-1, 1-1-0 ACC) and No. 2 Notre Dame (3-0-2, 1-0-1 ACC) will meet for the first time as members of the ACC when the Fighting Irish visit the Newton Campus Field on Saturday at 7 p.m.
The Eagles earned a 2-1 comeback win at Pitt last Saturday after losing the previous two matches.
Notre Dame has not lost in its first five matches and is coming off consecutive 3-0 victories at Syracuse and against Michigan.
The Fighting Irish is 5-1-0 all-time against BC. The lone Eagle win came at home in 2000, 2-0. Boston College is 1-1-0 at home in the series.
Boston College has trailed in four of its five matches this season and has come back three times.
Boston University struck first in the 16th minute in the season opener on August 30, but senior Chris Ager scored two goals after halftime to give BC the win.
His equalizer came in the 48th minute and then the game-winner was scored with 34 seconds left in the first overtime.
Quinnipiac jumped out of the gate on September 2 and scored twice in the first 19 minutes.
The Eagles controlled the match from there and junior Cole DeNormandie scored twice in the 59th and 62nd minutes to secure the tie.
Freshman Isaac Normesinu was credited with assists on both goals.
BC scored twice in the final 10 minutes at Pitt last weekend to take a 2-1 win. Sophomore Atobra Ampadu scored in the 81st minute to tie the match and then junior Giuliano Frano secured the win with 1:05 left.
It also worked the other way at Dartmouth as BC held a 2-0 lead in the first half. The Big Green scored one before halftime and notched the equalizer in the 86th minute. The game-winner came in the second overtime.
LAST TIME OUT
Boston College scored twice in the last 10 minutes to earn a 2-1 comeback win at Pittsburgh last weekend at Ambrose Urbanic Field.
Sophomore Atobra Ampadu scored his first career BC goal in the 81st minute to tie the match at 1-1. Junior Giuliano Frano secured the game-winner with 1:05 left in the match to propel the Eagles to the victory. It was also his first goal as a member of the maroon and gold.
Frano assisted on Ampadu's goal and freshman Zeiko Lewis helped on the game-winner.
The first half was played evenly as BC held a slight advantage in shots, 6-5. Pitt converted on its only shot on goal in the half in the 13th minute. Ryan Myers sent a free kick into the box where it found Zane Meehan at the far post. He put it in to give the Panthers the early lead.
Pitt goalkeeper Dan Lynd made three saves in the first 45 to retain the Panther lead.
Boston College added more pressure in the second half and fired off 12 shots. Ampadu nearly scored the equalizer in the 77th minute but the post kept the ball out of the net, and then a save by Lynd on another Ampadu attempt kept BC scoreless.
He did connect three minutes later though off a pass from Frano. Following the equalizing strike, Lewis fed Frano for the game-winning goal in the 89th minute.
Lynd totaled seven saves for Pitt in goal. Junior Keady Segel made one for BC.
LAST TIME vs. NOTRE DAME
After 90 minutes of scoreless play in South Bend, Notre Dame sophomore Justin McGeeney put an end to an instant BIG EAST classic, as he scored on a free kick and handed BC its second loss of the season, 1-0, in the Eagles' first overtime game of 2004.
After not allowing a goal in his last 288 minutes of action, sophomore goalkeeper Issey Maholo allowed one to squeak by in overtime after another solid game in goal. Maholo kept the No. 9 Eagles in the game early when No. 23 Notre Dame's Tony Megna challenged the goalkeeper from inside the box just seven minutes into the opening half. Maholo, a three-time BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Week, made the first of six saves and kept the game scoreless.
It was a back-and-forth tussle all night, with both defenses playing brilliant soccer. Senior co-captain Pat Haggerty and sophomore Sam Brill were both strong in the backfield for Boston College, crippling the Notre Dame offense for the entire night.
The Eagles had their chances offensively, but were unable to get the ball past 2004 BIG EAST Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year Chris Sawyer. Senior co-captain Guy Melamed created a few chances to score, but could not find the net. Melamed led BC with four shots and junior Uri Magen-David took three.
Boston College ranks third in the ACC in assists with nine, despite ranking eighth in goals.
Freshman Zeiko Lewis leads the team with three assists which ranks third in the ACC.
Maryland's Tsubasa Endoh is atop the conference with four.
SECOND HALF DIFFERENCE
The Eagles have had to play from behind in four of its five matches this year, but are 2-1-1 in those contests.
Six of BC's eight goals have come in the second half or overtime.
Defensively, the Eagles have allowed three goals after halftime and two of them came in a 3-2 double overtime loss at Dartmouth. All three of the goals have been scored while BC was playing with 10 men.
Boston College also has an advantage in shots (48-36) and corners (16-15) in the second half and overtime.
Opponent goalkeepers have had to make 17 saves after halftime, compared to BC's eight.
AGER NAMED ACC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior Chris Ager was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Soccer Player of the Week on September 3.
Ager scored both BC goals in a 2-1 overtime victory against Boston University on August 30 in the season opener. The captain scored the equalizer in the 48th minute on a header off a corner kick and then tallied the game-winner with 34 seconds left in the first overtime.
The Gjettum, Norway product entered the season with one career goal that came in 2011.
Ager was also named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week for his two-goal performance.
Boston College has played its share of overtime games the last two seasons.
Last year, the Eagles were 2-0-5 in overtime. They are 1-1-1 to start this year.
The Eagles had not lost in overtime since the 2009 season until September 9 when
Dartmouth won in double overtime. The Big Green scored the equalizer in the 86th minute while BC was playing with 10 men, and then it clinched the win with a goal in the fifth minute of overtime.
BC is 6-1-11 in 18 overtime matches dating back to November 11, 2009.
