Men’s Soccer: Terriers Lose Third Straight, Fall to Colgate

By: Dave Souza

BOSTON — After heavily criticizing his squad after a 2-0 blanking at the hands of American on Saturday, Boston University Men’s Soccer head coach Neil Roberts felt that his team responded well in their play against Colgate on Wednesday night, but that they still had more to remedy.

“We played well,” said Roberts. “I thought we came out, played really well, controlled the game, but we gave up goals at bad times and [they were] soft goals. We made mistakes and teams are capitalizing on them.”

Despite dictating the pace of play early on in the game, the Terriers (3-4-1, 0-2-1 PL) were unable to rally from an early second half goal by Colgate as they fell to the Raiders 2-1.

The deciding goal came in the 62nd minute of the contest when senior forward Zach Pagani dribbled through three BU defenders on the far side of the box before ripping a shot past Gilbert. The goal was Pagani’s second of the game – and his second of the season – and proved to be the deciding goal as the Colgate defense locked down in the second half and kept the Terriers at bay.

BU almost evened the score a minute later when freshman Matt McDonnell ripped a point blank shot in front of the Colgate net, but goalkeeper Ricky Brown was there to make the tough save.

McDonnell cashed in on an opportunity in the first half, evening the score for BU after they went down 1-0. The play began in the 38th minute when midfielder Adam Wright broke down the far side of the field, chugging deep into Colgate territory. Seeing a streaking McDonnell run towards the net, Wright lifted a cross that was placed perfectly for McDonnell to reach up and head in just under the crossbar. The tally was the third of McDonnell’s young career on Comm. Ave and it pulled the Terriers even after they trailed early.

“[The young guys] are doing a good job,” said Roberts. “We’ve just got to make our breaks. It’s up to us, and it’s by scoring goals.”

On Saturday’s loss to American, Coach Roberts expressed his displeasure with the play of his midfield, telling how they lost every battle in the middle of the pitch. After Wednesday night’s contest, Roberts’ tune changed as the 32-year head coach expressed pride in the play of the unit.

“I thought the played well today, I thought Ben [Valek] played well, I thought David [Amirani] played well,” said Roberts. “Once we started chasing the game we got tired and that’s what happens, the guys lost their legs.”

Colgate opened the scoring in the 26th minute with a fortunate goal off the foot of Pagini. As forward Freddy Jonsson dribbled down the close side of the pitch, Pagini broke to the far post of the BU net. Jonsson then sent a cross intended for a different Raider in prime location for a goal, but the cross was too far ahead to be possessed. As Gilbert lunged for the ball, it skittered past him to the feet of a sliding Pagini, who pushed the ball into the back of the goal for a 1-0 Colgate lead.

The loss is the third in a row for the scarlet and white, who have yet to win a game in just over two weeks. Their last victory came against Brown University on September 20.

“We cant feel sorry for ourselves, we’ve got to go on the road and get points,” said Roberts about the Terriers’ upcoming match with Loyola Maryland. “We know that if we get our act together that we can be a good team. . . .I think if we play like today, and clean up some of our mistakes that we can go get points.”

The Terriers will attempt to get their first Patriot League win of the season when they travel to Loyola to take on the Greyhounds. Kickoff starts at 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 8. Catch all the action on the Patriot League Network.

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