By: Akshai Wadhwani October 27, 2017
BOSTON — Currently enjoying joint league leadership with Loyola Maryland, the Boston University men’s soccer team will look to maintain that position when they take on Bucknell Saturday afternoon.
BU (7-7-2, 6-1 PL) is sitting at 18 points in the Patriot League, level with Loyola and five points clear of the next nearest challenger. The Terriers have produced back-to-back wins against Navy and Army in their most recent fixtures. They have the second-most goals (14) and assists (15) in conference play, as well as the fewest goals allowed (3).
Points leaders for BU are Toti Knutsson (3 goals, 4 assists), Matt McDonnell (4 goals, 1 assist, 27 shots) and Austin D’Anna (3 goals, 9 shots); Knutsson and McDonnell have been particularly instrumental, as either one or both of them have contributed points in each of the Terriers’ last nine matches. BU has also demonstrated impressive depth between the sticks, with all three of its goalkeepers — Michael Bernardi, William Bönnelyche, and Bjorn Kammholz — recording starts this season.
Bucknell (6-7-3, 4-3 PL) has recently recovered from a four-match winless streak with two straight victories; most recently, the Bison defeated interstate rival Lehigh, 2-1. They have received consistent offensive production from Matt Thorhseim (5 goals, 4 assists, 32 shots), along with Nick King (4 goals, 2 assists) and Ben Derleth (2 goals, 3 assists).
As a team, Bucknell is averaging 11.8 shots and just over five corner kicks per match. The Bison are also being outshot by their opponents 212-189. To the Terriers’ advantage, the Bison have only won one of their nine road games this season, and have yet to post a shutout on the road. However, Bucknell has only allowed seven goals in Patriot League play — good for joint third-best in the conference.
Having already clinched a playoff berth, the Terriers’ aim now is the first seed and hosting rights in the Patriot League Tournament. A win in Saturday’s matchup will be a step in the right direction, and will ramp up the pressure on Loyola. Kickoff from Emmitt Field in Lewisburg, PA will be at 1 p.m.