NEWCOMERS MAKING IMPACT
There are a lot of new faces on the Boston College sideline this year.
BC lost nine players from last year's squad, but brought in 11 new players to fill the void.
Head Coach Ed Kelly brought on five freshmen, four transfers and two walk-ons.
Newcomers have accounted for five of the eight goals this year and six of the nine assists.
Junior Cole DeNormandie scored two goals against Quinnipiac while freshman Isaac
Normesinu assisted both times. Freshman Zeiko Lewis has a team-high three assists.
Junior Giuliano Frano played a crucial role at Pitt, assisting on the equalizer in the 81st minute and then scoring the game-winner in the 89th.
Junior Nick Butler and sophomore Atobra Ampadu have both scored goals.
In the first two matches this season, seven different Eagles made their first career starts in an Eagles uniform.
Junior Diego Medina-Mendez has already bettered his production from a season ago with a goal and two assists.
He recorded two assists last year in 19 matches after tallying eight goals and two assists as a freshman in 2011.
Medina-Mendez was named to the All-ACC Freshman Team that season.
This year, he had an assist at Boston University and then recorded a goal and a helper in a 3-2 overtime loss at Dartmouth.
Sophomore Derrick Boateng, better known as Nana, was an ACC All-Freshman Team selection last season. He was second on the team in goals (3) and points (9), and third in assists (3).
Boateng had three goals and two assists in a four-match span from September 14-25.
Nana's first collegiate goal came in dramatic fashion against San Francisco on September 22. A Dons turnover gave Boston College a 4-on-3 advantage on the attack with under 30 seconds to go in the match. Charlie Rugg dished to Boateng to his left who dribbled into the box. As the USF keeper came off his line, Boateng lofted a shot over his head and into the far side netting - just inside the post - to give the Eagles the thrilling 2-1 victory.
This year, he assisted on the senior Chris Ager's game-winning goal at Boston University on August 30.
Junior Cole DeNormandie is new to Chestnut Hill, but he is certainly not new to college soccer.
The Lincoln, Mass., product spent two years as a starting forward at Cincinnati where he scored 10 goals and added five assists.
He earned Big East All-Freshman Team honors in 2011 after leading the Bearcats with seven goals and 15 points.
DeNormandie led Cincinnati last year with three goals, four assists and 10 points.
He scored both of BC's goals in a 2-2 draw against Quinnipiac.
WHAT WAS LOST
Boston College lost a lot of talent and experience from last season, including a combined 90 starts from just last year.
Three of the players lost are some of the all-time best at BC. Kyle Bekker ranks second all-time in assists (22) and eighth in points (56). Justin Luthy is the all-time leader in goalkeeper wins (43) and minutes played (7401). He is also second in shutouts (25) and fourth in saves (301). Charlie Rugg ranks fifth at BC in goals (28) and points (74).
From last season, the Eagles lost 12 of its 16 goals (75 percent), 11 of its 20 assists (55 percent) and 35 of its 52 points (67 percent). Luthy played all but 154 minutes in goal and made 59 of the 65 saves (91 percent).
Bekker and Rugg were both named to the All-ACC First Team last year. Rugg was the first team three-time All-ACC First Team member in BC history and Bekker was named twice.
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 in 2011.
Boston College is 24-8-6 in its last 38 regular season home games dating back to 2009 and is 25-9-7 overall in Newton since 2009.
BC 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 18-6-6 since 2006.
Boston College's last loss came at the hands of No. 21 Wake Forest on September 7.
BC PICKED EIGHTH IN ACC PRESEASON VOTING
Boston College was selected to finish eighth in the 2013 Atlantic Coast Conference preseason poll, according to a vote of the league's 12 head coaches.
No. 2 Maryland, the reigning ACC champion, earned 10 first-place votes for a total of 142 points to get the top spot in the poll. No. 4 North Carolina followed with 122 points while No. 17 Wake Forest (114 points) and No. 7 Notre Dame (110) came in at third and fourth, respectively. Both the Demon Deacons and Fighting Irish earned a first place vote.
Virginia (106), Clemson (69) and Duke (67) filled out spots five through seven. Boston College received 63 points as it was picked eighth.
The rest of the preseason poll in order was: No. 20 Syracuse (54), NC State (44), Virginia Tech (27) and Pittsburgh (18).
BEKKER, RUGG MAKE HISTORY
Boston College had two players drafted in the first round of the 2012 MLS SuperDraft - the first time that has happened in program history.
Kyle Bekker became the Eagles' highest draft pick ever when he was picked up by Toronto FC with the third overall selection.
Charlie Rugg later joined him in the first round when the Los Angeles Galaxy drafted him 19th overall.
Bekker has appeared in five matches this year and made one start. He has recorded five shots.
Rugg has played in four games and made two starts. He scored his first profesisonal goal on April 27 against Real Salt Lake.
BEDOYA BIG FOR USA IN GOLD CUP
Former men's soccer star Alejandro Bedoya earned four caps for the United States Men's National Team during the CONCACAF Gold Cup as the U.S. won its fifth title on July 28 at Chicago's Soldier Field.
Bedoya was instrumental in the semifinal and final matches, recording three assists on four American goals. He assisted on both of Landon Donovan's goals - including the game-winner - in the semifinal against Honduras, a 3-1 victory on July 24 in Dallas. Watch the two goals by clicking here and here.
He also sparked the only goal in a 1-0 triumph over Panama in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final on July 28.
The two assists against Honduras were the first two of his international career.
Bedoya also earned a start against Costa Rica in pool play and made an appearance in the opener versus Belize. The United States won all six of its matches in the tournament by a combined score of 20-4.
Bedoya has 21 career caps and currently plays for FC Nantes in France's Ligue 1.