By Owen Gund
In a tale of two halves, the Boston University Terriers (0-3) came up short against an opportunistic UMass (2-0-1) squad. The Minutemen jumped out to a two-goal lead before surviving a late BU barrage to hang on for a 2-1 victory.
After the loss, BU head coach Kevin Nylen talked about the need for his team to execute their game plan for a full 90 minutes against a team like UMass.
“I thought the first ten minutes of the game we were good but then became too casual,” Nylen said. “We didn’t push what we had stressed was part of the game plan, and that got away from us. In the second half, I thought we were very good. We dominated in terms of possession and chances.”
“We were better in terms of how we wanted to implement our plan. That was the goal for the whole game, but it didn’t happen in the first half.”
UMass won the possession battle in the first half and made several quick short passes to move the ball up the field. The Minutemen had several dangerous scoring opportunities, and in the 31st minute, they were finally able to cash in on a tic-tac-toe play.
UMass attacker Yosuke Hanya struck a beautiful through ball between the last line of Terrier defenders. Alec Hughes raced behind the defenders and finessed the ball between the legs of BU goalkeeper Francesco Montali.
The Minutemen continued to pressure and hold the ball inside the Terrier half for the better portion for the opening stanza. They struck again late in the first half when Hanya ran for a loose ball behind the Terrier defense and got fouled by Montali. UMass was awarded a penalty kick, and they cashed in when sophomore midfielder Joe Leslie placed the ball right down the middle to fool a diving Montali.
From the start of the second half, the Terriers possessed the ball more and earned several quality scoring opportunities. BU had seven shots through the first 13 minutes of the second half. In the 58th-minute junior striker, Ronaldo Marshall got the Terriers on the board with a header off a beautiful feed from sophomore midfielder Eitan Rosen.
— BU Men's Soccer (@TerrierMSOC) September 4, 2021
Following Marshall’s goal, goalkeeper Marvyn Dorchin stole the show for UMass. His best save came against Marshall with just over 18 minutes left in the game. Marshall drove a low hard shot towards the bottom right corner, but Dorchin dove to his left to get a hand on the ball and push it wide. Dorchin’s poised play stymied BU’s second-half surge.
The Terriers failed to get the equalizer and dropped their third straight match. The team now heads up to North Andover, where they will face a Merrimack team that has also dropped their first three games.
Featured Image by Ryan Gregory.