Following an uneven 1-3 begin — and looking at a 14-point halftime deficit in opposition to Virginia Sept. 30 — the Boston Faculty soccer group discovered itself at a pivotal juncture.
If the Eagles had misplaced to the Cavaliers, it’s very doable the season may have spiraled downward and mirrored final yr’s 3-9 marketing campaign. As an alternative, they rallied to outlast Virginia, then did the identical at Military the next week.
“We all know our guys aren’t going to stop,” coach Jeff Hafley stated. “They’re not. We’ve confirmed it.”
At the moment in a the bye week, BC is 3-3 and on the cusp of turning this season right into a memorable one.
“We’re a extremely good soccer group,” heart Drew Kendall stated. “I consider that with my entire coronary heart.”
Right here’s a position-by-position breakdown of how the Eagles have fared thus far and what must be addressed transferring ahead.
In recent times, BC has struggled to defend dual-threat quarterbacks. So what did Hafley do? He recruited a QB who matches that description.
When Thomas Castellanos arrived on campus, he was a relative unknown and considered the backup to Emmett Morehead. They break up time within the first sport, then Castellanos took over and made a reputation for himself.
He leads the nation amongst non-running backs with 500 speeding yards. Castellanos performs with coronary heart, doesn’t get too excessive or low, and is the proper individual to guide this group.
“He brings a particular type of power, slightly little bit of how Zay [Flowers] was within the locker room,” linebacker Vinny DePalma stated.
Castellanos has confirmed he could make performs together with his arm, too, and the following step is minimizing turnovers.
· Receivers/tight ends
Nobody was going to exchange Flowers, however the BC huge receivers have been desirous to show they might keep it up in his absence.
Up to now, Lewis Bond (24 catches, 356 yards, 5 touchdowns) has established himself because the go-to choice.
“As soon as I catch the ball, I’ve this thought that I shouldn’t get tackled one-on-one by anyone in faculty soccer,” Bond stated.
Time will inform whether or not Ryan O’Keefe, who suffered a scary neck damage in opposition to Virginia, returns this season. Joe Griffin, Jaden Williams, and Dino Tomlin spherical out the unit.
Tight ends George Takacs and Jeremiah Franklin have excelled as blockers and have a landing apiece.
· Working again
The Eagles have a great setup at operating again. Pat Garwo, Alex Broome, and Kye Robichaux have all missed a while, however they’ve all proven their worth in stretches.
Garwo racked up 111 yards, together with a key 50-yard scamper, in opposition to Military. Broome makes use of his low heart of gravity to his benefit, and Robichaux is a taller again who has elite imaginative and prescient.
BC racked up 321 speeding yards in opposition to Military.
· Offensive line
After accidents ravaged the offensive line final yr, the unit has responded this season.
Logan Taylor, Kyle Hergel, Kendall, Christian Mahogany, and Ozzy Trapilo have anchored a much-improved group. BC is third within the Atlantic Coast Convention and twenty fifth within the nation with 195.2 speeding yards per sport after ending final within the nation at 63.3 in 2022.
“Final yr was actually onerous for us, clearly,” Kendall stated, “however I feel that’s gotten us to the place we at the moment are.”
· Defensive position
After a poor efficiency in opposition to Louisville (they weren’t alone), the defensive position responded in opposition to Virginia. The unit was sharp within the first half in opposition to Military however struggled late.
It’s all about consistency for this group, which clearly has the expertise to play with anybody on the schedule. The Eagles had six sacks in opposition to the Cavaliers and have 4 of their different 5 video games mixed.
It begins with defensive finish Donovan Ezeiruaku, who would be the first to acknowledge that he must get to the quarterback greater than he has.
“As a D-line, our mentality is enjoying aggressive and enjoying violent,” defensive sort out George Rooks stated. “If we play violent sufficient, we’re going to win the sport.”
Kam Arnold, DePalma, and Jaylen Blackwell have helped kind one in every of BC’s extra constant defensive teams.
DePalma, a savvy chief who has seen all of it in faculty soccer, leads the group and is fourth within the ACC with 49 tackles.
The Eagles even have intriguing depth, with redshirt sophomore Owen McGowan and redshirt freshman Sione Hala.
The Eagles have just one interception on the season, tied with Pittsburgh for final within the convention.
Opponents have accomplished 65.4 % of their passes, which places BC second-to-last within the ACC. Groups common 9.3 yards per completion, which slots the Eagles final within the ACC. BC is third-to-last within the nation with a go effectivity score of 171.16.
Opponents are 22 for 23, with 20 TDs, within the crimson zone in opposition to BC.
There’s loads of expertise within the secondary with Jalen Cheek, Elijah Jones, Cole Batson, John Pupel, Amari Jackson, and extra, however the unit wants to search out its inside ballhawk within the second half.
· Particular groups
Liam Connor bounced again from a missed additional level in opposition to Florida State with a clutch discipline purpose in opposition to Virginia. He missed an additional level (within the rain) in opposition to Military, so now he’ll have to reply once more in opposition to Georgia Tech Oct. 21.
The Eagles have averaged simply 14.6 return yards on kickoffs, which is final within the convention.
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