Nov. 19, 2015
STORRS, Conn. – Despite Felix De Bona’s ninth goal of the season, the Boston University men’s soccer team suffered a 3-1 setback at UConn in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday afternoon at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium.
Playing in the NCAA Tournament for the 15th time in program history and 14th time under head coach Neil Roberts, BU finished its season with a 12-6-2 record. UConn improved to 10-5-6 and will play Indiana in the second round on Sunday.
De Bona put the Terriers ahead in the 30th minute thanks to assists from junior Mark Wadid and freshman T.J. Butzke. UConn tied the game early in the second half before adding the winner in the 76th minute. The Huskies secured an insurance goal in the 83rd minute to seal the result.
Junior Matt Gilbert stopped two shots but was influential throughout the contest, confidently coming off his line multiple times to thwart UConn chances that came his way.
The Terriers took the lead after two terrific passes to set up De Bona. Butzke began the play with a nifty ball through a UConn defender’s legs. It was laid perfectly for Wadid on the right side, and he darted to the end line before sending a low ball into the box. De Bona met it on the right post and knocked it into the top right corner.
Gilbert made both his saves in the first half, with his biggest coming in the final minute. Deandrae Brown received a great pass inside the area, but Gilbert dove to his right and knocked the ball out for a corner kick. After Gilbert pushed the first corner safely over the bar, UConn took another one but time ran out before the Huskies got a shot on goal.
The Huskies equalized on a controversial goal in the 54th minute. The Terriers appeared to have forced the ball out at the end line, but the assistant referee’s flag never went up, and the Huskies continued the play, with Brown eventually scoring from inside the box.
BU controlled much of the possession following the equalizer and seemed poised to retake the lead, but it was the Huskies that got the crucial second goal on a counter attack. Kwame Awuah, who assisted on Brown’s marker, floated a ball over Gilbert’s hand and just under the bar. He then added a third goal on another counter attack as the Terriers pressed to tie the game.
The Terriers earned six corners in the second half and seven total on the afternoon. They forced UConn keeper Scott Levene into just one save, but the ball was in the UConn end for a majority of the final 45 minutes.