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The men's soccer team struggled to a disappointing 1-1 draw with Boston, University yesterday in a match in which the quality of play and the booter's intensity moved like a Coney Island roller coaster--up, down, and round and round.
Opening the game while cold, gusting wind whipped the Business School field, the Crimson (2-3-2) completely curbed the Terriers, fighting for and winning most loose balls and creating some nifty near-misses for forwards Richard Berkman and Mauro Keller-Sarmiento.
But the Terriers did the one thing that changes a one-sided game. They scored.
Venezuelan halfback Cheche Vidal collected a ball unmolested in his own end and hit a long pass past the Crimson backline to a sprinting David Munson. The sophomore defender took the ball on a dead run, dribbled, in, and hit a low, right-footed drive under charging goalkeeper Peter Walsh at 14:51.
After controlling nearly all the play yet lagging behind, the Crimson collapsed; and B.U. tore up the B-School turf for the next ten minutes. Left fullback Andreas Keller-Sarmiento was forced to make his second save of the year at 18:00, sliding across the goalmouth to clear a blast to the near post by B.U.'s Casey Tonrey.
The emotional booters found form again seven minutes later, when a Berkman header over Terrier keeper Ken Powell was blocked off the goal line by an air-born Eric Van Sickle.
The Junior forward's almost-tally gave the booters enough "Big Mo" to equal B.U.'s output, and the two sides closed the half trading botched opportunities.
The Crimson side that opened the second half regained the form of the match's opening minutes. But there were two differences: the 20-mile-per-hour wind was now in the booters' faces, and this time, after 14 minutes, they scored.
The play started with junior Andreas Keller-Sarmiento lofting a throw in to his brother Mauro. The eldest Keller-Sarmiento found fellow forward Lance Ayrault streaking past his marker in the center of the pitch. Ayrault collected the pass, dribbled to the left side of the B.U. penalty box, and lifted a host over goalkeeper Powell, hitting the back of the net at 59:07.
In the closing 30 minutes of regulation play, the Crimson had the better part of play, creating two good chances for Ayrault and Berkman with methodical build-ups. But the match ended deadlocked after 90 minutes and the booters were forced into their third overtime of the season, and their second in three days.
Both squads had chances to grab the win--B.U.'s Steve Geraghty shanked a one-on-one wide in the first OT and Ayrault cracked one with almost no angle into the side of the net in the second period--but 110 minutes of play, the frigid wind, and the players' own inconsistent play sealed the tie.
Defensively, the Crimson was very lucky against the youthful Terriers. The usually staunch back line missed many a tackle and left more than an occasional B.U. forward unmarked. Walsh was the bright spot, looking extremely strong in the air on high balls and taking on several one-on-ones with hard-charging strikers.
The tie leaves the booters in a precarious position for qualifying for post-season play. With their loss to Dartmouth on Saturday, the Ivy League crown and the NCAA bid that goes with it are out of reach. The Crimson must now take the Greater Boston Championship--the draw with B.U. (5-6-2) did not help--and produce against the remainder of their schedule. That and hope.
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