The Boston College men's soccer team dropped a 2-0 heartbreaker to nationally-ranked Wake Forest on Saturday night at the Newton Campus soccer field in the ACC opening game for both teams.
Wake Forest took an early 1-0 lead in the 28th minute when Luca Gimenez sent in a cross from the left side. Andy Lubahn was just behind the play, but he slid on the ground to deflect the ball past Keady Segel to give the Demon Deacons the early advantage.
Despite trailing, the Eagles made a valiant effort defensively to stop an aggressive attack. They largely bottled up Wake Forest striker Sean Okoli to the tune of one shot on goal. Okoli was poised to be a breakout player after scoring a hat trick in a friendly against Furman earlier this season but found himself stymied by the BC defense. Despite this, they couldn't do much to stop Gimenez, who set up a second goal on a free kick that found Jared Watts. Watts buried the finish for his first of the season in the 75th minute to give Wake the 2-0 advantage.
The big story out of the defeat came against BC, though, when Wake Forest scored their second goal with the Eagles down a man. During the 66th minute, dueling yellow cards were handed out. Derrick Boateng received his first infraction for BC along with Wake Forest's Hunter Bandy in the 66th minute. Less than four minutes later, Boateng received a second yellow, amounting to a red that removed a player from the pitch and allowed Wake Forest to attack a shorthanded defensive line. It also robbed BC of one of their best offensive weapons on an attack that's under a microscope to gain traction this year.
BC's best chance to score came right off the opening kick when Cole DeNormandie beat a defender but was robbed by a rush by Wake Forest goalie Andrew Harris. And Boateng had a chance in the 11th minute but missed wide right off a feed after nice footwork by Isaac Normesinu.
Harris and Segel both finished with two saves as Wake Forest improved to 2-1, while BC lost their first match of the year after opening with an overtime win over Boston University and a draw against Quinnipiac. BC returns to non-conference play on Monday when they head to Dartmouth. Their next ACC game will come on the 14th when they travel to Pittsburgh, and the next home game/home ACC game is against Notre Dame at the end of the month on the 21st. Wake Forest heads back home to host Virginia on Friday in Winston-Salem.