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Yet another frustrating loss. AU downed by BU although we outshot the terriers by a wide margin. From the number of fouls and yellow cards it sounds as though BU played very physical. Still like what Nakhid is bringing, but we need to find the back of the net. Answers - anybody got some?
against BU, AU played without Jordan Manley at left back. I do not know why he was absent. In his place, Jake Garcia was moved over and freshman Cooper Duplantis played the entire game at center back.
Unfortunately, Cooper Duplantis is not ready for a prime time game like this. In the first half, AU was lucky not to give up more goals. A couple of times he missed clearances with his head by a wide margin, and once his attempt at clearance popped up in the opposite direction, to our goal. A couple of whiffs with his foot as well. On the BU goal, he didn't get in the right position, though I am not saying other AU players would have prevented that goal. Duplantis shows promise, but that was a difficult first half for him. I was pretty sure we would see a change in the second half, but we stayed with the same strategy. BU didn't threaten in the second half until one chance very late. Honestly, I would have liked to see Garcia at center back and figure out another way to replace the corner. It is sometimes hard to appreciate a good center back until something goes wrong and you see the swift damage that can occur.
This was AU's first game without a goal. They went ten games with a goal before this.
BU is a very good, rugged team that plays every ball with purpose - like AU. We dominated possession, but BU didn't give up golden opportunities. In the center of the field, they always made sure to have help come over very quickly. A move that would have taken apart other defenses, was simply countered by the swift reaction of BU teammates to sweep away the ball.
Still, you are correct that we didn't put away chances. We had a lot of good play in which we didn't get a good shot off. By and large, this team doesn't get off strong shots that are on target. If Nakhid is the exception, then maybe the answer is to sometimes put him up front, and replace him occasionally in the midfield.
AU defeats Lafayette - looked like a wide margin on the shots which suggests we had possession and opportunities. But no goal until OT. And are we missing one or more players from the early part of the season?
Mbaluku has not played or dressed the past three games. I do not know why. He started against Princeton.
I was at the Lafayette. game. Lafayette is a rugged team that defends very well and played an even game with AU for the first half. They looked very good against AU for the first 3/4 of the game. It was not as sharp a game for AU as usual, so both teams were mostly battling for possession at midfield. But AU poured on the pressure in the last quarter of the game and in OT. They started delivering very effective, long diagonal balls that broke the Lafayette defense wide open. I would say Lafayette is not as good as Boston, but better than Colgate.
Although Lafayette had only one corner kick, they played throw-ins into the goal mouth as if they were corner kicks. They have some big bodies in there that gave AU some scares in the first half, but those opportunities dwindled away in the second half as AU asserted itself.
Also, since I've been a Ft Lauderdale Strikers fan from way back, just for grins I pulled up their website to see if I know anyone on the team, and much to my surprise 6-4 AU alum defender Karsten Smith has started and played all the minutes in nine games. Looks like maybe he is a recent addition to the team as he is now starting, and they've played 26 games so far.
AU beats Virginia men's soccer for the first time since 1998 and UVa is shut out for the first time this year. AU accomplished this at Charlottesville. Shots were even. This time, while it can be inconsistent, is very talented. This is not a fluke. Will the Washington Post mention it - not likely.
I was at the game. Usually when a team scores early, their opponent winds up getting off more shots as they press to tie up the game. But AU was even with UVA throughout, and continued to attack well deep into the second half.
The goal from Iraola was the kind of rifle that you see in the pros. from an angle, the ball rocketed off the far post. UVa had trouble sustaining any kind of momentum as they tried to turn upfield, and AU players consistently did well in gathering the ball, fending off their opponent, and creating space for themselves and their teammates. It looked like we were going to get that second goal... but we made do with the one goal.
AU showed they can maintain the same kind of possession against a top team just like they've done all year. AU's attack will give any team fits.
UVa and UCLA are two of the top soccer programs, and now we've beaten them both in the last two seasons.
Entering into this match, AU was ranked #80 in the RPI.... so even if they close out their schedule with wins, a PL touranment loss could prevent them from getting an at-large bid. We should have gone last year with our win over #1 UCLA. But this team is better than last year's team. Their possession and attack are excellent.
AU Men's Soccer now has six games in a row without letting in a goal. Five wins and a scoreless tie against Army.
What is particularly impressive about this streak is that AU continues to put a lot of resources into their attack. The wings and center forward are constantly remaining forward, and the defensive mids get into the act consistently. They also are overlapping on the attack with their defenders more than ever. Earlier in the season they were getting burned by this, witness the four goals scored by FDU. But now they are doing a better job in covering their backside. This bodes well as they continue to impress within the league. They have two games left to close out the season, and then it will be interesting to see if they can reverse their earlier losses to BU and Colgate.
AU now has a string of seven consecutive shutouts. One more regular season game left, this Saturday at 12 noon. AU is looking for a win combined with a Boston tie or a Colgate loss to advance their position in the standings for the PL tourney.
Liam Robley missed his second game in a row. I hope this is just a precaution. AU is definitely more ragged without him, but this is a very special team that can still make big waves. College soccer has made great strides this season. There are so many good teams out there, and the PL has some solid competition.
Decisive win over Army 4-1. On to the next round. Now is a good time to have found the offensive rythmn that made this team so dangerous in the early going. Many weapons and great team play. Go Eagles!