By: Akshai Wadhwani November 2, 2017
BOSTON — The Boston University men’s soccer team will have plenty to play for when they host Colgate at Nickerson Field in Friday’s regular season finale.
The Terriers (7-7-3, 6-1-1 PL) are currently sitting on 19 points in the Patriot League standings, placing them at the top of the conference table. BU stands one point clear of second place Loyola Maryland and three points clear of third place Lehigh.
Their league leadership, however, in no way guarantees them safety. With a loss to Colgate, BU would risk losing the No. 1 seed to Loyola; a draw or a win would be enough for the Greyhounds to snatch the prize as they upended the Terriers, 2-1, in the only head-to-head matchup between the teams this season.
A draw will also be a risky outcome for BU, seeing as a Loyola win would still vault the Greyhounds into first.
Potential dangers aside, the Terriers will come into Friday’s fixture with no shortage of offensive productivity. They have scored 14 goals in eight Patriot League matches this season, an average of 1.75 goals per game. Over the season as a whole, BU has outshot opponents 180-163 — including 15 in their scoreless tie with Bucknell last weekend — while averaging 10.6 shots per game.
Freshman Toti Knutsson leads the Terriers with three goals and five assists, followed by sophomore Matt McDonnell with four goals and one assist. Other notable individuals are T.J. Butzke (5 assists), Austin D’Anna (3 goals) and goalkeeper Michael Bernardi (31 saves, 6 shutouts).
Colgate (6-10-1, 3-4-1 PL) will enter the match in L-W-L-L-W form. Most recently, they returned home for a 2-1 victory over Navy after back-to-back losses on the road. The Raiders also hold an advantage over their opponents in shots, at 233-196; in Patriot League play, they have been shut out just once, and have scored multiple goals in six of their eight conferences fixtures.
However, defensively, the visitors have struggled. They are allowing 1.76 goals per match and a SOG percentage of almost 0.500 to opponents. Additionally, the Raiders have not posted a shutout in almost a month. BU should see those defensive shortcomings as an opportunity to finish out the season in style, with high offensive numbers on the board.
A win for the Terriers will earn them both the title of regular season champions and a first-round bye going into the conference playoffs. A draw or loss will put both of those accolades in jeopardy.
Kickoff from Nickerson Field will be Friday at 5 P.M.