Boston University senior midfielder Satchel Cortet’s goal from 35 yards out helped the BU men’s soccer team secure their third Patriot League conference victory, with the Terriers moving their way forward to a 1-0 double-overtime win over the nationally-ranked United States Naval Academy at Nickerson Field Saturday.
The Terriers (4-10-1, 3-4-0 Patriot League) controlled possession of the ball from the start. BU had some early scoring chances that put Navy (11-2-1, 4-2-1 Patriot League) on their heels for the entirety of the game. Senior forward Matt McDonnell had a shot in the fifth minute. Within 30 seconds, McDonnell’s teammate sophomore Kari Petursson narrowly missed the goal with a shot that bounced off the post.
BU head coach Neil Roberts commended his team for pressuring Navy from the first whistle and preventing them from gaining control of the game.
“We did a very good job of breaking up their rhythm, they didn’t really get into a flow,” Roberts said, “and I thought our guys did a great job of really pressuring in their end and in the middle of the park just to not let their midfield get on track at all.”
Despite the Midshipmen having the edge going into this game with their impressive record, the scoring opportunities on paper were even between the two teams. Both teams recorded 10 shots overall, including five on goal for BU and three on goal for Navy, despite Navy having eight corner kicks to BU’s three.
The first real chance for Navy came in the 19th minute when junior Toni Adewole crossed the ball into the box, passing every BU defender. He ultimately did not find a Navy player to put it in the goal and had three shots in his 106 minutes on the field.
Navy forward Jacob Williams, who leads the team in points (17), gave the Terrier defense some scares, including a near-goal in the 22nd minute, with an attack on the left side of the goal in which BU defender Griffin Roach was able to force Williams to only find the side of the net.
Another chance from Williams came in the 38th minute when the Navy attacker found a clear path to the goal with BU goalkeeper Michael Stone caught at the top of the penalty area. BU defender Nate Cole took on Williams and deflected a close shot with his leg in what would have most likely been a Navy goal. Williams showed visible frustration on the field with the Terriers’ effective defensive efforts.
BU freshman Marc Roura has exceeded all expectations with his consistent play this season and continued to be an asset to the Terriers on Saturday by being a key playmaker, Roberts said.
“That by far was [Roura’s] best game. We’re very impressed with his development and how well he’s doing for such a young kid,” Roberts said. “We really didn’t expect it from him this early and I mean, you know, all the credit goes to him. He listens, he works hard, he’s good on the ball, and obviously by far that was his best game. He really did a fantastic job for us.”
Roberts said he believes everyone on the field contributed in some way to the Terriers’ victory over a tough Navy team. Roberts said that he was already content with his team’s performance long before the two overtime periods.
“We did such a good job for 90 minutes of doing what we wanted to do for a total game against a very good team, so I was very happy with what I saw out there for the 90 minutes,” Roberts said. “Whether it ended in a draw or win or loss, no matter what, it wasn’t going to take away from the performance that the guys put out there.”
Roberts emphasized that it is important for his players to not get ahead of themselves and continue to prepare for what he believes is the “most talented team in the conference,” Loyola University Maryland. The Terriers still need three more points to qualify for the Patriot League conference tournament.
BU will face Loyola on Saturday, Nov. 2 at Nickerson Field.