By Akshai Wadhwani October 4, 2017
BOSTON — Things are going just fine for the Boston University men’s soccer team.
On Wednesday evening, the Terriers recorded their third straight Patriot League victory of the season with a 3-0 win over Holy Cross. The result makes BU the only team left in the conference – a league with giants like Lehigh, Navy and Bucknell – with a perfect 3-0-0 league record, and a 4-6-1 record overall.
The scoring started in the 13th minute when BU earned a penalty for the third-consecutive match, and, like the two before it, the spot kick was successfully converted. This time the scorer was sophomore forward Matt McDonnell, who slotted a shot into the top right corner for his second goal of the season.
BU wasted no time doubling their lead, striking again just nine minutes later. Mana Chavali’s shot from the center of the box was deflected straight up into the air, before an arriving Satchel Cortet connected on a header, sending it between two Crusader defenders and into the back of the net.
The Terriers had four more shot attempts in the second half before midfielder Jerry Ozor put the icing on the cake in the 78th minute, unleashing a shot from just outside the 18-yard box, nestling it in the top corner for his first career goal as a Terrier. Junior T.J. Butzke notched his first assist of the season on the play.
At a comfortable 3-0 lead, BU was able to coast the rest of the game for the shutout and earn a point in the Turnpike Trophy series. The Terriers allowed Holy Cross just seven shots, with the only effort on target being a second half bicycle kick attempt which slid comfortably into the arms of keeper Michael Bernardi. They even improved in the foul – a truly rare occurrence – committing just 14 over the course of the match. The impressive effort earned senior co-captain and backline leader Adam Sheikali the Turnpike MVP award.
Head coach Neil Roberts commented after the match on the standout defensive performance. “Defensively, we’re getting much better,” he said. “We’ve been making fewer mistakes [in recent games], and really doing a good job.”
“Everybody was working hard and getting stuck in for second balls,” Sheikali added. “We knew that if we were calm, shut down their attack, and then got another goal [in the second half] like we did, we would be able to cruise until the end.”
BU fans should be breathing again after what can only be described as an abysmal start to the season. The Terriers lost each of their opening five fixtures without once scoring a goal; they have now won four of their last six matches, scoring 10 goals in the process. Recovery seems to be in full tilt, though Coach Roberts won’t say his team has turned a corner, commenting instead that the Terriers are simply headed in the right direction.
Next Up: The Terriers will take the road to face Lafayette in Easton on Saturday afternoon. Kickoff is set for 1 P.M.