Oct. 31, 2012
Watch on ESPN3
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - The Boston College men's soccer team wraps up the regular season on Thursday night when it travels to Chapel Hill to take on No. 3 North Carolina.
The match will be aired live on ESPN3.
EAGLES FACE NORTH CAROLINA IN REGULAR SEASON FINALE
Boston College travels to Chapel Hill to take on No. 3 North Carolina on Thursday night in the last regular season match of the year.
BC enters the weekend in a tie for third place with Wake Forest, but the Eagles beat the Demon Deacons earlier in the season. North Carolina stands in second behind Maryland.
BC is 3-0-3 in their last six ACC matches following a league-opening loss vs. No. 1 Maryland.
The Tar Heels lone ACC loss came at the hands of Maryland, a 1-0 overtime decision.
North Carolina holds a 5-3-1 record all-time against BC and won both meetings last year, including a 3-1 win in the ACC Championship match.
LAST TIME OUT
Boston College and Virginia played to a scoreless draw last Friday night in front of 1,247 fans at the Newton Campus Field.
Senior Kyle Bekker led the Eagles with four of their nine shots. Virginia outshot BC, 12-9, in the match and had six corner kicks compared to the Eagles' two. Senior Justin Luthy made two saves in goal for his sixth shutout of the season. His counterpart, Spencer LaCivita, also made two stops.
Virginia held a 7-5 advantage in shots in the first 45 minutes with a 2-1 edge in shots on goal. The Cavaliers controlled the pace in the early going, getting the match's first three shots. It was the Eagles who had the first true chance of the night 18 minutes after the opening whistle.
Sophomore Diego Medina-Mendez fed a streaking Dylan Pritchard in the middle of the box. The freshman fired on goal but LaCivita made the stop. The ball bounced right back to Pritchard and he took another shot on goal, but a Cavalier defender was there to stop it before it crossed the goal line.
The offensive chances were limited in the second half as the teams combined for seven shots and just two on goal. The best opportunity came for the Eagles with 28 minutes left in regulation. A Virginia foul gave BC a free kick from 28 yards out on the left side of the box. Bekker lined up a shot and bent it around the wall, but the shot narrowly missed the left post.
Neither side was able to record a shot on goal in the two overtime periods.
LAST YEAR vs. NORTH CAROLINA
The Tar Heels won both meetings last year between the two sides. They won the regular season contest, 2-0, in Newton and then took the ACC Championship game, 3-1.
In the ACC title match, top-seeded UNC scored a pair of goals in the first half and went on to defeat seventh-seeded BC, 3-1.
Ben Speas played a part in all three scores for North Carolina with two goals and an assist. Carlos McCrary scored the game's first goal and Billy Schuler added a helper.
Kyle Bekker scored the lone goal for BC on a free kick in the 62nd minute.
The Tar Heels got their first goal in the 38th minute. Speas worked the right side of the box with the ball and made enough room for himself to loft a short cross to the far post. McCrary was waiting there and headed the ball down. The ball bounced and Luthy got a hand on it, but not enough as it still trickled into the goal for a 1-0 lead.
UNC doubled the lead in the 43rd minute on a long free kick. Speas stationed the set piece from 40 yards out near midfield and sent a volley into the box. Luthy came off his line to thwart the attack, but a pair of UNC players obstructed his path. Luthy leaped to catch the ball but ran into the Tar Heels, allowing it to bounce behind him and then into the goal.
The Eagles finally broke through in the 62nd minute after some quality passing. Bekker and Charlie Rugg provided some spark up top and fed Steve Rose just outside of the box. A couple of defenders converged on Rose and knocked him to the ground, drawing a yellow card and a free kick. Bekker set up from 20 yards out and his shot bounced off the right post and into the left side netting to make it a 2-1 game.
North Carolina got the goal back three minutes later on a counter attack. Schuler sent a low cross into the box from the right side where it found Speas who had beaten his man. Speas put the ball in the back of the net to make it a two-goal game once again, 3-1.
ON THE ROAD IN THE ACC
Boston College is 2-0-1 this season in conference road contests.
The Eagles have never gone undefeated on the road in the ACC. Their best record was a 3-1-0 mark in 2007.
BC is outscoring its opponents 3-1 on the road with all four goals coming in the second half.
All five of the Eagles' ACC goals have come in the second half - home or away.
