By Akshai Wadhwani
BOSTON, MA – History repeated itself for BU on Friday evening, as they were held goalless by Rhode Island for the second year running in a 2-0 defeat at Nickerson Field.
Ludvik Benco got the Rams off and running early in the match after firing a shot across Terrier goalkeeper Michael Bernardi inside the left-hand post. Simon Trcka added an insurance goal for the visitors in the 83rd minute, dribbling through two BU defenders to get clear before nutmegging Bernardi from eight yards out.
The Terriers have now lost their season opener for the third year running. The Rams also beat them last year, by a 3-0 scoreline, in Kingston.
BU did not starve for opportunities to score.
Mana Chavali nearly gave them the perfect response to Rhode Island’s opening goal when he looped a one-time shot just over the crossbar in the 27th minute. David Riccio came even closer when he rattled the woodwork in the second half, and Austin D’Anna and Satchel Cortet forced back-to-back saves from Ram goalie Roger Penske in the 66th minute. The latter went on to deny D’Anna again with a minute left in the match.
Offensive statistics finished quite even, with the Terriers notching eight shots to Rhode Island’s nine and two corner kicks to Rhode Island’s three. Bernardi made four saves to keep the scoreline sane, but his efforts proved hapless in the end.
Freshmen Gent Celaj, Evan Morrison, and John Siracuse all made their debuts off the bench for BU; last season’s breakout star Toti Knutsson also made a substitute appearance.
The 2-0 defeat is not quite lospided enough to bring back reminiscing of 2017’s goalless, 0-5 start to the season. However, it is still a step in the wrong direction, and the Terriers will look to reduce the result to nothing more than an early slipup when they take on Boston College on Monday.
Next Up: The Terriers are off to nearby Chestnut Hill for a nonconference matchup with the Eagles. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m.