|School – Boston College|
|Conference – Atlantic Coast|
|Coach – Ed Kelly (29th Season)|
Background – Boston College was 11-8-2 overall in 2015 with a 4-4-0 mark in conference play.
The Eagles earned the program's thirteenth invite to the NCAA Tournament last year and advanced past Vermont at home, South Florida on the road and number two seed Georgetown on the road before they were topped 1-0 by Syracuse in the Elite Eight.
Boston College was ranked as the number ten team in the country by the NSCAA and College Soccer News in their 2015 final season ending polls.
Twelve of Boston College's thirteen NCAA Tournament berths have been under the direction of Ed Kelly with the most recent appearances being in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015. The Eagles have earned a total of eleven invites to the NCAA Tournament since 2000 and have received a seed in the NCAA Tournament a total of four times since 2002. They advanced to the Elite Eight in 2002 when they secured a program best eighteen win season and in 2015.
Boston College is 262-208-56 overall since Kelly became the head coach in 1988. Kelly secured his 300th career win in 2015 (twenty-eight seasons at Boston College and three at Seton Hall) to become just the nineteenth active head coach in the country to reach that milestone.
Boston College moved from the Big East Conference to the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2005. The Eagles won the regular season and ACC Tournament titles in 2007. They were the Big East Tounament Champions in 1990, 2000, and 2002.
Midfielder Zeiko Lewis was named to the All-ACC Second Team in 2015 and was an NSCAA First Team All-South Region selection. Defender Len Zeugner was a 2015 All-ACC Third Team member and forward Simon Enstrom was named the the ACC All-Freshman Team.
Offense – The Boston College attack in 2016 will begin with the formidable trio of Simon Enstrom (9g, 4a), Trevor Davock (6g, 5a) and Zeiko Lewis (5g, 8a). Sophomore forwards Enstrom and Davock and senior midfielder Lewis were the Eagles' top three goal scorers last year.
All three are proven and very skilled finishers with big play capablilty. Enstrom and Davock now have the benefit of a year of starting experience under their belts which means that they should hit the ground running in 2016. Lewis is a prime timer who has been an All-ACC Second Team selection for the past three seasons. He has been an impact player since arriving on campus as reflected in the fact that he was named the ACC Freshman of the Year in 2013.
Senior forward Isaac Normesinu (1g, 2a) who appeared in fifteen contests with eight starts last year should also figure prominently in the attack in 2016.
Juniors Henry Balf (1g, 0a) who has been a starter for the past two seasons, Idrissa Bangura (1g, 2a), and Joshua Forbes (0g, 1a) are among returning midfielders who should again play key roles in 2016. Sophomores Raphael Salama and Tommy Garcia-Morillo (1g, 0a) gained valuable experience last year and should also be in the mix in the midfield.
Freshman Callum Johnson who honed his skills playing for the New York Red Bulls is among the newcomers who should compete for playing time in the midfield.
Defense – Key losses due to graduation include back Atobra Ampadu (2g, 3a), a three-year starter and team captain, and goalkeeper Alex Kapp who has played a key role between the pipes for the Eagles for the past three seasons.
A solid foundation is set to return in the back in 2016. The defense will be anchored by junior center back Len Zeugner (0g, 2a) who has been a starter for the past two seasons and was a 2015 All-ACC Third Team selection. Junior Mohammed Moro (1g, 4a) who also has been a starter for the past two seasons and sophomore Abe Bibas (1g, 1a) who was a starter last year are among other top returners.
Sophomore Emanuel Estrada who appeared in twelve contests last year with four starts, senior Ado Kawuba who saw action in eight games in 2015, and sophomore Rodolfo Postigo who appeared in six matches with two starts are among other returning backs who will likely be in the hunt for a greater role in 2016. Tomas Gudmundsson who is a transfer from Coastal Carolina and freshman Younes Boudadi from Belgium are among the newcomers who should challenge for playing time in the back.
Redshirt sophomore Cedric Saladin who had eleven starts in goal last year with a 1.59 goals against average looks to be the frontrunner to assume the starting role between the pipes.
Newcomers – Four Star Recruiting Class
Jack Bacon – Goalkeeper – Lincoln, Rhode Island – Pomfret School – Rhode Island Second Team All-Division. All Conference. Played for NEFC.
Younes Boudadi – Defender – Ypres, Belgium – Played for FC Brugges. Represented Morocco in the U-17 African Cup. Four appearances in the 2014 U-17 world championship.
Carson Davis – Defender – Los Angeles, California – A starter for Real So Cal FC.
Adam French – Forward – Westborough, Massachusetts – Leading goal scorer for NEFC in 2015 and 2016.
Brandon Girard – Midfielder – Beverly, Massachusetts – Phillips Andover – Played for NEFC.2015 League All-Star at Phillips Andover.
Thomas Gudmundsson – Defender – New Britain, Connecticut – Transfer from Coastal Carolina where he was a 2014 Second Team All-Big South selection.
Callum Johnson – Midfielder – New York, New York, Played for New York Red Bulls.
Lasse Lehmann – Midfielder – Munich, Germany – Played for Stuttgart Kickers. Played in Arsenal Youth Academy and Unterhaching Academy.
Lewis Mustoe – Midfielder – Lexington, Massachusetts – Lexington High School – Middlesex League All-Star. Played for Stars FC.
Maximilian Schulze-Geisthovel – Midfielder – Drensteinfurt, Germany – Transfer from St. Leo University where he started forty-nine games in threes seasons. Netted twenty-eight goals and contributed ten assists. All-SSC First Team selection.
Elliot Smith Hastie –
Prognosis for 2016 – The Eagles gelled as a team and made strides forward as the 2015 season progressed peaking in an outstanding run to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament.
A solid core of players return including nine starters supplemented by what looks to be another very strong recruiting class. As a result the Eagles look to be a much deeper team in 2016 than they were last year.
All things considered there is a lot to like about Boston College heading into the 2016 campaign since nine starters are slated to return.
It is noteworthy that there were a total of fourteen freshmen on the Eagle roster last year with several like forwards Simon Enstrom and Trevor Davock and back Abe Bibas playing key roles. The experience the current juniors and sophomores gained last year bodes well for the 2016 season.
The Eagles found the back of the net a total of thirty times last year. Senior midfielder Zeiko Lewis will be at the heart of what should again be a multi-dimensional offense that will be difficult for opponents to contain.
The defense allowed a total of twenty-eight goals last year playing well at times but they also had lapses in play at times that were costly. The defense could end up being a team strength in 2016, but there is a degree of uncertainty in that regard.
Expectations are justifiably high at Boston College with so many starters returning supplemented by several other players who gained valuable experience last year. The recruiting class should contribute but the Eagles will not have to lean as heavily on freshmen in 2016 as they did in 2015.
Boston College will open the season on the road with Quinnipiac but they then play their next four contests at home including their ACC season opener with Duke on September 10. They then travel to tangle with ACC foes Syracuse and North Carolina on the road in contests that will give Ed Kelly a good indication of just how competitive his team will be.
The Eagles have the look and the feel of a team on the rise with plenty of talent, depth and confidence. However it remains to be seen whether or not the level of play and focus they demonstrated in the 2015 NCAA Tournament will carry over to the 2016 campaign.