NCAA, Soccer, Sports

Men’s soccer clinches first postseason berth since 2018 with 2-0 win over Lehigh

Senior Gianluca Arlotti playing on Oct. 29 against Lehigh University. The Boston University men’s soccer team defeated Lehigh 2-0 on senior night. MOLLY POTTER/DFP STAFF

The Boston University men’s soccer team defeated Lehigh University 2-0 on Saturday night at Nickerson Field to secure their spot in the Patriot League playoffs for the first time since 2018. 

The Terriers (6-4-6, 4-1-3 Patriot League) started quickly with two goals in the first 12 minutes, both of which were off the foot of senior midfielder Quinn Matulis. Boston University did not look back. The Terriers went on to win their fourth consecutive Patriot League game while maintaining a clean sheet in that span. 

“Another clean sheet, another three points in conference … so hats off to our guys,” said BU head coach Kevin Nylen. “Overall, a good performance by the guys tonight.”

BU opened the scoring in the sixth minute after senior midfielder Colin Innes sent a header into the box. The ball was cleared off of BU’s sophomore midfielder Daniel Kim and fell to Matulis in front of goal. He slotted the ball away, giving the Terriers the early 1-0 lead.

BU added to their advantage just five minutes later in the 11th minute. Junior midfield Andrew Rent made a bursting run down the right flank and found Kim. Kim hit a shot off the post, and the ball found its way to Matulis in front of goal, who doubled the Terriers’ lead.

“(Quinn) put himself in some good spots tonight,” Nylen said. “He’s got a lot of liberty and independence and autonomy from our staff. I’m glad he plays with us.”

BU held the Mountain Hawks (3-9-3, 2-4-2 PL) to six shots on Saturday. However, Lehigh had a golden opportunity in the 76th minute when Lehigh’s senior forward Jack Sarkos was fouled inside the box. This gave Sarkos, who has the second-most goals in the conference, a penalty kick. BU senior goalkeeper Francesco Montali made a diving save to his left side to deny Sarkos, keeping the shutout intact. It would end up being BU’s eighth clean sheet of the season.

“I’m just glad that our guys have been really resilient and tough to break down,” said Nylen. “Every time you have another clean sheet it builds a little more confidence.”

Freshman defender Ryan Lau has been a mainstay in the Terriers’ steady defense this year, and he showed his worth again against Lehigh. Lau put in another 90-minute performance, contributing to the team’s clean sheet.

“Lau’s been really good. He’s come in, and he’s had a really good year,” said Nylen. “Calm, good in 1v1, can build, can attack … Ryan’s been a bright spot.”

With Saturday’s win, the Terriers are heading to the PL Tournament for the first time in four years. 

“I’m excited for the guys. This is something we’ve identified as a goal,” said Nylen. “I’m happy for the program. I’m happy for the guys because that’s an extension of their hard work and what we’ve done all season.”

Before PL Tournament play begins, the Terriers will travel to Worcester, Massachusetts on Nov. 2 to play the College of the Holy Cross in the regular season finale. 

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