Men’s Soccer Hosts NCAA Opener Tonight
America East champion Terriers meet Fairleigh Dickinson at 5 p.m.
The men’s soccer Terriers, undefeated for nine games and counting, will meet Fairleigh Dickinson’s Knights tonight in the first round of the NCAA Division I men’s soccer championship, at Nickerson Field at 5 p.m. The Terriers will be making their 14th appearance in the tournament and are hosting a game for the first time since 2004.
BU (11-5-3) finished atop the America East regular-season standings and earned an automatic berth to the tournament at the conference championship on November 15, when Jin Oh (CAS’09) scored the game’s lone goal in the 80th minute to give the Terriers a 1-0 win over Binghamton. In another thrilling match a few days earlier, Richy Dorman (SMG’10) snapped a 1-1 tie in the semifinals with a goal in the 81st minute against number 4 Vermont. BU became the first school since 1999 to sweep both the men’s and the women’s America East tournament titles in the same season.
“At BU, we’ve been waiting all four years to win this title,” Oh says. “It feels great, and personally, I couldn’t ask for anything better right now.”
With the win against Binghamton, head coach Neil Roberts, now in his 24th year at BU, and the Terrier soccer program have captured their seventh league tournament title — the team’s first since 2004.
It’s an outcome that seemed unlikely earlier this year, when the men started the season 0-3-1 after facing four nationally ranked teams, including St. John’s and Connecticut.
“I don’t want to say it’s ever expected, but this is where we wanted to be,” Roberts says. “I know in the preseason we weren’t picked to win the conference, but we felt from day one that we would be a solid team. We gave them an unbelievable schedule that could have led to them folding, but they didn’t.”
The Fairleigh Dickinson Knights (13-5-2) reached the NCAA tournament with a 7-2 rout of Mount St. Mary’s in the Northeast Conference championship game to capture their sixth NEC title, and first since 2003, after finishing second in the league in the regular season. FDU has won its last four games entering the tournament.
The winner of Friday’s tilt will advance to the second round to meet third-seeded St. John’s in New York on Tuesday, November 25. The Terriers faced the Red Storm on September 12, dropping a 1-0 decision.
The men’s soccer team kicks off against Fairleigh Dickinson at 5 p.m. on Friday, November 21, at Nickerson Field. For more information, visit the team Web site.
Davide Nardi (CAS’11) contributed to this article.