Sports

M. soccer ties BU, tops Columbia

By
Assistant Sports Editor
Thursday, October 8, 2009

The 23rd-ranked men’s soccer team (5-0-4, 1-0-0) played in its third and fourth-consecutive overtime games last week, battling No. 16 BU (7-3-2) to a 3-3 tie in double overtime, and salvaging a 2-1 overtime win over Columbia Saturday in its Ivy League opener.

The pair of weekend games came after ties against Santa Clara and San Francisco and a 5-0 win over URI on Sept. 19.

“We’ve shown ourselves that we’re able to come back while we were in California — now we’re capable of winning in OT and finishing the game strong,” said goalkeeper Paul Grandstrand ’11.

Brown 3, BU 3 (OT)
Both the Terriers and the Bears began the game Wednesday night with a feverish pace, as they each tallied two goals in the game’s opening 30 minutes of play. The scoring frenzy began in the first two minutes, when Brown scored an own-goal credited to BU’s Samuel Appiah, an unfortunate way to start off the game against a top-25 opponent at home.

BU set up for a corner kick at the 19-minute mark, and played it well, as Colin Henry headed in a pass from Tom Strackhouse for his first career goal, maintaining a comfortable 2-0 lead over the Bears.

“We started off the game complacent — letting them get on top of us early,” said Nick Elenz-Martin ’10. “We pride our defense as tough to beat. Going down two goals is out of the ordinary for us.”

The Bears could have collapsed under a 2-0 deficit, but they fought back and scored two goals of their own in the next 10 minutes of play. Brown rallied two minutes after BU’s second goal, as Taylor Gorman ’12 headed in a blocked shot from Sean Rosa ’12, past the outstretched arms of Hrafn Davidsson.

Rosa and Jon Okafor ’11 found a cutting David Walls ’11, the co-captain, on the inside, who sent a ball toward the goal from 20 yards out that Davidsson misplayed. The ball trickled right through his legs to tie the game up at two a piece with 60 minutes left to play.
“On the second goal, we took our chances and moved the ball quicker — returning back to the type of soccer we’ve played all year,” Rosa said. “Once we got our heads back in it, we started to play well.”

The Terriers scored to lead the game once more in the 54th minute, but the Bears answered right back as Rosa rifled a hard shot from 25 yards out to the right corner, tying the game 3-3. Elenz-Martin was credited with the assist.

Evan Coleman ’12 helped out on the defensive side as he cleared the ball several times and came away with some decisive steals, halting the Terriers’ offensive drives in the second half.

“We played better in the second half,” Rosa said. “Our focus needs to be on starting the halves better and playing a complete game.”

They battled until the end of regulation, and then the game went into overtime. The Bears had an excellent look in the first few minutes of the first overtime when Coleman scored off of a corner kick, but the goal was wiped off the board when the referees called Okafor for a foul in the box. Both teams created several scoring chances in overtime, but neither could muster up one more goal for the win, and the game ended in a 3-3 tie.

The Bears walked off Stevenson Field Wednesday night with 330 minutes of play under their belts in the last week of play and three ties added to their overall record.

“We mainly worked on our attacking strategy and playing to their weaknesses after going down 2-0,” Elenz-Martin said. “We attacked their three-player back line in order to get back in the game.”

Gorman led the Bears with two shots on goal, converting one of the chances, and Okafor led the team with five total shots. Rosa tallied his second goal of the season to go along with two assists on the day.

Brown 2, Columbia 1 (OT)
The Bears then headed to New York to take on Columbia in their opening Ivy match. The game started off evenly until the 24th minute, when a Columbia player received a red card, forcing the Lions to play a man down for the rest of the game.

Brown capitalized on the situation with less than five minutes left in the first half when Okafor crossed a ball to TJ Thompson ’10, who converted the chance from five yards out to take a 1-0 lead into halftime, the first Brown lead since the 5-0 win over URI.

“We were able to set the pace of the game since we were in the lead,” Rosa said. “It’s great to not have the feeling that you’re trailing and are forced to play catch-up.”
In the 51st minute, Columbia scored on a throw-in deep in Bears territory. Bayo Adafin split two defenders and fired a shot to the far post and in past Grandstrand.

Each team tallied six shots apiece in the second half, but only Columbia could put together a scoring drive to knot the game at 1-1 at the end of regulation.

The Bears were headed into their fourth consecutive overtime game and wanted to translate their hard work on the field into a win. It did not take Brown long to end the game, as Thomas McNamara ’13 sent a ball to the far post off of a corner kick in the 93rd minute. After several chances from a number of Brown players, the rebound ended up in Elenz-Martin’s possession, as he put the ball away to close out the win for the Bears.

“We tried to rally ourselves and get a goal early in overtime,” Elenz-Martin said. “A number of us made some great shots on goal. We were goal hungry — that’s what helped us eventually score.”

Brown outshot Columbia, 14-8, and held a 5-0 corner kick advantage.

The Bears return home on Saturday to take on Princeton (4-4-0, 0-1-0) at 7 p.m. in their second Ivy League game of the year. Princeton started off the season on a high note with four consecutive wins before faltering of late with four straight losses. They will also host Rutgers (4-5-0) on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in their penultimate non-conference game of the year.