Soccer, Sports

AE standings in flux as m. soccer welcomes UVM

The Boston University men’s soccer team carries a four-game winning streak and a two-point lead in the America East standings into tonight’s contest against the University of Vermont at Nickerson Field.
The Terriers (7-5-2, 4-1-0 AE) moved into sole possession of first place with a 2-1 victory over the University of New Hampshire Saturday. It was their fourth straight win and third consecutive road triumph.
The Catamounts (6-3-5, 2-1-1) currently sit in fifth place with seven points, five behind BU. Their 1-0 loss to Binghamton University Saturday was their first loss since Sept. 22, snapping a six-game unbeaten streak.
BU coach Neil Roberts acknowledged the importance of his team controlling its own destiny, and he was quick to point out that a tie or loss could change everything.
‘You can go from first to fourth very quickly right now,’ Roberts said. ‘The next game is what’s important. We can’t worry about anything other than that.’
The Terriers could potentially fall into a second-place tie with Binghamton if BU loses and Binghamton and the University at Albany both win tonight.
Cracking Vermont’s tough defense will be crucial for BU tonight. Two veterans ‘-‘- senior goalkeeper Roger Scully and senior back and captain Jake McFadden ‘-‘- lead the Catamount backfield.
Scully ranks second in the conference with a 0.75 goals-against average and has allowed just three goals in his last seven games. In addition to guiding the team’s young backs, McFadden also leads the Catamounts in goals with four.
‘They’re a good defensive team,’ Roberts said. ‘We need to possess the ball and create chances and then take advantage of the chances we get.’
As always, the key for the Terriers offensively will be junior Shaun Taylor. The 6-foot-3 forward is tied for third in the conference with seven goals and fourth in points with 16. He scored BU’s lone goal in its 1-0 win over the University of Maine last week and assisted on junior midfielder Samuel Appiah’s goal against UNH.
Although McFadden leads Vermont in goals, the Catamount offense runs through another senior: Jordan Crasilneck. The midfielder leads the conference in assists with nine and is sixth in points with 15.
‘He’s a big kid,’ Roberts said of Crasilneck. ‘You have to stay with him and deny him services. Most of his assists come from putting balls into the box, and we have to be aware of that.’
Minding the net for the Terriers will be senior Hrafn Davidsson. The Iceland native had recorded three straight shutouts before allowing a first-half goal to UNH Saturday.
In front of him is the solid defensive corps of senior captain Dan Schultz, junior Richy Dorman, sophomore Matt Shea and freshman Colin Henry. Dorman netted his first collegiate goal ‘-‘- the eventual game-winner ‘-‘- against UNH.
BU holds a 22-10-6 all-time record against Vermont, but it dropped last year’s matchup, 1-0, in overtime to snap an 18-year unbeaten streak against the Catamounts. It was the second straight contest that went into overtime and the fifth straight game decided by one goal or less.
Roberts attributes the historically close rivalry to the teams’ solid back lines.
‘Both teams play good defense, so there’s usually not a lot of goals scored,’ Roberts said. ‘It’s a matter of playing clean and trying to break down their defense against Vermont.’

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