The Boston University men’s soccer team traveled to the University of Massachusetts Amherst on Saturday looking to earn its first victory of the young season. However, a late goal sunk the Terriers as they dropped their third game in a row.
The Terriers (0-3) were unable to get a goal on the board for the third straight game as the Minutemen (3-0) struck in the 78th minute to hand BU its third straight 1-0 loss.
BU head coach Neil Roberts said the match as a whole was a step forward despite the score.
“This was a really large step forward,” Roberts said. “We dominated for large parts of the game.”
The match was slow-paced to begin with, as both sides took their time to feel the opposing defense out. This slow play led to both teams not putting many shots on goal in the first half.
The Terriers finished the half with one shot on goal while the Minutemen were unable to get a shot on net. The lone shot on goal for BU came on a header in the 32nd minute off the head of senior forward Matt McDonnell but it was saved by UMass goalkeeper Marvyn Dorchin.
Roberts preached possession earlier this week after his team allowed double-digit shots in back-to-back games and his team seems to have adjusted after holding UMass to no shots on goal and zero corners allowed in the first half.
Roberts said the goal given up in the second half was unfortunate but the defense improved on past performances.
“The goal they scored was just out of chaos, Mike [Stone] came out, didn’t get a clean punch on it, the ball was bouncing around, it was a shame,” Roberts said. “We handled it for most of the guard, but we let our guard down for a bit.
Coming out of the halftime break, the action picked up with five shots within the first ten minutes of the half.
Neither team was able to impose their will throughout the game until the 78th minute when the deciding goal was scored. UMass midfielder Nathaniel Cardoza finally broke the 0-0 deadlock in a chaotic sequence in which the ball bounced off the keeper in the middle of the box and Cardoza was able to cash in on the rebound to earn his first goal of the season.
The Terriers were able to make get one more offensive chance in the closing minutes, however these attempts came up empty. In the 89th minute BU pushed into the UMass penalty box and registered two shots, a header by junior Elias Lampis that went wide left, but stayed in play and then another headed ball by McDonnell that was on target but saved by Dorchin. The two shots were then followed by a corner, but that too came up empty.
BU finished the game with ten shots, two on goal, and the Minutemen were held to just two shots on goal and earned seven corners to Umass’s two.
With the loss, the Terriers fall to 0-3 on the season after three straight 1-0 losses. BU will return to Nickerson Field on Tuesday, Sept. 7 to continue out-of-conference play against Merrimack College.
Roberts said the team will be fine, they just need to keep working hard.
“We did a lot of things well, and we can still get better,” Roberts said. “We just need to hang in there and create a little more opportunities.”