Boston College bests Virginia
Defensive breakdowns doom team to disappointing 2-1 defeat, sixth place in ACC with one game to play
The No. 24 Virginia men's soccer team was dealt its third ACC loss of the season as No. 13 Boston College clipped the Cavaliers 2-1 Saturday night in front of 1,676 people at Klöckner Stadium.
Despite battling back after halftime to outshoot the Eagles 18-12 overall, the resurgent second-half effort was not enough for Virginia.
"I think we played fine," coach George Gelnovatch said. "We played well at times. We had a little more conviction in the second half of games that mean so much, but we have to play with conviction for 90 minutes, period. I'm unbelievably disappointed."
The two goals by Boston College (12-4-0, 4-3-0 ACC) were the result of defensive lapses by the Cavalier back line. The first goal came in the 27th minute as junior forward Kevin Mejia bundled in a shot from eight yards out.
"The first [goal] was tough," freshman goalkeeper Spencer LaCivita said. "We had a couple of opportunities to clear the ball and didn't quite get a good connection on it. They were hanging out right outside our box and they had a nice through ball to [Mejia], who finished it. I would have to look at some film to see what we could do differently but it was a pretty good goal."
The second goal came only two and a half minutes after halftime when LaCivita made the questionable decision to leave his line. Boston College freshman midfielder Diego Medina-Mendez managed to dodge LaCivita and slip the ball into the back of the empty net.
"We got spread out a little bit on the second one," LaCivita said. "Our organization could have been better. They played a nice through ball in and I tried to affect the play. [Senior defender] Hunter [Jumper] may have slipped. It was unfortunate. I could have done better, but it's just frustrating."
The momentum turned after the Eagles' second goal as Virginia (10-6-1, 3-3-1 ACC) outshot Boston College 12-6 during the second half. The Cavaliers' lone goal came when senior forward Brian Ownby was taken down in the box after a through ball from freshman forward Chris Somerville. Sophomore forward Brian Span stepped up to the spot and hammered the penalty kick home.
"I knew I had to finish," Span said. "Even though we didn't get that second goal, that first goal gave us the energy to get going. I was hoping that we would be able to get that second one."
The Boston College defense held strong against the surging Cavalier attacks and ultimately helped the Eagles leave Charlottesville with a victory. With the loss, Virginia dropped from fourth to sixth in the ACC standings. To host a first-round ACC tournament matchup, the Cavaliers must win their last regular season game against N.C. State.
The last regular season game against the Wolfpack is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at Klöckner Stadium.