By: Brady Gardner
BOSTON, MA – Making the trek down to Baltimore, the BU men’s soccer team (3-7-3 overall, 2-2-1 in PL) fell to Loyola, 3-1, in a Friday night Patriot League clash.
The match was a crucial one for both sides, who sat nearly level on points in the Patriot League table going into the fixture. The Terriers faced a tough test, taking on a side that led the conference in total goals, shots per game, shots on goal per game, and points per game at the time of kickoff on Friday.
From the first whistle, the Greyhounds were on the front foot immediately. Their first major threat came from point-blank range less than a minute into the contest, careening away from danger thanks to a crucial block. In the 15th minute, a low driven effort forced senior netminder Mike Bernardi into action, sprawling towards his right post just in time to make the save. Through half an hour, Loyola held a 7-2 advantage in total shots, and had six corner kicks in comparison to BU’s one.
While the Terriers managed to weather the storm for the majority of the first half, Loyola finally found their breakthrough in the 42nd minute. The initial effort was blocked, but the rebound fell to junior forward Josh Fawole, who tucked the ball away for the game’s first goal. The goal was an unfortunate one to concede for BU, who had been resilient against previous attacks of far better quality.
The Terriers would get their opportunity to equalize just two minutes later, as a penalty kick was called in their favor on the stroke of halftime. However, freshman Josh Siracuse, who has been red-hot as of late, had his effort turned away at the right post by sophomore goalkeeper Chase Vosvick. This was the final action of the first half, as the Terriers headed to the locker room trailing 1-0.
Coming out of the break, BU worked to gain control of play, but found little success. Loyola’s offensive onslaught continued, testing the Terrier defense with multiple corner kicks early in the second period of play. Still, the Scarlet and White defended as they had in the first half, using the “bend-don’t-break” approach that has served them well in recent weeks.
It wasn’t until the 82nd minute that the Greyhounds doubled their lead, once again off the foot of Fawole. On this occasion, the junior took advantage of a bit of miscommunication between Bernardi and his back line, executing a simple finish to put his side ahead 2-0. Less than a minute later, the lead would become three, as junior Nico Brown gathered a pass inside the box and fired home for his second goal of the season.
BU would eventually end Vosvick’s clean sheet in the 85th minute, as junior midfielder Mana Chavali converted with a beautiful strike from more than 25 yards out for his first goal of the season. Freshman standout Kari Petursson provided the assist, bumping him up to seven points on the season — tied for second on the team behind junior Satchel Cortet.
There would be no miraculous comeback on this night, however. The Greyhounds secured the victory, 3-1, for their first win at home of the season and a significant three points towards the conference standings.
With their Patriot League record falling to 2-2-1, the Terriers will have to refocus quickly as they prepare for a mid-week Boston rivalry matchup against Northeastern. The game will be played at Nickerson Field on Tuesday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m.