Oct. 12, 2012
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - The Boston College men's soccer team will host Clemson on Saturday night at 7 p.m. at the Newton Campus Field.
EAGLES HOST CLEMSON
Boston College will host Clemson Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Newton Campus Field in a match between teams tied in the ACC standings.
Both sides have seven points in the conference going into the weekend.
The Eagles have gone unbeaten in their last six matches after starting the season 2-3-1. They have won both of their last two ACC contests.
Clemson has also won its last two ACC matches with wins against NC State and Virginia.
BC is 3-3-2 all-time against Clemson and lost last year's meeting at Historic Riggs Field, 2-0.
LUTHY TABBED ACC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior Justin Luthy was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Soccer Player of the Week, announced Tuesday by the league office.
Luthy led Boston College to a 1-0-1 week, including a crucial ACC victory at No. 15 Wake Forest last Saturday.
He made 11 saves and allowed just one goal in the two matches. He had a .917 save percentage and a 0.45 goals against average.
After stopping three shots in a 1-1 tie at Harvard, Luthy recorded a season-high eight saves in the win against the Demon Deacons. It was the most saves he has recorded in an ACC match since 2009.
All eight of his saves came in the second half with Wake Forest pressuring for the equalizing goal. His save number was tied for the second most in the ACC this season.
Luthy became the second Eagle in a row to earn ACC Player of the Week honors. Senior Charlie Rugg shared the honor last week with Wake Forest's Luca Giminez.
LAST TIME OUT
Senior Kyle Bekker scored his first goal of the season in the 95th minute to lead Boston College past Dartmouth in overtime, 1-0, on Wednesday night at the Newton Campus Field.
Neither side could score a goal in 90 minutes of regulation, but it only took 4:39 of overtime to settle the match. Following a Dartmouth foul on the right side of the pitch, freshman Jason Abbott set up for a free kick. He sent a cross into the near side of the box. Bekker jumped and got a head on it, redirecting it to the back post for the game-winner.
It was Abbott's third assist of the season. Senior Justin Luthy was credited with three saves in goal for his third shutout of the year. He has not allowed a goal in the last 293:18.
Most of the first half was played in the midfield, but both sides had their chances to score. Each team came up with six shots. BC recorded the first shot on goal in the 16th minute when senior Charlie Rugg sent a pass into the box to an awaiting Abbott. The freshman took a shot from short range, but his attempt was saved.
Dartmouth's best opportunity came at the 18:40 mark of the half. Gabe Hoffman-Johnson handled the ball at the top of the box and passed to Colin Hefron to his left. Hefron played the ball at the corner of the six-yard box then sent a shot over Luthy and the crossbar.
The Eagles nearly scored with a minute left when Bekker passed to sophomore Diego Medina-Mendez in a crowded box. Medina-Mendez redirected towards the goal, but Noah Cohen came up with his second save of the night to send the match into the half without a score.
The second half began with end-to-end action and featured three shots in the first three minutes. Two of those shots were made by BC, but none threatened the goal. Midway through the half, BC had a great chance to score when Bekker sent a corner into the box. Rugg and junior Nick Corliss were both there to redirect, but were a second too late to the ball.
With 16:00 left in regulation, a BC foul set up a Dartmouth free kick at the top of the box from 19 yards out. Kevin Dzierzawski set up for the kick and fired a shot. The ball beat the wall, but Luthy made a diving save to his left to keep the Big Green off the board.
The Eagles had three more quality chances to score in regulation but could not finish. The only one on goal came with just 1:48 left. Rugg led a transition attack on the left side and sent a low cross into the box. Abbott was there to take a shot on goal, but the Dartmouth keeper kept it out and sent the match into overtime.
Dartmouth won a corner kick just over a minute into the overtime period but could not convert. Dzierzawski sent the ball into the box to an unmarked Brad Jacobson on the near post. He put a foot to the ball but his shot sailed wide of the post. Bekker ended the match minutes later.
