The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Men’s soccer defeats Boston University 2-0 in muddy match

The men’s soccer team celebrates with fans on Saturday during its 2-0 win. (Photo by Rick Smith for GoLeopards)

This past weekend, the men’s soccer team (7-4-3 overall, 4-1-1 Patriot League) battled the Boston University Terriers (7-3-4 overall, 4-1-1 Patriot League) at home, reigning victorious with a final score of 2-0. Sophomore defender Nicholas Liebich and senior forward and captain Hale Lombard each found the back of the net.

The match got off to a slow start as both teams adapted to the cold and rainy conditions.

“I think just dealing with the conditions was a tough battle,” Liebich said. “It was a really rainy and muddy game, so being able to adapt to that and winning the balls in the air and going into tackles strong really helped us.”

In the 34th minute, Liebich kicked off the action for the Maroon and White. Lombard heaved a long throw-in into Boston’s box causing the ball to ricochet around before Liebich’s initial header skyrocketed up in the air. His second header attempt was on target and sailed over the Terrier goalkeeper. This was Liebich’s first career goal as a Leopard.

Just five minutes later, Lombard doubled Lafayette’s lead with another precise header. Junior defender Connor Dawson lined up to take a free kick 30 yards from Boston’s goal and Lombard made clean contact with Dawson’s left-footer and sent home his 10th goal of the season. With his goal, he is tied for seventh in the nation in goals scored.

The Leopards gave the Terriers another scare at the opening of the second half, but a goal-line clearance from a Boston defender kept the game at 2-0. 

As the match proceeded, the rain got heavier, causing players from both sides to lose their balance on numerous occasions. The Terriers began to play more aggressively in an effort to eliminate the deficit, but it wasn’t enough.

Liebich and Lombard attributed the win to a valiant defensive effort, in addition to the team having home-field advantage.

“All eleven guys really worked their butts off defending and tried not to give [Boston] any opportunities,” Liebich said. “We worked our asses off to press the ball and press their defenders and cause a lot of turnovers. I think just all eleven guys working as hard as they can to defend them and win the ball back really helped us a lot and made our job as a defense easier.”

“I think it definitely helped that we were at home,” Lombard said. “I mean, that was a big piece of it. And a lot of the alumni were there so we had a lot of fans and stuff, and guys I used to play with were there so that also really helped us.”

The win marked a shift in momentum after the team lost its previous matchup against La Salle.

“I think the big difference was that La Salle is non-conference and Boston University was a conference game,” Lombard said. “By then, we knew that we needed to step it up if we wanted to beat Boston University, as they are a very good team. All the guys knew what needed to be done. This was one of the games in the season where you could tell everyone was ready before the game even started. Everyone felt that it would be hard for us to lose that game.”

The Leopards hope to maintain this energy as they resume action at 7 p.m. tomorrow against Loyola Maryland in Baltimore. 

Disclaimer: Assistant Sports Editor Eric Ponieman is a member of the men’s soccer team. He did not contribute writing or reporting.

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Luke Gutleber
Luke Gutleber, Staff Sports Writer

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