Boston University men’s soccer ended its three-game Ivy League road trip with a 2-1 loss against Harvard University Wednesday, following a fall of 0-1 against Princeton University and a 2-2 tie against Dartmouth College.
The Terriers (1-4-2) will return to Nickerson Field Saturday after a 0-2-1 stint away from home.
Despite missing its top point producers in junior forward Matt McDonnell for both games and sophomore midfielder Toti Knutsson until halfway through the Harvard (2-5) match, BU head coach Neil Roberts said the team should have been able to recover.
“We didn’t deal with [the missing players] well,” Roberts said after the match against Princeton (4-3). “It was disappointing.”
With five games on the season, McDonnell remains the team’s leading scorer with six goals, including a hat trick against Boston College.
For most of the first half against Harvard, the two teams were evenly matched with the Terriers outpacing the Crimson by only one shot — that was until junior midfielder Satchel Cortet made a run in the 36th minute.
His shot was saved by Harvard goalkeeper Matt Freese, but a rebound found the foot of sophomore forward Austin D’Anna.
With Freese on the ground after the save, D’Anna punched one past the Harvard defense to give the Terriers a 1-0 lead.
It was the Florida native’s first goal of the season.
In the 28th minute, Toti Knutsson was sent into the game after missing the previous Princeton game with an injury.
The field began to tip in Harvard’s direction after the half, outshooting BU 6-3.
Senior goalkeeper Mike Bernardi, who started every game this series, made two saves in the half.
But the Crimson would not go quietly into the cool Boston night. In the 79th minute, senior forward Nate Devine found fellow forward Cesar Farias Jr. on a cross for the equalizer.
Both teams recorded shots before the end of regulation, but ultimately the game would head to overtime.
Less than three minutes into the extra period, Harvard midfielder Taner Dogan’s shot bounced in off the crossbar.
Earlier in the season, Roberts expressed that the team has the talent to produce more offensively.
“I think that we’re going to score goals and get chances,” Roberts said. “We have more people than just McDonnell.”
The match ended with the team’s having equal shots on goal, an improvement on BU’s game against Princeton where the Tigers dominated 22–4 in shot production, with 15 shots going on-goal.
This forced Bernardi to make 14 saves on the night, more than doubling his previous career-high of six stops during a 2017 game against American University.
The 14 saves are the first in the Patriot League in seven years and led the NCAA.
Bernardi made two starts previously in the season, including most recently against Dartmouth (0-4-2), and saved a combined total of eight shots.
Tiger goalkeeper Jacob Schachner made a total of two saves on the night.
Princeton came out of the kickoff strong, getting in two shots in the opening five minutes.
The Tigers kept up the offensive pressure through the first half, and in the 61st minute, senior forward Jeremy Colvin converted Princeton’s sixth shot of the half into the match’s lone goal.
Colvin also scored against BU when the two teams last faced off in the 2017 season, a 1-1 tie.
The 2017 goal came in the second minute of the game, quickly solving then-freshman goalkeeper William Bonnelyche.
The game proved a tense game, resulting in a combined 29 fouls and five yellow cards for BU.
The Terriers have three days to regroup before starting conference play against American (1-3-2) on Nickerson Field Saturday.
“[Bernardi] did well, but we asked him to do more than he should have had to,” Roberts said. “We didn’t play as well in front of him, but he kept us in the game.”