By: Dave Souza
With just two games remaining in the regular season for the Boston University Men’s Soccer team, the Terriers begin their final push for the playoffs as two points separate them from the Patriot League’s final playoff spot. On Saturday night BU (6-6-2, 2-3-2 PL) will look to stay in the hunt when they take on Army West Point at Nickerson Field.
With the Black Knights (8-5-2, 4-2-1 PL) tied with the Colgate Raiders for third place, this game becomes one of vital importance for the Terriers and one of redemption for Army – who were eliminated in the Patriot League semifinals by BU back in 2014. With six players left over from that loss at Nickerson Field, the Black Knights will be looking to return the favor and help end the Terriers’ season on the same field where their run ended two years ago.
However, it will be an unfamiliar face that will be leading the way for Army tomorrow night. Freshman Rex Epps has notched nine goals in 13 games this season, leading the way for the Black Knights with 18 points.
Nipping at Epps’ heels is senior Nick Williams, who came off the bench before recording three shots back in the 2014 contest. As a sophomore that season, Williams recorded just four points on two goals while taking 10 shots on net all season. This year, Williams has been one of the most productive members of the Black Knights. Playing in one fewer game this year than in 2014, Williams has tripled his point production – totaling 12 on five goals and two assists. His 38 shots on goal are second on the team to only Epps.
Freshman goalkeeper Justin Stoll has had the lion’s share of starts in net for the Black Knights, playing in 11 contests in his rookie campaign. During that stretch Stoll has compiled a 0.86 goals-against average while his save percentage sits at .833.
However, the Terriers sport two offensive juggernauts in Anthony Viteri and Felix De Bona. Coming off of a game in which he netted the game winner over Holy Cross, Viteri currently owns 14 points for BU on six goals and a pair of assists. The St. John’s transfer has already tied his production from last season and looks to build on it as the Terriers look to qualify for the post-season.
A year removed from leading BU with nine goals and 20 points, De Bona has picked up where he left off as he again leads the Terriers in both categories. The most recent of his eight goals also came against Holy Cross as De Bona added an insurance goal to give the Terriers a 2-0 win over the Crusaders. This season De Bona has been flourishing with the likes of freshman Jerry Ozor and sophomore Magnus Benedkitsson on the wings.
In goal will be the always-reliable Matt Gilbert, who looks to build off of his league-leading 67 saves. And with trusted defender David Asbjornsson – who is one of six Terriers to be honored at Saturday’s senior night – anchoring the back line, the Terriers will hope to keep a lethal West Point offense at bay.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at BU’s Nickerson Field. Catch all the action on the Patriot League Network.