By: Brady Gardner
The Boston University men’s soccer team (1-4-2) made their return to Boston on Wednesday night at Harvard’s Jordan Field, but fell to the Crimson (2-5-0) in overtime by a score of 2-1.
There was no question the match meant more than just three points to these two Allston rivals, who engaged in a battle that included fifteen fouls and two yellow cards for the Terriers, compared to Harvard’s fourteen infractions and a single caution.
Despite Harvard threatening with a pair of early set piece opportunities, it was BU who opened the scoring in the 36th minute when sophomore Austin D’Anna connected from short range to secure his first goal of the season.
The goal was engineered by junior Satchel Cortet, who gained possession, penetrated Harvard’s backline, and forced a save from Harvard’s Matt Freese, providing the rebound that was finished off by D’Anna.
This would be the only tally of the night for BU, which remained without leading scorer Matt McDonnell who missed second straight game missed due to injury. D’Anna and senior Josh Barkoff led the Terriers with two shots apiece, but their efforts were not enough to break down the steady Freese more than once.
Coming out of the half, Harvard began to gain control of the game, challenging Terrier netminder Mike Bernardi with dangerous crosses and free kick attempts. The senior remained flawless through 79 minutes, but his clean sheet bid came to an end as Harvard knotted up the score with 11 minutes to play. The equalizer came on a low cross by senior Nate Devine that was tucked away by senior Cesar Farias for his second goal of the season.
Sensing blood in the water, the Crimson managed two more quality chances, one on a free kick that narrowly missed the target, and another on a corner kick that was dealt with by the BU defense. The Terriers had survived two halves, but it did not take very long in the extra period for Harvard to come up with a winner.
In just the third minute of overtime, sophomore Paolo Belloni-Urso forced a turnover, sparking the counterattack and sending a driven cross to junior Taner Dogan. Dogan fired away from just inside the penalty area, finding the bottom corner after a convenient deflection off the post.
The loss was heartbreak for the Terriers, who remain winless in their last three matches.
While a loss to a Crimson side that currently sits towards the bottom of the Ivy League will not be what coach Neil Roberts had in mind, his squad will need to have a short-term memory as they prepare for a pivotal matchup against American University on Saturday.
The Terriers have been attempting to fend off the Eagles in the Patriot League table, but BU’s recent string of negative results has brought the squads level in the division standings.
This crucial fixture will be played at Nickerson Field at 1pm on Saturday, September 22.