In the second half we sat back a little more and retained more of the possession. We found a first goal off an audacious chip/cross by freshman Tim West. We’re convinced it was a cross, but nevertheless a goal is a goal. With 10 minutes to play, Adelphi finally equalized off a set piece to the back post. The ball dropped inside the six and was slotted home by the Adelphi captain. Instead of dropping our heads, we responded with a shot at the other end that was parried away by the goalkeeper and then won the game off a great header on the back post by Adam Cowen. Our resiliency after conceding a goal late in the game was very important because it was that kind of adversity that we were going to have to deal with against Boston College.
In the season opener against Boston College, it was between me and one of our new grad students Keaton as to who would start left back. A few minutes before kickoff, coach decided to start Keaton, who was playing with a separated shoulder, but told me to be ready to come on. About twenty minutes into the first half, it wasn’t Keaton, but one of our center backs Jack Cleverly who came up holding his hamstring. As I jogged onto the field, I remembered our halftime talk against Adelphi where our coach talked about the most influential players on the pitch and how they were always the ones who got noticed because they were affecting the game. If you weren’t affecting the game, you were a dime a dozen player.
Down a goal with 25 minutes to go, I began to venture further forward as the ball went down the left flank, hoping I could maybe get on the end of a cross or play a ball into the feet of our strikers, Jack Burridge and Jordan Arryis. After about 10 minutes, Jack Burridge played a ball across the top of the 18 from the opposite flank. The BC winger, who hadn’t had to track me all game, was unaware that I had come in behind him and gotten a touch across his body. As three Boston College defenders converged on me, the ball somehow slipped past them and onto the foot of Jordan, who slotted it with his right foot into the bottom corner.
Our bench erupted. We had pulled back level with Boston College and looked the better team. I could hear Ed Kelly, the Boston College head coach, yelling at his team to raise the energy level because they looked sluggish. We continued to press for the winning goal, and had three great chances to win the game. Their goalkeeper pulled off an unbelievable save on Nuno Rodrigues’ shot to keep the game level.
With 3 minutes to go, a BC player tried a long pass toward the corner flag to their center forward but the ball rolled out for a goal kick. Inadvertently, the Boston College forward tripped while running between our left back Keaton and our center back Jonny Raj. The striker had no chance of getting to the ball, but the referee called a foul at the top of the 18 and gave Keaton his second yellow card of the game, forcing us to play with ten men. Bekker stepped up to take the free kick and buried it low into the right corner. Down to ten men and with two minutes to go, there was nothing more we could do.
It was disappointing to come away with nothing after having outplayed Boston College for stretches, but it was a solid performance in our first game. I thought I had positively influenced the game by making runs forward and eventually helping us to equalize, it was just unfortunate that we weren’t able to finish two or three more. Despite the result it was a very good performance to build on our home opener against Columbia on Friday night.