BROOKLINE — The two opponents in Tuesday night’s rivalry battle at Parsons Field entered the match on complete opposite trajectories. Northeastern’s season has been slipping away in recent weeks, as the Huskies entered the match at Parsons Field carrying a five-game losing streak. Meanwhile, the Terriers had won two in a row, outscoring their opponents 5-0 over that stretch.
The Terriers proved that they were worthy of being favored early in the contest, testing redshirt junior goalkeeper Colby Hegarty within the first two minutes of the match. BU applied incredible pressure to the Huskies, pinning the ball in their attacking half for much of the game’s first 10 minutes. BU senior winger Ryan Lee was a thorn in the side of Northeastern, using his incredible speed and acceleration to get in behind the Huskies defense.
The first half balanced out after BU’s initial jolt, with junior forward Harry Sankey cutting through the Terriers defense and testing the junior goalkeeper Andrew Wike with a shot into the bottom-right corner. The action would continue bouncing back and forth, with the Terriers using sophomore midfielder Brian Hernandez’s fantastic pace to get in behind the Huskies, and Northeastern using their excellent possession play to work their way into open areas of the attacking third. There was plenty of excitement, but both goalkeepers stood tall between their respective posts. Despite many threatening chances for both sides, neither would be able to tally a score in the first half.
The second half proved to be drastically different. The Terriers opened the frame with a newly found fire under their feet, and quickly pressured the Huskies defense. It took them just about 90 seconds into the half to score, as a well-worked play found Lee wide open on the weak side of Northeastern, and gave him an easy lane to score through the legs of Hegarty. The Terriers led 1-0, and it felt like they were in full control of the game.
Lee and sophomore substitute Daniel Kim were instrumental in the Terrier’s early second half domination, but the Huskies, as they have so often have this season, found a way to claw back. This time, it came through set pieces, as freshman midfielder Morris Matthews fired a throw-in to the center of the BU penalty area. A header from graduate student Ole Kjørholt continued the play, and as the Terriers failed to effectively clear the ball, Sankey pounded the ball home to give the Huskies the tie.
Sankey’s second career goal clearly inspired the Huskies, as they continued to apply increased levels of pressure against the Terriers. The ball would mainly stay in the Northeastern attacking end, with many excellent plays from graduate student midfielder Jacob Marin-Thomson leading to many scoring chances for his side. The Huskies would keep knocking at the Terrier’s door until the very end of the match.
A corner kick, won from an errant attempt at a spectacular scissor-kick volley from junior Federico Tellez, gave the Huskies a chance in the 86th minute. A beautiful inswinging delivery from Tellez found a relatively-open freshman forward Fraser Brown, who managed to wrap his foot around the ball to strike a strong volley. That volley got by Wike, who was well screened by many bodies in front of him, and gave the Huskies a very late lead.
“We needed to be a bit more dangerous on set pieces,” said Northeastern head coach Rich Weinrebe after the game. “I thought everyone was in the places they were supposed to be, and that’s why we scored.”
The Huskies had an easy time holding onto their lead with such little time remaining in the match. They pushed the ball into the attacking corners and did everything they could to eat seconds off of the clock.
They hung on to win the exciting matchup against a crosstown rival, and snapped their five-game losing streak.
Northeastern will be back in action on Saturday at 1 p.m. with a matchup against William & Mary for Senior Day at Parson’s Field, the final regular season home game of the season.