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Early offense propels Terriers to 3–0 victory

After a match in which the Boston University men’s soccer team put together 35 shots that resulted in only one goal, the team finally converted its shots into goals in a 3–0 rout of Adelphi University.

Junior midfielder Derek McCaffrey scored the first goal in a 3–0 BU win over Adelphi. MICHAEL CUMMO/DAILY FREE PRESS FILE PHOTO

The Terriers (3–5–3, 0–0–1 America East) have really found their offensive game lately. They have scored nine goals in their last four games. The defense has suffered no decrease in success, as they have now allowed only two goals in the last four games.

The Panthers (1–10) lack a true scoring threat, as junior midfielder Nicholas Costa, senior forward James Diana and senior forward Omar Edwards are tied for the team lead with only two goals apiece on the season. Only one other player on the team has scored a goal this season.

Adelphi’s defense has not had much luck either. The team carried a 2.70 goals allowed per game average into this game. The Terriers expected to improve their offense this game by not only shooting balls on net, but also by sending those shots into the net.

The first couple of minutes of the game certainly didn’t start the way BU had planned. Adelphi controlled the ball in its offensive zone for the first five minutes of the game. However, the Panthers’ only scoring chance came on a header that missed the net wide right.

“After the first 20 minutes we got a rhythm going, we got some goals,” said BU coach Neil Roberts.

Once sophomore forward Dominique Badji got BU’s first shot of the game off of a header from the top of the box, the Terriers were off to the races.

The Terriers finally converted and scored their first goal of the game in the 25th minute. BU sent a corner kick low along the ground and, after deflecting off of multiple Adelphi defenders, the ball found its way to junior midfielder Derek McCaffrey who put it in to the top left corner of the net.

The offensive pressure did not stop there. Moments later, Ciccone was tripped inside the box on a play that would have otherwise resulted in a breakaway and BU was awarded a penalty kick. Senior midfielder Michael Bustamante took the shot and sent a hard, low strike to the left of the net that goalkeeper Ahmad Salamah barely saved.

Although it took a bit longer, BU managed to extend its lead. In the 38th minute, Ciccone dribbled down the left side and crossed the ball to redshirt freshman forward Mac McGuire who headed the ball into the net from the right post. The goal was McGuire’s third of the season, which ended up tying him with sophomore forward Parker Powell for the team lead.

“Mac is starting to come along, which is good,” Roberts said.

The play of the game came just one minute later. Bustamante dribbled down the left side of the field, cut past a defender into the box, dribbled past multiple defenders to get to the left side of the box and shot the ball into the bottom far corner of the net for BU’s third goal of the game. With the goal, Bustamante joined Powell and McGuire for the team lead with three goals on the season, a stat which Roberts said he is not satisfied with.

“It’s good, but if they each had six it would be a lot better,” Roberts said. “We’re not scoring a lot of goals.”

The first half came to an end with a content BU team that was absolutely dominant. The Terriers outshot the Panthers 15–5 in the game’s opening 45 minutes.

The second half began with much of the same play from the Terriers. They began to come up with great scoring chances, including two shots from Badji from inside the box that warranted excellent diving saves from Salamah.

Adelphi’s only decent scoring chance came in the 60th minute on a great shot from way outside the box that sent sophomore goalkeeper Nick Thomson diving to his right to make the save.

Despite not allowing a goal, Roberts said he was confused by his team’s change in performance in the second half, as he said, “I don’t know why or what but we started dribbling too much. We started doing things individually. We kind of slowed it down.”

Time eventually ran out, and BU sealed a 3–0 victory over the struggling Adelphi Panthers.

“What we’re hoping for from this game is to get a rhythm going,” said Roberts, who is looking forward to BU’s upcoming matchup against Stony Brook University.

“We’re going to obviously have to play better than we did tonight,” Roberts added. “This is the challenge that we’ve been waiting for.”

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