The Boston University men’s soccer team played its final match of the regular season Friday night at Nickerson Field against defending 2016 Patriot League champion Colgate University. A win would have given the Terriers (7-8-3, 6-2-1 Patriot League) the No. 1 seed heading into the upcoming Patriot League Tournament. However, BU fell to the Raiders (7-10-1, 4-4-1 Patriot League) 4-0.
Throughout the game, the Terriers struggled to create many opportunities as their opponent put forth continuous pressure.
BU head coach Neil Roberts credited this to the fact that Colgate came out strong and with more of a desire to win than the Terriers.
“Colgate had a lot on the line, they came out and they played like it,” Roberts said. “They were very aggressive, more so than us. They got to everything.”
BU’s back line didn’t seem as sharp as it had been in recent games. In the fourth minute, the Terrier defense failed to clear a loose ball, allowing Colgate defender Christian Clarke to send a shot past sophomore goalkeeper Michael Bernardi.
The Raiders continued to control the match for the remainder of the half, as the Terriers’ first shot finally came in the 21st minute from junior back Josh Barkoff.
Colgate scored twice more in the first stanza, with both goals coming just one minute and nine seconds after each other. The first was a shot from forward Steven DeLeo and the second came from forward Freddy Jonsson after another failed clear by the Terriers.
DeLeo’s goal was assisted by Patriot League Midfielder of the Week senior Jared Stroud. This marked his ninth assist of the season. Stroud is now in sole possession of Colgate’s single season and career assist records.
BU began to create more offensive chances as the game went on.
In the 33rd minute, BU’s senior back Adam Sheikali took a shot from outside the 18-yard box that got through the defense, but sophomore goalkeeper Jacob Harris made a lunging save to preserve the shutout.
Harris was forced to make another save when senior midfielder David Amirani sent a header in his direction. This was Amirani’s first game back after suffering an injury earlier in the season against Princeton University.
Roberts said they will take things “day-to-day” to assess if Amirani will play in the upcoming Patriot League tournament.
“It was more of a fitness thing for him,” Roberts said. “He seemed to run okay. It’s just a matter of how fit we can get him and if he can be somebody useful going down the stretch. We’ll [see] how he responds and we’ll go from there.”
The second half opened with BU trying to put more pressure on the Raiders. However, Colgate defender Aram Ouligian scored in the 48th minute for his seventh goal of the season.
Ouligian recently received honorable mention for the league’s Defensive Player of the Week, and this was the fourth consecutive game in which he scored a goal.
The Terriers began to push the ball onto the offensive side of the field and managed to outshoot the Raiders 9-5 in the second stanza, including a shot by freshman midfielder Peter Kargbo that had to be corralled by Harris.
The 4-0 loss was the second consecutive time BU was shutout, after a 0-0 draw against Bucknell University last weekend. The team hadn’t been shut out in back-to-back games since their five-game goal-less streak to open the season.
With Loyola University Maryland’s win against Lafayette College on Saturday, the Terriers are now the No. 2 seed heading into the Patriot League Tournament and will wait to see who they face off against next Friday in the semifinal round.
Roberts said he hopes the week off will do the team well, and that his players will be able to regroup after the tough loss.
“We have no choice,” Roberts said. “We have a few days to get ready so we have to take advantage of it and get back and clean up some stuff and start again.”