By: Dave Souza
After struggling to earn a victory for the majority of October, the Boston University Men’s Soccer Team finally returned to their winning ways on Saturday by defeating the Lafayette Leopards 1-0 at Nickerson Field.
The win is the first for BU (4-5-2, 1-2-2 PL) in the Patriot League this season, as they recently came off of a stretch of three straight conference games where they went an underwhelming 0-2-1. However, with the win, the Terriers appeared to have righted the ship in preparation for Tuesday night’s game against Dartmouth College.
The shutout win was the third of the season for goalkeeper Matt Gilbert, who turned in nine saves in the contest. The senior captain’s shining moment came in the first half as Gilbert squared off with Lafayette’s top scorer, Evan Vare, in the 27th minute.
After Vare was tripped by David Asbjornsson in the BU box, the freshman forward was awarded a penalty kick with a chance to tie the score for the Leopards. However, Gilbert rose to the occasion and challenged Vare on the shot, charging forward and diving to his right to stop the strike and maintain the BU lead.
Gilbert would stifle Vare again in the waning moments of the game as the keeper blocked a rocket of a shot with both hands in the 86th minute. The play began as Vare caught a pass with his chest before moving down field and rifling a shot that Gilbert was able to turn aside for his last save of the contest.
The lone goal of the game came in the early part of the first half when senior striker Felix De Bona notched his third goal in two games. After taking a stretch pass from junior midfielder David Amirani, De Bona stayed a step in front of Lafayette keeper Brad Seeber before pivoting and ripping a shot in from the lower left side of the box.
A Lafayette defender attempted to clear De Bona’s shot out of the mouth of the goal, but was unsuccessful as the strike ricocheted off of his foot and into the left side of the net. The goal moved De Bona into a tie with Anthony Viteri for the team lead in points with 12.
The Terriers threatened to double their lead in the opening minutes of the second half when Viteri headed a shot just wide of the net in the 47th minute.
There was a scary moment in this one as Viteri dropped to the ground away from the play with an apparent head injury. The junior was helped to his feet and walked gingerly off the field and straight to the locker room area.
With the victory, BU sees its five-game winless streak come to an end, one that dated back to mid-September with the Terriers defeat of Brown University.
The scarlet and white will now look to improve to 2-2 on the season against Ivy League opponents when the take on the Dartmouth Big Green on Tuesday night. Kickoff gets underway at Nickerson Field at 7 p.m. as BU looks to win two in a row for the first time since September 13.