Boston University men’s soccer traveled to Colgate University Friday night for its last game of the regular season, where the Terriers (5-10-3, 4-4-1 Patriot League) fell 0-1.
BU was coming off two monumental wins at home that clinched a postseason berth, putting a little less pressure on the team for Friday’s game. Colgate (9-4-5, 5-2-2 Patriot League), who ranked one spot ahead of the Terriers coming in, had also clinched a postseason berth.
Yet, there was still something to play for between the two Patriot League opponents. Depending on the result of this game and other conference games this weekend, each team had the chance to finish anywhere from second to fifth in the standings.
“I don’t think there was any added pressure,” BU head coach Neil Roberts said of the matchup. “Colgate was in the same situation, so it was just a matter of coming out and playing well.”
The Raiders were also celebrating their senior night.
Colgate head coach Erik Ronning started a senior in every position, including goaltender Neeraj Mahey. Mahey had never appeared in a collegiate game and was removed to applause after a few minutes in net in favor for Brookline native Jacob Harris.
That would be the most groundbreaking thing to happen in the first half. The Raiders managed just four shots on goal while BU never put the ball on net.
Senior goalkeeper Mike Bernardi backed a Terrier team that never got things going on offense as Colgate maintained possession an overwhelming portion of the game, forcing the goalkeeper to make save after save to keep the score tied up in the first 45 minutes.
The one save Bernardi did not make turned out to be the deciding factor in the game.
In the 52nd minute, Raider forward Steven DeLeo whistled one past Bernardi, who managed to get a piece of the ball but could not deter it away from the net.
Still, Bernardi went on to make three more saves and kept the deficit at one for the rest of the game.
“Mike played well,” said Roberts. “The [defense] did OK, we were just very undisciplined.”
BU had just three chances in the second half.
In the 53th minute, the Terriers got the ball into the box but an offsides penalty took back the opportunity to score.
Later, in the 72nd and 81st minutes, the Terriers got two more shots but both sailed high or wide, respectively.
Colgate continued to maintain possession in their zone and get the occasional shot on net, ending the game with a total of eight. Fittingly, the Raiders dribbled the ball into the corner in the final seconds to run out the clock.
Additionally, BU did not help themselves in the penalty department: in all, the Terriers were booked for five yellow cards.
No goals were scored as a result, but Roberts noted that the momentum was swung in Colgate’s favor because of the fouls.
“Guys were getting yellow cards and we couldn’t keep them on the field because we needed them for the next game,” Roberts said. “It made [everything] very difficult … especially in the second half.”
Meanwhile, in West Point, New York, the United States Military Academy came back to beat American University 2-1 — who the Terriers beat 2-1 earlier this season — leaving the final playoff spot up for grabs in the final day of play.
In order to win against whoever BU faces as the fourth seed, Roberts said that the team has to stay focused.
“I think we know what we can do,” Roberts said. “We just have to be disciplined. We’re not going to be a big scoring team, but we can score goals when we make good decisions … Any good team has to be disciplined, which we weren’t today.”