LAST YEAR vs. CLEMSON
BC outshot Clemson, 19-7, but the Tigers scored in the 27th minute and then again in the waning moments to win, 2-0, on October 14, 2011 at Historic Riggs Field.
The Eagles recorded 10 shots on goal but Clemson's Cody Mizell stopped them all for a career high in saves. The Tigers only had two shots on goal but both of them found the back of the net. BC also owned a 7-3 advantage in corner kicks.
Diego Medina-Mendez recorded four shots and three of them were on goal. Amit Aburmad also had four shots in the game while Colin Murphy put a pair of shots on net.
The Eagles fired off four unanswered shots in the first 12 minutes of the match before Clemson nearly scored the first goal. Riley Sumpter took a chance at the 16:24 mark but his shot got blocked, then Iain Smith took another shot that hit the crossbar 10 seconds later.
After a shot attempt by Chris Ager was saved, the Tigers put a goal on the board in the 27th minute. Amadou Dia found the back of the net with the help of passes from Smith and Brynjar Benediktsson.
BC took the final four shots of the half following the goal, but all were saved by Mizell.
The Eagles opened the second half by taking eight of the first 10 shots and Mizell kept his momentum going by making four saves. The Eagles took 10 shots in the half compared to Clemson's four, but the Tigers put the game away in the final moments with a goal from Smith with one second left.
EAGLES IN OVERTIME
Boston College is 2-0-2 in overtime matches this season.
Three of the overtime contests have come in non-conference matches. BC tied at Virginia Tech, 1-1, on September 14.
The most dramatic game came on September 22 in a 2-1 overtime win vs. San Francisco. Junior Ryan Dunn scored the equalizing goal in the 72nd minute before freshman Derrick Boateng scored the game-winner with 11 seconds left in the second overtime.
BC is undefeated since that win with a record of 5-0-1.
The Eagles also tied at Harvard on October 2, 1-1.
Senior Kyle Bekker played the hero on Wednesday night when he scored in the 95th minute to lift BC past Dartmouth, 1-0.
Senior Justin Luthy has been a mainstay in goal since his arrival on campus four years ago.
He has started 72 matches in goal the last four seasons and ranks among the all-time greats.
He is the all-time Boston College leader in wins (42), setting the mark at Fairfield September 3 with a 1-0 shutout.
He also ranks first in minutes played (6700), third in shutouts (21) and fifth in saves (279).
Luthy has three shutouts this season with two coming in the last two matches. He has not allowed a goal in the last 293:18.
Senior Charlie Rugg missed the first three matches of the season with an injury he sustained in the final preseason contest, but he is back and picked up where he left off last year.
Rugg leads the team in goals (5), assists (4) and points (14). He ranks fourth, fifth and fourth in the ACC in those categories, respectively.
Rugg started his first match of the season at Virginia Tech on September 14 and scored the lone goal for the Eagles in a 1-1 draw.
He scored twice and assisted on another goal in the 4-2 win vs. Rhode Island and then played a part in both BC goals in a 2-1 win vs. NC State.
The Roslindale, Mass., product was named TopDrawerSoccer.com national Player of the Week and ACC Co-Player of the Week for his performance in those two matches.
Rugg then scored the only goal of the match in an important 1-0 win at No. 15 Wake Forest on October 6.
He was one of the catalysts of the offense last season, as he led the team with 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 fifth all-time at BC in goals (27) and points (72).
RUGG EARNS MULTIPLE HONORS
Senior Charlie Rugg was named the TopDrawerSoccer.com national Player of the Week and ACC Co-Player of the Week on October 2 for his eight-point performance in two matches.
Rugg scored three of the team's six goals the previous week to lead the Eagles to a 2-0-0 record. He had two goals and an assist in a 4-2 win against Rhode Island then played a part in both goals in a 2-1 win vs. NC State - scoring one and assisting on the other.
