The Boston University men’s soccer team faced a 2-1 defeat Wednesday night in a Patriot League regular season finale upset against the College of the Holy Cross. The Terriers (6-5-6, 4-2-3 PL) have clinched second place heading into the playoffs.
The Terriers forfeited to the Crusaders (5-9-4, 1-5-3 PL), who concluded their season with an unprecedented win for the bottom-ranked squad in the wake of a thrilling first half.
Holy Cross, hungry to win their first conference game, started on the right foot with an offensive push while BU waited to pounce on the counterattack in their defensive third. The Terriers weren’t left waiting for long.
One misstep by sophomore goalkeeper Josh Tubbs was all it took for the Terriers to secure their first goal in the 24th minute, set up by junior midfielder Andrew Rent who boasts a team high of five assists and slotted in eight yards out by sophomore forward Daniel Kim for his first goal of the season.
“I know he’s been itching to find the back of the net,” said head coach Kevin Nylen. “(I’m) really happy with his play and him coming in and fitting in with the group, and I think he’s got a lot of good skill set.”
But the celebrations were fleeting as Holy Cross eventually hit back with a technical, over-the-shoulder pass from freshman forward Ethan Gill to senior forward and midfielder Dylan Scanley with just under eight minutes remaining in the first half.
Just four minutes passed, and the Crusaders could not be stopped as sophomore midfielder Marcus Williams capitalized on a rebound of his first shot that senior goalkeeper Francesco Montali initially saved and deposited the ball home into the top corner.
The two-time Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week winner totaled six stops throughout the match, coming one short of his season-high set at Boston College.
In a bid to regain the lead heading into the second half, the Terriers transitioned to an offensive drive after a flurry of substitutions. Sophomore midfielder Brian Hernandez kept the momentum going with a fluke volley off the crossbar, only for the ball to get swept away by the Crusaders’ impenetrable defense.
“Finding the back of the net has been a little bit of a struggle this year, but we’ve always been able to create those chances and we did that again today,” senior midfielder Colin Innes said. “Soccer is a game of averages and I think eventually it’s going to average out and we’ll find the back of the net.”
BU will host an opponent to be determined in the quarterfinals on Saturday. With the game happening at Nickerson Field on Tuesday at 6 p.m., this marks the first time BU has hosted a Patriot League playoff game since 2018.
“All the guys, while they may be a little mad right now about the current result, that’s a lot of hard work that they put in over the year and so for the program … and for every guy in that locker room, I’m happy for them because that’s a testament to what they’ve done,” Nylen said. “For them to experience this, I’m pumped.”