After two wins in a row against the University of Albany and Binghamton University, the Boston University men’s soccer team dropped its final game of the season by a score of 1–0 in overtime to the University of New Hampshire. The game was the Terriers’ last game in the America East Conference, as the team is moving to the Patriot League next season along with many of BU’s athletic teams.
As with many of BU’s (6–8–4, 3–2–2 America East) games in the 2012–13 season, the team did not have many chances to score in the first half. The Terriers attempted to control the game and find weaknesses in the other team’s defenses rather than go for the goal early in the game.
On Friday against UNH (6–7–4, 2–3–1 America East), BU’s offensive chances were limited even more. New Hampshire decided to play many defenders in the back line against the Terriers, even putting as many as six defenders in an attempt to thwart BU’s offensive attacks.
“It was hard to break it down,” said BU coach Neil Roberts of his opponents’ defensive strategy. “They really pressured us in the back. We tried to keep the game under control, but we really never had any flow throughout.”
Although the Terriers did not get too many shots in the first half, they took a few to at least test the goalie. However, due to the strength of the Wildcat defense, the Terriers were only able to take two shots in the first half.
In the 35th minute of the game, the Terriers finally had their first look at the goal on a shot by junior midfielder Anthony Ciccone, but that shot went wide of the goal. In the 42nd minute, the Terriers had their second and final shot of the first half taken by junior midfielder Evin Nadaner, but it was saved by Wildcat goalie Travis Worra.
Despite BU’s limited amount of chances, the team held the Wildcats to only four shots in the first half. None of them got passed sophomore goalie Nick Thomson.
After a scoreless first half, the game appeared to be another stalemate, which BU has been involved in all season. However, New Hampshire looked to go in for the kill to start the second half. In the 47th minute, the Wildcats took two consecutive shots in the box, but both were blocked by the Terrier defense.
In the 49th minute, junior midfielder Robert Palumbo had a great chance to put UNH on the board and in the lead, but his shot hit the cross-bar and did not go in, keeping the game scoreless.
The 59th minute saw UNH get another great chance right off of a corner kick. Forward Jordan Thomas headed the ball toward the goal, but Thomson made another save. The Wildcats had a few more chances during the half, but none as close as these attempts to put them on the board and give them the lead.
Like the first half, the Terriers had trouble getting an offensive attack going. BU took six shots in the half, but two stood out as solid scoring chances. In the 71st minute, Ciccone took a hard shot that had an excellent chance of going in, but Worra made a great save. The 88th minute saw the Terriers get one final chance in regulation to break the draw when Michael Bustamante took the ball after a cross and shot it, but it was blocked by the Wildcats.
Again, BU headed to overtime. This was the eighth and final time that the Terriers took a game to overtime this season.
The Terriers, just like the previous 90 minutes, could not establish offensive consistency. They did not record a shot in the overtime period. UNH appeared hungry to get the golden goal, and after missing on its first four opportunities of overtime, UNH finally capitalized and scored the game-winning goal. After a long throw-in in the 97th minute, senior Alex Hussein scored in front of the net in a wild scramble to give UNH the 1–0 victory.
“The goal was just a throw in into the box. It went through a scrum and it just bounced the wrong way for us,” Roberts said. “The guys still fought hard through the game and the difficult year we had.”