Soccer, Sports

BU kicks off conference play in home bout

The Boston University men’s soccer team opens conference play tomorrow when it hosts the University at Albany. The Great Danes take a three-game winning streak onto Nickerson Field, while the Terriers are coming off a 5-1 throttling of Harvard University Tuesday night.
As has been the case in most of BU’s home games this year, there should be plenty of offense tomorrow. The Terriers (3-4-2) are averaging three goals per game at Nickerson and have scored four or more goals in three of their last four home contests.
Albany (6-2-0) leads America East with 2.50 goals per game but also ranks last with a 1.38 goals-against average. Junior forward Claudio Dantas is second in the conference in points (16) and tied with Terrier junior forward Shaun Taylor for second in goals (6).
Albany sophomore Shaun Kane is tied for fourth in the conference with 12 points and recorded the Great Danes’ first hat trick since 2002 in a 3-0 win over Siena College on Sept. 21. Taylor is no stranger to snapping hat trick slumps himself, as his trifecta on Sept. 20 was BU’s first since 2001.
The Great Danes also boast three of the conference’s top six assist leaders. Senior midfielder Gaby Seguin-Gauthier is tied for the conference lead with five, while sophomore midfielder Ian Peach and Dantas are tied for third with BU sophomore midfielder Aaron O’Neal (4).
BU’s defense will have to play the way it did from Sept. 4-17, when the corps of senior goalie Hrafn Davidsson and backs senior Dan Schultz, sophomore Matt Shea and freshman Colin Henry allowed just one goal in four games. Since then, the Terriers have given up four goals in three games and have reverted to making some of the same careless mistakes they made in their first two games of the season.
For instance, against Colgate University, the Terriers allowed a goal with two seconds left in the first half when they tried to make a short pass at the top of their own box instead of clearing it down field.
Meanwhile, the defense allowed Northeastern University to register eight shots on goal, forcing Davidsson to make a career-high seven saves. Against Harvard, the team gave up a goal on a 40-yard free kick, handing out seven corner kicks that did not cost them thanks to the Crimson’s inability to get them into the box.
Luckily for BU, the offense was able to mask those mistakes in the Colgate and Harvard games by scoring four and five goals, respectively. Taylor has led the way with five goals in the last three games, while freshman midfielder Michael Bustamante has recorded a goal and three assists in that stretch.
Freshman forward Stephen Knox has recorded a goal and an assist in three games since cracking the starting lineup. O’Neal, the defending America East Rookie of the Year, moved back to the midfield to accommodate Knox.
‘Knox gives us a little extra pop,’ O’Neal said Tuesday. ‘He’s a little quicker and he gets in and out of players. We need someone like that to complement Shaun [Taylor].’
A key development Tuesday was junior midfielder Samuel Appiah’s first goal – and points – of the season. After finishing fourth on the team in points last season, Appiah got off to a slow start this year despite leading the team in shots.
‘Sammy’s a key to our offense,’ BU coach Neil Roberts said Tuesday. ‘If Sammy’s not playing well, then we’re not going to be playing well. It doesn’t have to be scoring goals, but he has to be getting the ball to people. He’s going to get his shots, so he has to at least get them on goal.’

One Comment

  1. omg matt shea is gorgeous!!! I WANT HIM!