By Akshai Wadhwani
LOWELL, MA – The Boston University men’s soccer team suffered its third consecutive loss of the season, this one coming against No. 14 University of Massachusetts Lowell on Friday. The River Hawks scored two goals within two minutes of each other to seal a 2-0 win in Lowell. The win is UML’s second-ever victory against BU; however the Terriers still lead the all-time series 4-2-0.
BU (0-3) continues to be both winless and goal-less this season while UMass Lowell stands at 2-0-0 after also edging out Central Connecticut State University 2-1 last week.
The River Hawks opened the scoring in the 11th minute, when Guilherme Rodrigues’s free kick from the left wing found forward Ivan Abramovic. The Croatian’s header from close range marked his first goal of the 2017-18 campaign after he was voted ECAC Rookie of the Year as a sophomore last season.
Less than 90 seconds later, UMass Lowell struck again. Dario Jovanovski’s aerial long ball found Rodrigues, this time on the right wing, creating a two-on-one. Rodrigues drew Terrier left back Elias Lampis away from his marker, then sent a low ball into the middle for a wide-open Richard Mulo to slot home.
UMass Lowell continued to dominate the first half and almost went three up in the 18th minute when Jovanovski charged through the right-center of the Terrier defense and into the penalty area. The River Hawk midfielder put a low, left-footed shot through BU right back Colin Chiakpo’s legs, past goalkeeper William Bönnelyche and just wide of the right hand post. The Terriers started to fight back late in the first half, but could not halve the deficit despite shots on target from Lampis and Jerry Ozor.
In the second half, the River Hawks continued to stifle BU’s offense. A notable chance for the Terriers did come in the 73rd minute, however; Toti Knuttson’s corner kick found center back Adam Sheikali, who brought the ball down to his feet and unleashed a close-range shot on Lowell goalkeeper Austin Kroll, who made a diving save to his right. In the end, the River Hawks preserved their lead and blanked the Terrier offense.
Unlike last week’s match against Boston College, BU struggled to create scoring chances on Friday, producing just seven shots with four on target. The Terriers’ defense did pick up after the two early goals, and eventually held UMass Lowell to nine shots with three on target. However, defensive cleanliness was once again a prominent issue; the Terriers committed 21 fouls, posting double-digit foul totals for the third straight match – 21 against BC, 16 against URI.
After putting in a great performance against BC last week, Lampis again played well, posting a shot on target for the Terriers. Defender Ben Valek added two shots of his own, while junior T.J. Butzke had another good match in midfield.
Next Up: The Terriers return to Nickerson Field, taking a break from conference play to host the Haitian Olympic men’s soccer team at the 11th annual Terrier Tailgate. The match will kick off on Sunday at 4 P.M. Gates will open at 3 P.M. for fans to enjoy food, festivities and free rally towels.