By: Brady Gardner
BOSTON, MA – On a brisk fall evening at Nickerson Field, the BU men’s soccer team faced off against Boston rival Northeastern, but were defeated by the visitors, 2-0.
In their last nonconference matchup of the season, the BU XI featured a plethora of young Terriers, including sophomore George Abunaw up top, freshman Chris Espinoza filling in at right back, and sophomore William Bonnelyche between the sticks. Despite the relative lack of collegiate experience among the starting squad, the Terriers looked strong as a unit in the first half hour, putting together a mix of well-worked possession and solid defense.
Despite BU’s impressive start, Northeastern broke the deadlock in the 36th minute through sophomore Dan Munch. The goal came from short range, as Munch pounced on a bouncing ball just outside the six-yard box and tucked it away for the game’s first goal. Neither team would threaten in the final ten minutes of the opening half, and the game hit its midpoint with the Huskies leading, 1-0.
Coming out of the break, Northeastern quickly doubled their lead in the 47th minute through the foot of Dom Galletti — his first goal of the season. Galletti’s counterattacking run was spotted by freshman Tyler Welch, who sent in a perfectly weighted pass to put the sophomore in one-on-one with Bonnelyche. Galletti did the rest, making BU’s hill to climb that much taller.
BU held the majority of possession for the remainder of the game, but the Northeastern defense handled every wave with confidence, denying each attack that came their way. The most dangerous chance for the Terriers came in the 64th minute, as junior midfielder Jasper Verplanke came soaring into the box but ultimately had his attempt denied by freshman goalkeeper Chandler Cree.
The game finished 2-0 in favor of the Huskies, their first win away from home on the season. While the loss was disappointing for the hosts, it was certainly a beneficial opportunity for the fourteen underclassmen who featured in the match for BU; they gained essential experience in a hard-fought rivalry game.
The Terriers will conclude their season with four crucial Patriot League fixtures, beginning with a trip down to Maryland to take on Navy at 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 20.