The Roslindale, Mass., product played a part in five of the six BC goals in the two matches and scored his three on just six shots. He also tallied the game-winning goal in both contests.
His two goals against URI tied a career high while his five points established a new one. Rugg has scored a point in four-straight matches and has three goals and four assists in that span.
Rugg currently ranks fourth in the ACC in goals (5) and points (12), and fifth in assists (4).
Freshman Derrick Boateng, better known as Nana, is second on the team in goals (3), assists (3) and points (9).
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. Senior 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.
He followed that up with two goals and an assist in the 4-2 win vs. Rhode Island.
Nana ranks ninth in the ACC in assists (3).
NEWCOMERS MAKING IMPACT
The new faces of Boston College have made quite the impression in 2012.
Local freshman Derrick Boateng is second on the team in goals (3), assists (3) and points (9).
Freshman Jason Abbott made his presence known immediately, scoring a goal and adding an assist in the 2-1 season-opening win at Quinnipiac. He has one goal and three assists.
Abbott and Boateng have combined for 23 starts this season.
Sophomore Matt Wendelken and freshman Dylan Pritchard have a combined 11 starts while freshmen Dan Norris and Zack Rockmore have combined for nine appearances.
Freshman Alex Kapp started two matches in goal, going 2-0-0 in those contests.
He has allowed just one goal in over 154 minutes and has been credited with six saves.
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 second all-time at Boston College in assists (21), ninth in points (55) and 10th in goals (17).
He has one goal and three assists this year.
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.
DUNN GETS ON THE BOARD
Junior Ryan Dunn picked a perfect time to score his first collegiate goal.
The defenseman scored the equalizer in the 72nd minute against San Francisco on September 22 in what would be an eventual 2-1 win in double overtime.
With the Eagles losing 2-1, senior Kyle Bekker delivered a free kick into the box following a USF foul. The ball bounced around for awhile, then freshman Derrick Boateng got a shot off that was blocked. The ball stayed in the box and Dunn finally put it in the back of the net to tie the match.
Boateng would net the game winner with just 11 seconds left in the second overtime.
Dunn has played in 45 matches in his career with 34 starts. He has one goal and two assists.
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.
This year, Medina-Mendez recorded a pair of assists - a career high - in the 2-1 win against NC State on September 28.
MEJIA ON THE ATTACK
Senior Kevin Mejia stepped into the starting forward role in the absence of classmate Charlie Rugg early in the season.
He scored a pair of goals in that role, including the only one of the match in a 1-0 win at Fairfield September 3.
Mejia scored again on October 2 when he tallied the equalizer at Harvard in the 31st minute.
Mejia has nine career goals and 22 points. His only other multiple goal season came back in 2009, his freshman year. He had five goals that season.
BC WINS AT WAKE FOREST
Senior Charlie Rugg scored the match's only goal in the 57th minute as Boston College won at No. 15 Wake Forest, 1-0, on October 6 in front of 1,514 fans at Spry Stadium.
Senior Kyle Bekker and freshman Dylan Pritchard got the assists on the score. Senior Justin Luthy was credited with a season-high eight saves in goal - the most since he had 12 vs. Rhode Island on September 23, 2011. All of his saves came in the second half.
The first half started with Wake Forest controlling much of the action, but the Eagles took control later in the period. The Demon Deacons got four of the match's first five shots in the initial 20 minutes, but the Eagles took the next five shots to close the half.
BC's best chance may have come on its first shot, when Bekker sent a free kick into the box. Freshman Derrick Boateng handled the ball amidst a flurry of defenders, but found some open space for a shot that was eventually blocked.
Rugg battled for a quality chance at the 21:00 mark and nearly put BC on top. He was fighting for a loose ball at the top of the box with a defender and the goalkeeper who came off his line. He won the ball, turned and took a shot, but a Wake Forest defender was there to keep the ball out of the net.
