NCAA Soccer – The First XI for August 28, 2013 – Boston College vs UConn

Boston College vs UConn – 7:00 PM

Though they’d cough up a lead and lose in extra time against Stanford, Boston College has still made a pretty solid start to the new season. The Eagles were tipped by some to struggle a bit after losing some key players from last year but have made a decent start to the campaign this season. They were hardly outplayed in the defeat to the Card, peppering the visiting goal with shots all the while. There wasn’t a hangover after the defeat either, with the Eagles topping city rivals Boston University in what could be a nice resume booster come the end of the season if BU lives up to expectations in the Patriot League. The m.o. was kind of the same on Sunday, as the Eagles jumped out to an early lead, but they were able to hold that lead this time, limiting the Terriers to just one shot in the process. You certainly can’t accuse BC of not scheduling ambitiously in the first year of the mega schedule in the ACC. Hofstra and Ohio State remain after this matchup, and if BC could manage to gut out two or three more wins, they could be sitting pretty going into the league season.

Opponents UConn are under pressure. The Huskies have been game thus far in facing strong opposition, but eventually, they need to start turning gutty performances into victories. The AAC side probably have a little more breathing room and time with league play not starting for them until late September, but 0-3-0 still wouldn’t make for palatable reading despite the schedule easing up somewhat after this. UConn started the season by getting behind the eight-ball early against Wisconsin and fighting back from two goals down to equalize at 2-2 before falling to a late Cara Walls goal. A few days later, UConn managed to outshoot Stanford, 17-12…which would sound a lot better if all but one of those shots had managed to find the target. Yes, the Huskies had one shot on goal and sixteen shots that didn’t force Emily Oliver into a save, which is quite a dubious mark, and something the team is going to have to correct if they’re to get close to the NCAA Tournament this year. Wins are naturally going to come if UConn continues to prove as feisty as they were during opening weekend. It’s just how many of those wins will be significant which is up for question. Upsetting the Eagles on the road would go a long way in establishing a true barometer for this Huskies side.

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