Soccer, Sports

Danny Foen remains hot, men’s soccer captures win vs. Albany

Junior forward Felix De Bona had a couple chances to score, but could not convert in the Terriers’ 3-0 win Tuesday. PHOTO BY JOHNNY LIU/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Beginning a three-game homestand, the Boston University men’s soccer team defeated the University at Albany 3-0 at Nickerson Field on Tuesday night.

The Terriers (10-3-1, 4-0-1 Patriot League) were without four key players, as senior defender Jeroen Blugh joined senior forward Lucas McBride, sophomore midfielder David Amirani and sophomore forward — and the Patriot League’s leading scorer — Anthony Viteri on the inactive list.

As a result of the injuries, the Terriers played six freshmen in the first half.

“We had a lot of guys out today and other guys stepped up, which is great,” said BU coach Neil Roberts.

Despite losing some of its offensive firepower, BU took a 1-0 lead into halftime for the first time since its Oct. 3 victory over American University.

Once again, it was sophomore forward Danny Foen who scored for the Terriers. The Cartagena, Colombia, native scored the game-winning goal in BU’s overtime victory over Lafayette College on Saturday.

Although Foen’s goal against the Leopards (5-4-5, 2-2-1 Patriot League) was a game-winner, his goal Tuesday was arguably more impressive.

Following a pass from sophomore midfielder Adam Sheikali, Foen dribbled the ball up the left side of the field, in a position to send in a cross. Once he was about 20 yards from goal, he kicked the ball from a sharp angle to the net like a cross. Instead, the ball curved and went inside the right post for a beautiful goal.

“It was [supposed to be] a cross,” Foen joked after the game.

Like many other games this season, BU played close with their opponent in the first half, but pulled away and took control of possession in the second half.

In the first 30 minutes of the game, the Great Danes (7-7-1) controlled most of the possession, with striker Jake Barros and defender Bernardo Mattos each making good efforts at goal, but both came away with nothing to show for it.

“They’re a good team, they’ve got some very talented players, so we wanted to try to pressure them higher than we usually do,” Roberts said. “We just tried to disrupt them and get their heads down a little bit so they couldn’t get into the flow of their passing.”

BU came out in the second half and took control of possession from the very beginning. The Terriers were constantly applying pressure on the Great Danes’ back line and goalkeeper Danny Vitiello.

In the 55th minute, sophomore back Eric Udelson took a shot from outside the box that looked like it would be a routine save for Vitiello, but the ball deflected off an Albany defender and found the back of the net.

Three minutes later, Sheikali dribbled into the box and took a low shot that went off Vitiello’s hands and into the net, which gave the Terriers a three-goal lead, which they would not relinquish.

BU could have very easily added more goals had the team converted three separate one-on-one chances.

In the first half, freshman midfielder Nicki Wieners was in great scoring position following a through ball from junior forward Felix De Bona, but Vitiello got just enough of the shot to send it wide.

In the second half, De Bona had three chances of his own to get on the scoring sheet, but Vitiello saved all of them, including a chip shot attempt.

Meanwhile, it was a relatively quiet night for the Terriers’ junior goalkeeper Matt Gilbert, as he only made four saves despite the Great Danes tallying 16 shots.

With the Terriers heading into their final four games of the season — all against Patriot League opponents — they will look to build on the momentum of Tuesday’s victory.

“We always have guys on the bench that are ready to play and to keep the team’s momentum going regardless of who’s playing on the field,” Foen said. “Even though this wasn’t a conference game we still felt it was important because it’s about gaining momentum and getting wins heading into the playoffs.”

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