Boston (Sept. 14) - The Terrier men's soccer team will play its first home game of the 1999 season this Sunday (September 19th) when they host the nation's top-ranked Creighton Bluejays. The game will be played at Harvard's Ohiri Field, and is scheduled to get underway at 2:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.
The Terriers, who are 2-2 overall this year, shut out the University of Massachusetts, 2-0, in their last outing last Sunday (September 12th). Prior to that, they opened the season at the Florida International Tournament where they defeated host FIU, 2-1, in overtime in the opener and lost to Florida Atlantic, 3-2, in double overtime in the title game.
B.U. then returned to New England for a match at the University of Rhode Island last Friday night (September 10th). Playing in a torrential downpour, the Terriers bowed to the Rams, 1-0 in overtime.
In the meantime, Creighton, which will play Harvard at Ohiri Field on Friday, comes to town with a 2-0-0 record and the top spot in this week's poll.
They boast an outstanding defense having shut out North Carolina, 3-0, and number-two ranked University of St. Louis, 1-0, in their two previous decisions this year. The Bluejays also played two exhibition games during the season and lost to the KC Wizards, 3-0, and beat Tulsa, 2-1.
Creighton was very impressive against St. Louis last Sunday, noted Terrier head coach Neil Roberts. Not only did they shut them out, they gave them only one shot.
It is no secret the Jays would have a tenacious defense. A year ago, their 0.81 goals against average was the third lowest in Missouri Valley Conference history. Returning from that unit is All-American candidate David Wright.
Offensively, four different players have scored goals this year. They are Brian Mullan, Steve Bernal, Todd Hammett, and Joel Reddington.
They are a very athletic team, said Roberts. They play a smart, technical game, and they are very experienced. They are certainly a legitimate contender for the national title.
The Jays have qualified for the NCAA Tournament in each of the last seven years and advanced to the Final Four in 1996.
In the meantime, the Terriers will have had a week off between games, and it has been a welcome rest for the team.
We have had some players bothered by minor injuries, but everyone should be healthy for the game, said Roberts. We are going to have to be at the top of our game if we are to contain their speed.
Offensively, the Terriers have been led by Joachim Kaland (Fonnes, Norway), Kirk Miller (Minnetonka, MN), and Chris Bone (Newcastle, England), each of whom has two goals this year. Kaland, who has scored each of the Terriers' game-winning goals, also has two assists for a team leading six points.
Defensively, the standout is All-American candidate Bryan Devenney (Winnipeg, Manitoba), who was the named the Defensive MVP of the Florida International Tournament.
Freshman Matt Smith (Lanchester, England) will start in the net. He comes into the game with a 2-1-0 record along with an .800 save percentage and an 0.62 GAA.