Friday night against Stony Brook University, the Boston University men’s soccer team emerged as the victors of an overtime game for the first time this season.
Stony Brook (7–3–1, 1–1–1 America East) came into the game leading the America East in goals per game, goals and overall points as well as boasting the best overall record in the conference. But on Friday night BU (4–5–3, 1–0–1 America East), the Terriers overcame the odds and took down the top team in the conference.
The defending America East champion Seawolves came out firing and scored when Berian Gobeil scored on a pass that was deflected by BU sophomore goalkeeper Nick Thomson. Stony Brook’s leading scorer and two-time America East midfielder of the year, Leonardo Fernandes, had the assist on the goal. Shots by sophomore forward Dominique Badji, junior midfielder Anthony Ciccone and senior forward Michael Bustamante all went wide of the net and the Terriers went into the locker room at halftime down by one goal.
Determined to score, the Terriers did what they do best, take shots on goal. The offense continued to get good looks at goal despite many fouls and a yellow card given to redshirt freshman midfielder Mac McGuire.
In the 78th minute, a Stony Brook turnover lead to a good look for freshman forward Carlos Ruiz who scored to tie the game 1–1. It was the freshman’s first goal of his collegiate career.
“He is a talented player,” said BU coach Neil Roberts of Ruiz. “He is young but he is very good on the ball. He is starting sometimes, doing a bit better coming off the bench, but he is a good player so it’s not a surprise [to see him play well].”
Smelling blood, BU kept attacking the Stony Brook net, but two McGuire chances did not find the back of the net and the game went into overtime. At the end of regulation BU was in control.
Prior to the game, BU had struggled in overtime matches. After playing No. 24 Brown University close for the entire game, BU gave up a goal only forty seconds into overtime to lose the game in heart-breaking fashion. Additionally, in their first America East game, the Terriers thoroughly outshot Hartford University, but the score was tied at the end of regulation and the game went into overtime. BU played poorly in both overtime periods and did not show the same determination they had in regulation, the Terriers tied the Hawks 1–1.
Friday night was different.
“I thought we had the momentum at the time,” Roberts said. “Michael [Bustamante] and Anthony [Ciccone] were really doing some damage on the flanks against them. We’ve had this mentality in the past that’s push, push, push and we end up leaving ourselves exposed. I think we did a better job of keeping the game in front of us and taking what it gives us.”
In the 96th minute, Bustamante, whom Roberts commended for his great passing ability, crossed the ball towards the Stony Brook goal and Badji poked the ball past Stony Brook goalkeeper Stefan Manz to win the game for the Terriers. This snapped Stony Brook’s six-game unbeaten streak in front of the largest Stony Brook soccer crowd in the team’s history.
The overtime victory against a very good Stony Brook team is yet another experience that the Terriers will use to prepare for the rest of America East play.
“I think the games we’ve played in the past, the teams we’ve played, the situations we’ve been in, have prepared us,” Roberts said. “What these guys have done all season have prepared them for conference play. We play the number one team in the conference on Wednesday and they will pose different problems for us than Stony Brook did and we’ve got to be prepared for it.”
The Terriers play the University of Vermont on Wednesday night at Nickerson Field.