Boston College Tops Clemson in Double Overtime to Advance to ACC Semifinals
Nov. 12, 2008
CARY, N.C. - Third-seeded Boston College had to work overtime, but the Eagles avoided becoming the first upset victims of the 2008 Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Soccer Championship, held at the WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.
Junior forward Mor Avi Hanan scored off a free kick with 5:58 left in the second overtime period, lifting BC to a 1-0 win over sixth-seeded Clemson in Wednesday's quarterfinals.
The Eagles (10-6-2) will face second-seeded Maryland (16-3-2) in Friday's 5:30 p.m. semifinal match. The Tigers slipped to 7-9-2 with the loss.
"It was a tough game, and it certainly wasn't easy," BC coach Ed Kelly said.
Avi Hanan ended an intense defensive struggle with a left-footed drive from outside the box that found the upper left corner of the net and just avoided the reach of Clemson goalkeeper Joseph Bendik. It was the junior from Israel's first goal of the season.
"They were a tough team to play against," Kelly said. "Our players dug in deep, and we got the final goal and the win."
The Eagles found themselves locked in a scoreless tie with the Tigers at halftime despite holding an 8-0 advantage in shots taken. Clemson's Bendik made five saves, including a stop on a hard shot by Alejandro Bedoya with 1:16 remaining in the opening half.
The stalemate continued throughout the second half. Boston College continued to see scoring chances go for naught, and the Tigers missed several prime opportunities. A header by Clemson's Michael Brooks with 9:30 left in regulation was on the mark, but a foul on the Tigers rendered the play dead. Another open shot by Nick Burton with 2:20 to play just missed and would have been waved off by an offsides penalty even had it found the goal.
Clemson's best chance came with just 20 second remaining in the first overtime, when Nathan Thornton's high drive from 10 yards out glanced off the upper crossbar, leaving the match deadlocked and setting up Avi Hanan's second OT heroics.
"It's a cruel game," said Clemson coach Trevor Adair. "We had our chances. We came in and executed our game plan against a good team."
Adair said he found Wednesday's effort superior to that of Oct. 31, when the Tigers dropped a 2-0 decision at Boston College.
"We faced them two times in two weeks, and we played much better this time," Adair said. "I feel bad for the players. This is a tough way to lose."
Boston College improved to 1-2-2 in overtime games this season, while the Tigers slipped to 2-2-2. The Eagles out-shot the Tigers 19-7, and Bendik finished with seven saves.
"Our rhythm got disrupted and it did affect us," BC's Kelly said. "This is the first time we did not play well and we came up on top, and that's a good sign for us. We ended on a high note with a great goal, now its time to put it behind us and focus on Maryland."
Semifinals action will continue on Friday, Nov. 14 with games slated at 5:30 and 8 p.m. The championship game will kick off at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 16. All games are available online through ACCSelect.com, while the championship game will be nationally televised on Fox Sports Net. The ACC men's soccer awards ceremony will be immediately following the title game.