BCS XI kicked off the 2011 season this Saturday, April 2nd, at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville. Having gained promotion last year and coming off an 11-game unbeaten run in competitive fixtures, the team was full of confidence but aware that the competition would be much stiffer this season. Their first opponent in the 3rd Division was Inter Boston FC, who finished seventh in the table last season but were just two points off of fifth.
As play got underway, neither team maintained lengthy spells of possession. Inter Boston seemed happy to work the ball around the back, but the BCS front line, led by Joe and Marco, put them under constant pressure. Behind them, the midfield and defense were well organized, and quickly won back any balls played into the BCS defensive half. On attack, the BCS tempo was quick, stringing few passes together before targeting the strikers. The play wasn't always pretty, but resulted in numerous half-chances and several corners during the opening 15 minutes of play.
The opening goal of the season came in somewhat fortuitous fashion. Good work down the right wing by Andy Vesper ended with the ball being cleared to Logan, who laid it off to debutant Jordan. The left back tried his luck from 30 yards, sending a powerful shot on target. The goalie was able to get in front of it, but the ball sneaked through his hands and over the line to give BCS a 1-0 lead.
BCS remained on top throughout the rest of the first half. They went close to doubling the lead several times, with the midfielders and strikers looking sharp and combining well in the attacking half. The Inter goalie made up for his previous mistake by diving low to save Darren's shot from the bottom-left corner, which Dave then matched in the BCS net by pushing a backwards header from his own defender just around the post. The BCS keeper had little else to do, with Brad, Steve, Jordan, Nathan, and James all playing well across the back-line to snuff out the Inter attack.
With the ice melted from the pitch for the second half, the play looked livelier and both teams were better able to string passes together. Inter began to shake some rust off and show their quality, and they began to keep the ball in the attacking half for sustained periods. They did well to break into the box on several occasions, but BCS was able to thank poor finishing and a couple fine stops from Dave for keeping Inter from scoring. With 65 minutes gone, BCS still looked a little shaky when Joe popped up to make the score 2-0 and put the game out of reach. Lurking outside the box, the striker pounced quickly to shoot from 25 yards and curl his effort just inside the top-left corner of the goal. The keeper had no chance, with the strike's power and placement making it untouchable.
Joe's effort seemed to take the wind out of Inter's sails, and BCS continued to threaten while not looking especially troubled at the back. Joe dropped into midfield to partner Josh, who put in an excellent display on his debut for the club, with Adam and Marco continuing to cause problems up front. Adam, who had previously been denied by a fine point-blank save from the Inter keeper, controlled well in front of goal and finished strongly to get off the mark for the season and make the score 3-0. Inter closed the game with a couple decent chances, including a free-kick that sailed just over the bar, but the home team's clean sheet remained in tact.
BCS XI are top of the table after this first round of fixtures and look forward to carrying their momentum into their next match, away at Ballers FC, on April 9th in Lancaster.
We would especially like to highlight the contribution of three of our new signings - Jordan, Josh, and Marco - who all turned in excellent performances and demonstrated why we were so eager to add them to the roster this season. It's clear they will all be valuable members of the team, and we also look forward to seeing our fourth new signing - Ramo - on the pitch after he recovers from his ankle injury.