Men’s Soccer: Harvard holds out for win vs. Terriers in cross-river rivalry

By Cameron Meyer

Boston University (1-8-1) took on its rival across the Charles River at Harvard University (4-3-2) on Tuesday, looking to break a three-game losing streak and find a solution to its scoring troubles. The former ended in disappointment, as the Crimson held on to a 2-1 victory.

The Terriers could find some solace in their attacking performance, however, which looked lively throughout the match.

Scoring a single goal alone was an improvement for the Terriers, who haven’t done so in three consecutive games. With 13 shots on target and a handful of good scoring opportunities, the Terriers showed great improvement in the final third even with a rotated squad. 

“Tonight we showed some good fight,” said BU head coach Kevin Nylen. “We got to play a lot of guys, and although it wasn’t the result we wanted, sure proud of the guys for battling for the entire 90 minutes tonight.

“We’re onto American now.”

The Terriers started the match on the back foot, going down to a goal within four minutes. The Crimson found acres of space behind the Terriers’ left defensive flank and played in a cross for forward Martin Vician for an easy finish. 

The Crimson dominated play for the better part of the first half with Vician and forward Alessandro Arlotti wreaking havoc on the Terrier’s rotated backline. The Terriers were able to find space on the counter with midfielder Andrew Rent getting himself in dangerous positions.

Eventually, one of the counterattacks proved fruitful as Rent was able to get a handle on a deflection and slam a volley into the side-netting in the 14th minute. His goal against the run of play came on his first shot on his first start of the season.

The Crimson quickly responded in what was quickly becoming an end-to-end game. Harvard again found space on the Terriers’ left defensive flank and a cross rolled past the outstretched hand of Andrew Wike and towards Arlotti. The forward’s 23rd minute goal was his fourth of the season.

The Terriers came out in the second half pressing high on the Crimson, now with regular starters sprinkled into the mix. Still, Harvard’s attack proved deadly as Vician found himself one-on-one with Wike and drew a penalty at the goalkeeper’s expense to earn a chance to double the lead.

Wike redeemed himself with a heroic place-kick save in what ended up being a career day for the goalkeeper. On top of eight saves, the sophomore commanded his box well and reacted quickly off his line to keep the lead at a single tally.

Both sides had their chances to get a goal in the remainder of the second half, but neither were able to hit the mark. The result marked the first regular time loss to the Crimson for the Terriers since 2016.

The Terriers return to conference play at 1 p.m. on Saturday when they take on American University in Washington, D.C.