EAGLES IN OVERTIME
Boston College is 2-0-4 in overtime matches this season.
Three of the overtime contests have come in non-conference matches. BC tied at Virginia Tech on September 14 and vs. Clemson on October 13.
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 5-1-2 since that win against USF.
The Eagles also tied at Harvard on October 2, 1-1.
Senior Kyle Bekker played the hero vs. Dartmouth when he scored in the 95th minute to lift BC to the win.
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 ninth in the ACC in assists and 10th in goals.
He missed the last match against Virginia with another injury.
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.
Rugg was named to the All-ACC First Team and the ACC All-Tournament Team.
He ranks fifth all-time at BC in goals (28) and points (74).
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 ninth in the ACC in assists (4) and 10th in goals (5).
Senior Justin Luthy has been a mainstay in goal since his arrival on campus four years ago.
He has started 76 matches in goal the last four seasons and ranks among the all-time greats.
He is the all-time Boston College leader in wins (43), setting the mark at Fairfield September 3 with a 1-0 shutout.
He also ranks first in minutes played (7100), second in shutouts (24) and fifth in saves (288).
Luthy has six shutouts this season with five coming in the last six matches. He had a shutout streak of 485 minutes stopped by No. 18 Brown on October 16.
Luthy has given up just one goal in the last 693:18 of play.
LUTHY TABBED ACC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior Justin Luthy was named the ACC Player of the Week on October 9.
Luthy led BC to a 1-0-1 week, including a crucial ACC victory at No. 15 Wake Forest.
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 pressuring for the equalizing goal.
Luthy became the second Eagle in a row to earn ACC Player of the Week honors. Senior Charlie Rugg shared the honor the week before with Wake Forest's Luca Giminez.
Freshman Derrick Boateng, better known as Nana, is 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. 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.
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) and points (9), and third in assists (3).
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 29 starts this season.
Sophomore Matt Wendelken and freshman Dylan Pritchard have a combined 16 starts while freshmen Dan Norris and Zack Rockmore have combined for 10 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 (22), ninth in points (56) and 10th in goals (17).
He has one goal and leads the team with four assists this year.
His goal was an important one, as he headed home a cross in the 95th minute vs. Dartmouth to give BC a 1-0 win.
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.
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 49 matches in his career with 38 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.
EAGLES TOP DUKE ON THE ROAD
Senior Stefan Carter scored the only goal of the match in the 71st minute to lead bc to a 1-0 win at Duke on October 19.
It was Carter's second goal of the season. Senior Kyle Bekker was credited with the assist which was his fourth of the year - tied for the team lead. Senior Justin Luthy recorded four saves for his fifth shutout of the season.
The Eagles got a great chance five minutes after the opening whistle. Senior Charlie Rugg was taken down just outside the box and BC was rewarded a free kick. Bekker stood over the ball for the set piece and took a shot around the wall. Duke's James Belshaw had to make a diving save to keep BC off the board.
There were only two other shots on goal in the first half - one for both sides. Riley Wolfe tested Luthy for the first time of the night in the 19th minute, then Belshaw made his second save on a Carter attempt two minutes later.
Duke seemed to control the early going of the second half after junior Chris Ager recorded the first shot on a quick BC corner kick. The Blue Devils had four shots and two corners in a 12-minute span after BC's initial threat.
The Eagles finally broke the scoreless tie in the 71st minute. Bekker controlled the ball on a breakaway and sent a through ball to a streaking Carter in the middle of the pitch. Belshaw came off his line to the top of the box to cut down the angle, but Carter slipped a shot under him to put BC ahead.
The Blue Devils pressured for the equalizer as they took six of the final eight shots, but they could not force overtime. With 15 minutes left, Jonathan Aguirre handled the ball inside the right side of the box and dished to Sean Davis. Luthy sprinted off his line to deflect the shot wide.
Duke had another solid attempt when it was given a free kick near midfield with nine minutes remaining. A pass was lobbed into the box that Sebastien Ibeagha headed towards goal. Luthy backpedaled and was able to get to the shot in time to punch it over the crossbar and keep BC's lead safe.
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 24-7-5 in its last 36 regular season home games dating back to 2009 and is 25-8-6 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 18-5-6 since 2006.
Boston College's last loss came at the hands of Brown on October 16.
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).