The Boston University men’s soccer team will look to build off of its first win in seven games, as the Terriers will take on Lafayette College Saturday afternoon in a conference matchup in Easton, Pa., at Oaks Stadium.
Last time out, the Terriers (4-7-1, 1-3-0 Patriot League) took on Lehigh University, it was a scrappy game, as play was predominantly in the midfield, since neither team could find any offensive rhythm.
As play progressed, both sides started to create scoring chances, but neither could capitalize on those opportunities. Finally, in the 75th minute, the Terriers found the back of the net with a goal off the foot of sophomore forward Lucas McBride. It came off a goal kick from redshirt freshman goalkeeper Matt Gilbert, who played the ball into the offensive half for the Terriers.
After seeing out the final 15 minutes, the Terriers finally captured their first win in more than three weeks — and their first conference win as a member of the Patriot League — with a 1-0 victory. It was Gilbert’s fourth shutout of the season, and BU ended with a 15-7 advantage in shots on goal, with five each coming from McBride and freshman midfielder David Asbjornsson.
BU coach Neil Roberts said he was pleased with the team’s improvements on offense.
“Offensively, we picked it up a bit, we really created a lot of chances again,” said BU coach Neil Roberts. “Obviously we have to start to finish, we have to finish more. We can’t take that many good opportunities to get one goal.”
On the other side of the match-up, Lafayette (3-3-6, 1-3-0 Patriot League) comes into this game also having struggled somewhat, with six ties this season.
The Leopards faced off against the U.S. Naval Academy Wednesday night, losing by a score of 2-0. It was a scoreless affair for most of the game, until Navy forward Sam Bascom broke the deadlock in the 86th minute of play after finishing off a loose ball in the box.
The Midshipmen (7-3-2, 4-0) added an insurance goal with 25 seconds remaining in the game, as forward Thomas Shiiba sent a pass inside to forward Jamie Dubyoski, who fired the ball past Lafayette goalie Nathan McDonald for the victory.
The loss to the Midshipmen snapped Lafayette’s unbeaten streak at home, as the Leopards were 2-0-2 in their first four games at Oaks Stadium.
Lafayette ranks eighth in the Patriot League this season with just eight goals scored this season. However, its goalkeeping has been stellar, with McDonald allowing only seven goals thus far. McDonald’s save percentage of .854 ranks third in the conference, which should prove to be a tough test for the Terriers, who rank seventh in the Patriot League with 11 goals on the season.
Some members of the Terrier team have said they feel their record does not reflect their performance this year, especially given the strength of the new league. Unsung hero and junior forward Dominique Badji commented on this during his reflections from BU’s last game against Lehigh (1-8-1, 0-4-0 Patriot League).
“It’s the Patriot League, they’re tough, they’re big,” Badji said. “That’s why we have to limit our touches. I’m expecting it every game I play. All the defenders are going to try and really get to me.”
Badji also said that while the results up to now have been disappointing, he feels the team is on the right path to improvement.
“As a team, it’s not where we want it to be, but this win [against Lehigh] is a step in the right direction,” Badji said. “Hopefully we can win the rest of the games from here.”