Tournament-bound Terriers head north to Big
NCAA Tournament, Round 1
BU vs. Dartmouth
Sunday, November 23, 1 p.m.
Chase Field, Hanover, N.H.
by Brian Fitzgerald
The men's soccer Terriers are becoming adept at
overcoming adversity. After an embarrassing 5-0
shutout at the hands of Harvard on October 11, BU
could have packed it in. The loss to the Crimson
was Boston University's third straight and dropped
BU's record to 6-5-2.
But then the Terriers showed the same brilliance
that they exhibited at the beginning of the season,
when they won their first four games. BU hasn't
lost since it crumbled against the Crimson, winning
eight in a row and improving its record to 14-5-2.
On November 9, BU won the America East
championship for the fourth straight year, despite
the fact that it hasn't been the top seed in the
tournament since 1994. Against Long Island on
November 14, with little chance of receiving a bid
to the NCAA Tournament if they lost, the Terriers
scored the game's only goal with only 2:08 to play
in regulation. Now the Terriers face Dartmouth
(9-3-4), a team that BU tied, 1-1, on September 28.
"Dartmouth is a good defensive team that allows
very few goals," says Coach Neil Roberts. "Like our
last game, we're probably not going to have a lot
of opportunities to score. They did a good job
stopping Sigurd Dalen [SMG'99] and Nick Bone
[SMG'98]. So when we do have opportunities, we'll
have to make them count."
BU, which has been playing its home games at the
Middlesex School in Concord, Mass., trotted onto
Nickerson Field's artificial turf -- the Terriers'
former home field -- for the first time this season
against Long Island because sleet and snow had
turned all natural grass playing surfaces into
mush. They were, in effect, visitors on their own
campus. "It was different," laughs Roberts, whose
"home" field is 19 miles northwest of Boston.
Paradoxically, Dartmouth, which has been playing
its home games on campus all season, was forced to
play Brown for the Ivy League title in Yale's
Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium in New Haven, Conn., on
November 15. By the previous morning, nine inches
of snow had fallen on Dartmouth's Chase Field. But
the Big Green players, determined to enjoy home
advantage, helped to clear it. However, two more
inches fell on the grass overnight, and the field
was deemed unplayable.
At Yale, Brown defeated Dartmouth, 1-0, in
overtime, but Big Green fans rejoiced during the
NCAA Tournament pairings when they found out that
the 32-team field would include two Ivy League
teams this year: Brown and their beloved Dartmouth.
Both BU and Dartmouth are teams that have beaten
the odds, but only one will survive to play in the
"Sweet 16." Boston University has received 10
invitations to the tournament since 1985, but has
never advanced beyond the second round.
For information on BU's fan van to Hanover, call
353-GoBU. For those making the two-and-a-half-hour
drive themselves, take I-93 north to I-89 north at
Concord, N.H. Get off I-89 at exit 18 in Lebanon,
N.H., and bear right onto Route 120 north. In
Hanover, 4.1 miles from the exit, Route 120 forks
at a traffic light. Bear right at the fork, follow
Route 120 a half-mile on South Park St. to the
first traffic light. Go straight at the light onto
North Park St. Chase Field is on the left.