The Boston University Men’s Soccer team has been reeling, dropping two of their last three contests after starting the season perfect at Nickerson Field. BU’s last win came against Brown on September 20, since then the Terriers (3-4-1, 0-1-1 PL) have tied Patriot League rival Bucknell while dropping consecutive contests against Harvard and American respectively. With conference foe Colgate University slated to take the field against the Terriers tomorrow, BU can reverse its losing trend with a win over the Raiders (6-3-0, 1-1-0 PL).
“We’ve got to get more physical, and figure out what works for us,” said head coach Neil Roberts. “And physical doesn’t mean commit fouls, it just means pressuring and winning individual tackles and battles.”
Much like last season, two men have been the driving force for the Terrier offense: Anthony Viteri and Felix De Bona. In 2015, Viteri struck for 16 points in his first season as a Terrier. Compiling six goals and two assists, the St. John’s transfer was named to the Patriot League All-Conference First Team. This year, Viteri is rapidly approaching his total from last year, as the Flushing, N.Y. native has already posted 11 points in six games.
Conversely, De Bona has been having a frustrating time finding the back of the net. While the senior striker is tied for second on the team with Magnus Benediktsson with six points, De Bona has seen a number of chances not bounce the right way thus far in 2016. Last year, De Bona notched a team-high nine goals while also netting two assists.
“[De Bona and Viteri] played together all summer,” said Roberts. “They played with the [New England Revolution] all summer, and I think they’re starting to learn each other.”
In net for the Terriers – as he has been since the start of the 2015 season – will be senior captain Matt Gilbert. The reigning Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year has recorded 42 saves this season, including 28 in the past three games. Allowing 12 goals thus far, Gilbert is currently boasting a 1.48 goals-against-average along with his 0.778 save percentage.
Opposing the Terriers will be a Colgate team that is also reeling from a recent shutout loss to American. The Raiders fell to the Eagles on Saturday September 24, though did steady themselves with a 1-0 blanking of Lehigh this past weekend. In every game this season, the Raiders have either shut out a team or have been shut out themselves.
Leading the way for Colgate has been senior forward Ethan Kutler. The Lansing, N.Y. native leads the Raiders in scoring with six points – all of which came on his team-leading three goals.
A defense oriented team, the Raiders have allowed one goal per game this season, while holding opponents to an average of 8.8 shots per game. Spearheading that stout defense is goalkeeper Ricky Brown. A six-foot senior, Brown has made 23 saves on 32 shots this season while posting five shutouts.
Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at Nickerson Field. Catch all the action on the Patriot League Network.