Soccer, Sports

Over the hump

The Boston University men’s soccer team churned out its third straight shutout victory yesterday, as junior forward Shaun Taylor’s team-leading seventh goal of the season lifted the Terriers to a 1-0 victory over the University of Maine in Orono, Me.
BU (6-5-2, 3-1-0 America East) got on the board early as Taylor found the back of the net 7:19 into regulation. Freshman forward Stephen Knox blew by a Black Bear defender down the left side and crossed the ball into the box to freshman midfielder Ben Berube. Berube left a pass for Taylor, who beat Maine goalie Nemanja Kostic to the left side from 15 yards out.
The score held up for the remainder of the game, as the Terriers prevented the Black Bears (3-7-2, 0-3-1) from recording a single shot on goal in the first half and held them to two in the second half. BU’s stingy defense has allowed eight shots combined in its last three games.
‘Defensively, we haven’t been giving up a lot of chances lately,’ BU coach Neil Roberts said. ‘Collectively, we’ve been a lot better the last couple games. Our midfielders and backs have played well defensively. And [goalkeeper] Hrafn [Davidsson] has been great when he’s been tested.’
After going 62 minutes without a shot on goal, senior back Corey Sinclair finally tested Davidsson but the senior was able to corral it easily. With 7:26 left in the game, sophomore midfielder Jake Ostrov had a chance to tie it with a shot inside the box, but Davidsson was there again. Maine had one last desperation attempt in the final seconds, as junior midfielder Nikola Bogdanovic sailed a shot over the net.
At the other end of the field, BU recorded 12 shots on goal and earned eight corner kicks, but could not add to its lead. Roberts said sloppy passing forced BU to take some bad shots from far out of the zone.
‘We didn’t play that well offensively,’ Roberts said. ‘But we defended well and won battles for the ball. It wasn’t a clean win.’
With the victory, the Terriers are over .500 for the first time this season. More importantly, they now stand alone in second place in the conference with nine points, two ahead of the University of Vermont and the University at Albany.
‘It’s obviously nice to be over .500. But the biggest thing is picking up three points in the league,’ Roberts said. ‘It’s important to be playing well against the conference.’
BU has won two straight road contests after starting 0-3-1 away from Nickerson Field this season. Roberts acknowledged the significance of winning on the road, but said it isn’t something he is overly concerned about.
‘We’ve played well on the road with the exception of the game at Northeastern [a 1-0 loss Sept. 23],’ Roberts said. ‘[Not winning on the road] wasn’t really a concern. We knew that if we played consistently, the wins would come.’
The Terriers have four games remaining, including home games against Vermont and Hartford that could be crucial in deciding home-field advantage for the conference tournament.

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