The era of Charlie Davies and Alejandro Bedoya - now united on MLS’s Philadelphia Union after stints abroad - is long in the rearview mirror, but Boston College’s long-time head coach Ed Kelly appears to have built a team ready to contend again. The Eagles kick off their preseason slate with an exhibition today against Providence College in Newton - the first step in a journey that BC hopes will lead to ACC glory and the NCAA College Cup.
Last fall, BC made it to the NCAA Elite Eight for the first time since 2002 and the second time in program history - blowing past their tournament performance even of the halcyon days of 2007-09 when BC seemed to be inching toward title contention. The run came somewhat out of nowhere, as BC seemed to be trending down after missing two straight NCAA tournaments.
This year, a run would not be a surprise from BC, with the Eagles going in to the season ranked #8 in the country. Clemson, Wake Forest, Syracuse, UNC, Notre Dame and UVA are the other ranked ACC teams going in to the conference season, which will be, as always, a grind.
The Eagles lost just three seniors from last year's Elite Eight team. BC's three leading scorers - Simon Enstrom, Trevor Davock, and Zeiko Lewis - all return this fall. Those three really carried the load for BC last season, scoring a combined 20 out of the Eagles' 30 goals.
Goalkeeper Alex Kapp graduated; last year, Cedric Saladin split time with Kapp and will likely be asked to step up and become the full time starter this season.
A talented freshman class will be asked to bolster the Eagles, and make their path to the tournament a little smoother; last season they squeezed in to the NCAAs with a 9-7-1 record (4-4-0 ACC) before going on their big run.
After today’s preseason clash with PC, BC has one more exhibition this Saturday at 1 at Holy Cross, before business starts for real on Friday, August 26 at Quinnipiac. BC's home opener comes two days later, on August 28 vs. BU at 5 PM. ACC play kicks off on September 10 at home vs. Duke.