Rutgers eliminates No. 4 seed BC
Kamara’s late tying goal leads Scarlet Knights to shootout win
NEWTON, Mass. -- Senior forward Ibrahim Kamara scored in the 86th minute to force overtime against No. 4 seed Boston College (14-6-1) as Rutgers (10-6-4) advanced to the field of 16 on penalty kicks (4-3).
The Scarlet Knights continued their run in the NCAA tournament in dramatic fashion, tying the Eagles in the closing minutes and continued to battle in overtime, eventually taking down eighth-ranked Boston College to move on to the third round for the first time since 2001.
“It’s fun being with this team and with this program,” said head coach Dan Donigan. “Obviously success helps everything and it makes things that much nicer but these kids don’t want this season to end and I don’t think any of us associated with [the program] wants it to end. I’m proud of them because they showed great fight against an exceptional team. It will be a signature win for our program, there’s no doubt about that but hopefully we’re not done yet.”
Rutgers and Boston College battled in the first half, with the game scoreless after 45 minutes. The two teams ended the period even in shot opportunities, 3-3. The Scarlet Knights put one shot on frame, while the Eagles had a pair of shots on goal, leading to a pair of terrific saves by junior goalkeeper Kevin McMullen.
BC found the opening goal eight minutes into the second half as Patrick Chin scored in the 53rd to put the Eagles ahead, 1-0. The Boston College goal was the result of increased offensive pressure from the Eagles, who went on to outshoot the Scarlet Knights 11-5 in the second half.
Despite being down a goal and facing elimination, the Scarlet Knights continued to press on, sending men forward at every chance, in search of the equalizer. Rutgers found that decisive goal in the nick of time as Kamara scored from six yards out on a corner kick opportunity set up by seniors Sam Archer and Bryant Knibbs in the 86th minute.
The dog fight continued into the two overtime periods as the Scarlet Knights forced BC keeper Justin Luthy into a pair of saves, preserving the 1-1 tie. At the end of overtime, Rutgers and Boston College headed into penalty kicks where McMullen was again the story of the game. Prior to the contest, RU had not defended against a penalty kick all season.
“Quite honestly, we were very confident when we got to penalty kicks because we love our goalie,” said Donigan. “He stymies us all the time in training.”
Kamara took the first PK for RU which he converted. BC made good on their first opportunity and the Scarlet Knights responded to take a 2-1 lead on a successful shot from senior midfielder Nate Bourdeau. McMullen stopped the second shot for the Eagles, while Rutgers made good on its third try from junior midfielder Robin Brown, pulling ahead 3-1.
Boston College pulled to within one with another successful penalty kick to make it 3-2 in the Scarlet Knights’ favor but RU missed its fourth attempt to keep the Eagles within reach. The two teams traded goals with junior defender Joe Setchell giving Rutgers a 4-3 edge.
The Eagles’ Steve Rose stepped forward to try and tie the game for BC, but McMullen came up big with another timely save, stopping the shot to give Rutgers the result.
The Scarlet Knights will face the winner of UCLA vs. Delaware on Nov. 27 in the third round of the NCAA tournament. With a UCLA win, Rutgers will travel to California, while a Delaware victory would give RU a home game at Yurcak Field.