By Eric Getzoff
BU News Service
The Boston University men’s soccer team (3-4-1) was hoping to remain undefeated at home and gain its first conference win this season when they faced the American University Eagles (5-3-3) Saturday afternoon. Instead, neither happened.
The Terries fell to the Eagles on a rainy, cold fall day by a score of 2-0.
Just like in the Terriers’ last game against Harvard, their opponents dominated early on. Boston got outshot 4-1 by American in the first half.
American had ample opportunities to score in the first half on their shots but failed to connect. Kibu Mbaluku misplayed a rebound shot just feet from the goal in the 14th minute and Garrett Muikowskiy was robbed of a header by Terrier Goalkeeper Matt Gilbert in the 41st minute.
The Terriers’ had a rush in the 22nd minute but Felix De Bona’s shot went inches left of the goal.
The Eagles scored early in the second half and took control defensively, almost completely eliminating the Terriers from doing anything offensively. Panos Nakhid connected in the 49th minute on an assist by Kibe Mbaluku to give the Eagles the lead. The rest of the half was all American, as they had six shots on goal compared to none for the Terriers.
“American is a good team, no doubt about it. They’re good and they battled. They battled more than we did, and that’s disappointing. That’s probably the biggest disappointment of the game,” said BU head coach Neil Roberts.
Gilbert matched his season high with 10 goals but didn’t have the offensive support necessary to get his fourth win of the season.
“Gilbert’s being left alone out there. It’s a shame. We have to be a little tougher,” Roberts said.
Joe Iraola connected on a goal in the 70th minute, giving the Eagles a two-goal lead and eventually their second shutout in three games.
Roberts continuously used the word “tougher” postgame, in reference to American’s play compared to BU’s.
“They were tougher than we were. All the individual battles mostly they won,” Roberts said.
“They battled more than we did and that’s disappointing,” he said. “We have to get more physical. Not enough of our guys battled.”
Boston University will look for its first conference win Wednesday evening, when they host Colgate at 7 p.m. ET. Colgate is 6-3 after a victory over Lehigh Saturday afternoon.