With veteran's return and
Men's soccer Terriers may have regained their
By Brian Fitzgerald
Who would fill the void after BU men's soccer
scoring machine Sigurd Dalen (COM'00) limped off
the field in the second game of the season? The
question remained unanswered (two Terrier goals in
the next three games) until September 25, when it
was Miller time: newcomer Kirk Miller (SMG'01)
scored four goals in a home game against Albany.
At the beginning of the season BU was counting
on forward Dalen, last year's scoring leader, to
lead the way. However, an ankle sprain hampered the
team's scoring abilities. Dalen practiced with the
team, but why take chances? His impact in previous
seasons has been crucial late in the schedule, when
the Terriers play their all-important conference
games. He scored the game-winning goal in BU's
final three wins during the regular season last
"Early in the season we want to work on
having our game down by the time we face our
conference opponents," says Coach Neil Roberts.
"Unfortunately, we lost Siggy during most of that
time -- we weren't able to work him in with some of
the new guys. Still, although we're not as far
ahead as we'd like to be, we're getting there."
Men's soccer fans at BU
are happy about the return of injured
forward Sigurd Dalen (COM'00) (right).
Also a large factor in the Terrier attack
is midfielder Matt McManus (CAS'01)
(left), the team's most improved player
last season. Photo by Eric Olean
Where Roberts wants to go is back to the NCAA
tournament. The Terriers received invitations to
the dance for five straight years by winning the
America East tournament from 1993 to 1997. Last
year, however, they were bumped off by Drexel, 2-0.
Their problem last season: a lack of scoring. Dalen
had 10 goals, but he was the only Terrier in double
digits. Frank Vigliotti (SMG'01) had six goals and
Joachim Kaland (MET'02) had five. In fact, BU
scored only 27 goals in 17 regular-season games --
and that tally included a 5-0 whitewashing of Rhode
Miller, a transfer from Maryland, just might be
the man to help end the scoring drought. He was
thrown into the Terrapins' starting lineup in his
freshman year and scored three game-winning goals
-- not bad for a midfielder. He played in all 24 of
the Terps' games as a sophomore. Roberts watched
him play in Maryland's 2-1 loss to Stanford in the
Final Four last fall and liked what he saw. "He's
an offensive midfielder, and that's what we've
lacked the past couple of years," he says.
Also heartening for Roberts is the fact that
Dalen was able to play in the rout of Albany.
Although the Norwegian didn't score, he looked
healthy when he booted the ball across the field to
other attackers. "He got a couple of good crosses
in," says Roberts. "He didn't get any shots off,
but it was nice to see him striking the ball well."
When BU begins its America East schedule against
New Hampshire on Friday, October 1 (7 p.m.), and
Maine on Sunday, October 3 (1 p.m.), it will enjoy
the advantage of home games against teams that
finished fifth and ninth, respectively, in the
conference last year. BU finished second. And
thanks to Albany, some BU bench players saw recent
action. "Defensively, we've been playing well,"
says Roberts. "When the Albany game was pretty much
over, we were able to give some of our starters a
rest," especially after two double-overtime epics
within a week.
In addition, Roberts may have found a bona fide
scorer in Miller, whose hat trick-plus-one was a
goal shy of the team record, set by Dave Pollini in
Roberts admits that he was surprised by Miller's
four goals, but notes that the native New Yorker is
expected to contribute offensively. "He's been
playing behind Kaland, and his job is to get into
the attack as much as possible. When we win
possession, he becomes another forward for us."