After losing the first two games of the season, the Boston University men’s soccer team are back on form with impressive wins over Hofstra University and Monmouth University, allowing them to climb back to .500. The team is looking to extend its first winning streak of the season when the Terriers face Northeastern University at Nickerson Field Tuesday.
In their two wins, the Terriers (2-2) have done an excellent job of ball possession led by senior midfielder Anthony Ciccone. Ciccone has assists on three of the six goals scored by the Terriers so far this season.
“Anthony really came into himself last year and had a lot of big games,” said BU coach Neil Roberts. “Unfortunately, he had surgery over the summer that’s put him back a little bit. He’s starting to hit form and starting to really pick up where he was last year. He’s about 80 percent right now, but we think in a few weeks, he’ll be close to 100 percent, and he’s a much more mature player, much more of a field general out there.”
The Terriers have matured physically over the course of the season, according to Roberts. He said their development has helped in all aspects of their game, and their progress is evident in their two victories.
“We’re just maturing as a group,” Roberts said. “This group listens well, adapts well, changes well. We keep putting things in and they can adjust to it, so I just think that we’ve matured. It’s that simple. We’re cutting down on the mistakes. We’re getting better every game.”
In their 3-0 win over the Hawks (1-3-1), the Terriers received big contributions from three first-time goal scorers: freshman forward Felix De Bona, sophomore defender Jeroen Blugh and sophomore forward Lucas McBride. The offensive surge was BU’s highest goal total of the young season.
“We’ve had different people contribute and that’s a good thing,” Roberts said. “We’ve got some depth and we’ve had some injuries, luckily just minor injuries. People come in and fill a role and we haven’t really missed a beat which is good.”
The Terriers will host a strong Northeastern (2-1-2) team that has outscored its opponents 6-2 in their last three games, with victories over Fairfield University and Fordham University and a tie with Providence College.
The key for the Terriers against a strong offensive team such as the Huskies will be ball possession.
“They pressure very well and they are very athletic up front in the midfield, so I think that if we turn the ball over, they can come at you very quickly,” Roberts said. “A key for us is not to make a lot of mistakes and to have a feel for the ball.”
Northeastern senior captain Dante Marini leads the Huskies with one goal and three assists in five games played. Marini is the active leader in career points for the Huskies with 33 on nine goals and 15 assists. The Huskies have displayed depth so far this season, as seven different Huskies have recorded points so far.
The Terrier offense will be tested by the Huskies, who have not allowed a goal in their last 200 minutes of play. Sophomore goalie Dylan Faber has back-to-back shutouts and is third in the Colonial Athletic Association with a 0.92 goals-against average.
One question yet to be answered is who will be in goal on the other end of the pitch for the Terriers. Redshirt freshman goalie Matt Gilbert and junior Nick Thomson have both played well this season. Gilbert had one save in the 3-0 win over Monmouth while Thomson had six saves in the 2-1 victory over Hofstra last Wednesday.