Men's Soccer Shuts Out Boston University 3-0
ALBANY, N.Y. – The University at Albany men’s soccer team (3-1-0) won its third consecutive home game Tuesday night, in a 3-0 shutout victory over former America East rival Boston University (0-4-0).
“We’re obviously pleased with the results,” said head coach Trevor Gorman. “We have three victories, we’ve scored a lot of goals, and we’ve tightened ourselves up defensively. I thought tonight was a more challenging game than the score line would show. BU is a good team. They’re better than their record. They’ve played ranked teams all season long. And they came out and really moved us around a bit in the first half. I thought in the second half we played much better as a unit and then it showed as we were able to get control of the game.”
The Terriers controlled possession early in the first half, but were unable to capitalize on any of their opportunities. Despite not controlling the pace of play, UAlbany managed to break through in the 15th minute to get on the scoreboard. Junior Nico Solabarrieta finally tallied his first goal of the season, collecting a rebound from a shot by fellow forward Afonso Pinheiro.
“Nico is a great player,” said Pinheiro. “We knew he was getting frustrated, which is normal for a forward, but now it’s good to get guys on the score sheet . They’ll get more confidence and things will start to happen more.”
In the 35th minute, Pinheiro received a pass on the left side from sophomore Brynjar Steinþórsson in the middle. Pinheiro settled the ball, touched back toward the middle of the field, and placed his shot to the far side past Boston University’s keeper, William Bonnelyche. Pinheiro, who earlier Tuesday was named America East Player of the Week behind his seven points in victories last week over Rhode Island and George Mason, has now scored four goals in the last three games.
The Great Danes took the same 2-0 lead into halftime. UAlbany led the game despite being outshot by the Terriers 8-5 through the first 45 minutes, and drawing zero corner kicks to Boston University’s four.
Shortly after the start of the second half, in the game’s 50th minute, junior Daniel Krutzen played a centering lob into the Boston University box to junior Carlos Clark, who settled the ball and ripped a shot past Bonnelyche to give UAlbany a 3-0 lead that would prove to be the final score. Krutzen has now recorded a point in each of UAlbany’s four games this season, and has contributed to six of the Danes’ 12 total goals on the season.
“I always tell Daniel that has a left foot that probably doesn’t exist on another team in the country,” said Pinheiro. “And he’s so smart with his movements. He knows where we’re going to be. That’s why he gets so many assists. He manages to take a great touch and always finds the guys in the right spots.”
In the second half, UAlbany outshot Boston University 5-2, drawing even at 10 for the game. UAlbany goalkeeper Lucas Vallilo, making his first start since the season opener at Marist, earned his first victory of the season and his second career shutout.
“We won the majority of the balls in the second half,” said Gorman. “We got ourselves compact. We were able to maintain possession in their end and our end, and kind of start moving them around a bit more.”
Having opened the 2017 home schedule 3-0, UAlbany has now won its last seven straight home games dating back to the 2016 regular season finale against Binghamton. In that time, the Danes have outscored their visiting opponents 21-2, and have recorded five shutouts.
“The game is about defending first before you attack,” said senior Moosah Khanat. “That’s how we create out chances. If we defend first, then the goals will come, as Coach always says.”
After three straight games at home, UAlbany will hit the road for one game against St. Bonaventure on Sunday, September 10, before returning home Friday, September 15 against American.
“It’s difficult to go play anybody on the road in college soccer,” said Gorman. “We know St. Bonaventure is a good team. They’ve had a good start to the season. They’re going to be excited to play on Sunday, and the challenge is on us to go over there with a single-minded purpose and put together a performance. I think we’re looking forward to that challenge.”