The two sides went into halftime scoreless, but the Demon Deacons made a push 10 minutes into the second half and got their first two shots on goal of the day. Luciano Delbono made a nice pass to Michael Gamble on the left side of the box. Gamble fired a shot right at Luthy who made his first save of the match. He was tested again seconds later by Chris Duvall but notched another stop.
BC responded immediately and got the match's only goal to take a 1-0 lead in the 57th minute. Pritchard handled the ball in the middle of the attacking zone. He dished off to Bekker to his right and Bekker served a perfect pass to a streaking Rugg in the box. Rugg chipped a shot over the oncoming keeper to give the Eagles the lead.
Wake Forest spent the rest of the match on the offensive and recorded eight shots in the final 33 minutes, but couldn't get the equalizer.
EAGLES GET FIRST ACC WIN
Senior Charlie Rugg recorded a goal and an assist to lead BC to a 2-1 win against NC State on September 28 at a rain-soaked Newton Campus Field.
Senior Stefan Carter scored his first goal of the season and sophomore Diego Medina-Mendez assisted on both scores.
Boston College held a 13-6 advantage in shots and a 13-5 lead in corner kicks.
After a scoreless first half, the Boston College offense controlled the pace in the second and it finally paid off in the 62nd minute. On the sixth corner kick of the half, senior Kyle Bekker stood over the ball and sent a bender into the box. Senior Charlie Rugg took a shot on goal that was saved and the ball bounced left. Medina-Mendez got a touch on it, but Carter finally put it home amidst a crowd to give BC the lead.
Less than four minutes later, Medina-Mendez used his speed to come up with a surprising steal between two Wolfpack players. He continued on to make a great run down the right side of the pitch, then sent a low cross into the box. Rugg was streaking down the middle and redirected the ball into the back of the net for what proved to be the game-winner.
BC had a couple of more chances to score, but it was NC State who put the pressure on in the end. With the ball in the midfield, Moss Jackson-Atogi decided to send a deep ball into the other half of the field. Monbo Bokar made a run at the ball and got ahead of the defense, then beat senior Justin Luthy to cut the deficit in half in the 86th minute, 2-1. NC State would threaten but could not get any further, and BC hung on for its first ACC win.
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 24-6-3 in its last 33 regular season home games dating back to 2009 and is 25-7-4 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 18-4-4 since 2006.
Boston College's last loss came at the hands of Maryland on September 7.
EAGLES RANKED NO. 14 IN NSCAA PRESEASON POLL
Boston College was ranked No. 14 in the country in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Continental Tire preseason rankings, announced August 7.
BC and head coach Ed Kelly returned 14 lettermen from the 2011 squad that earned the No. 4 national seed in the NCAA Tournament. Four players who earned All-ACC honors return, including Chris Ager (second team), Kyle Bekker (first team), Diego Medina-Mendez (freshman team) and Charlie Rugg (first team).
The Eagles finished the 2011 season at 14-6-1 and went 4-4-0 in the ACC. After receiving a first-round bye in the NCAA Tournament, BC and Rutgers tied in the second round, but the Scarlet Knights advanced in the penalty kick shootout.
Boston College also reached the final of the 2011 ACC Championship - its second appearance in the title game. It marked the fifth-consecutive time that BC reached the semifinals of the tournament - the only ACC team to accomplish that feat in the last five seasons.
BC PREDICTED TO FINISH FOURTH IN ACC
The Eagles were selected to finish fourth in the 2012 ACC preseason poll, as voted on by the league's nine head coaches.
No. 9 Maryland was picked as the ACC's preseason favorite, getting three first place votes and 72 points. No. 1 North Carolina, the defending national and conference champion, grabbed four first place votes but totaled 71 points. Wake Forest came in third with 60 points and had the other two first place votes. Boston College garnered 52 points.
The rest of the preseason poll in order was: Virginia (49 points), Duke (42), Clemson (30), NC State (18) and Virginia Tech (11).