Boston College Game Recap
Feb. 10, 2012
Boston College 11, Clemson 5
The Tigers welcomed preseason #5 BostonCollegeto Clemson on Friday, February 10th. This was the first meeting between these ACC teams, and the Eagles were the highest ranked team ever to visit Tigertown. Obviously, BC shaped up to be a good measuring stick for the Tigers in this young season.
The teams discovered a shared bond prior to the game. The BC head coach commented on the NYFD shooters (courtesy of Jim McLoughlin) our guys were wearing during stretches and mentioned the BC lacrosse alum who was a volunteer fire-fighter who led 18 people to safety on 9/11 before dying in the towers. His trademark, a red bandana, is remembered with a decal on BC’s gold helmets. To recognize the sacrifice of all the heroes of 9-11, the teams gathered at the face-off “X” before the game and honored these deserving men and women.
The first half was very evenly played, with neither team able to pull away from the other. Goals were traded as were sustained defensive stands, and both goalies turned away quality offensive opportunities. A 2 – 2 tie at the end of 1 became a 4 – 4 tie late in the 2nd before BC scored on an extra man opportunity shortly before the half to take a 5 – 4 lead into the break.
The 3rd quarter was all Boston College. BC ran a deliberate, patient offense that ate up the clock and kept the pressure on the Clemson defense. The Tiger defensive unit actually stood up to the pressure quite well, denying BC for minutes at a time; but ultimately it came down to a matter of possession which was in BC’s favor in a big way in the 3rd period. The Eagles aided their cause by dominating ground balls, giving their offense added time and chances, and ultimately scoring 4 times in the 3rd while holding the Tigers off the board. Offensively, the Tigers went to the well too quickly, resulting in too many one-and-done opportunities, which put the pressure right back on the defense. I’d estimate time of possession in the 4th to be 80%BostonCollege, 20% Clemson. Tough to make up ground or even hold your ground if you give a quality opponent 4 times the opportunity you get.
The 4th quarter mirrored the first half as the teams played evenly. BC added 2 more goals while the Tigers broke through for their only score of the 2nd half to finish up on the short side of an 11-5 score.
Disappointing as that loss might seem, the Tigers gave good account of themselves. Pull out the 4-0 differential in the 3rd and it was a 2 goal game against one of the highest ranked teams in the MCLA; not too shabby, especially knowing we didn’t play well or smart during that decisive 3rd period. The game did prove that we’re not out of our league matching up with the “big boys.”
Boston College’s strength is their defense and they did a good job stymieing our offense; but among the most decisive aspects of the game were their dominance on ground balls and their aggressiveness between the restraining lines. They were successful in harassing our ball carriers, getting the ball on the ground, then coming up with the ball. Their stolid defense is complemented nicely by a patient, deliberate offense that worked diligently for quality opportunities and, despite a heroic effort by sophomore keeper Alex Branton (22 saves), cashed in on enough chances to sew up the game.
Score by Quarters:
Clemson: 2 2 0 1 5
BostonCollege: 2 3 4 2 11
Buechele (1g,2a), Brennan (1g, 1a), Conlon (1g), Haille, (1g), Huettenmoser (1g)
Branton: 22 saves/ 11 goals allowed (.667% save percentage)
Pontiakos: 12 of 20 (.60%)
- Sophomore Alex Branton’s 22 saves ranks weill up in Clemson lacrosse history for saves in a game. Several came in 2 or 3 shot sequences with each successive save all the more impressive.
- Buechele (2g,1a) and Brennan (1g,1a) were only multi-point scorers for Clemson.
- Clemson was called for 2.0 minutes in penalties, only 1 personal; BC was cited for 3 technicals and .90 seconds; a very cleanly played game between two highly ranked rivals.
- I have no way of validating this but I’d be willing to bet that if you took time of possession and divided by goals scored, Clemson’s rate of scoring would exceed BC’s. Kudos to our defensive players who stood tall for a long evening with an awful lot of work to be done. Well done.
- Clemson lacrosse would like to extend its’ thanks to the families and friends and fans who weathered the cold to watch the Eagles and Tigers play. The BC coaching staff complimented our program on its’ sportsmanship and its’ support from family and friends. They were impressed with the crowd and its’ demeanor.
- Personal Callouts: Branton, Pontiakos, and the defense.
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