After two consecutive losses, the University of Rhode Island men’s soccer team responded by defeating Yale University 3-0 this past Saturday and drew a 1-1 tie against Boston College on Wednesday night.
On Saturday, Rhode Island not only shut out Yale but the team ended the first half of the match with confidence. Senior Ryan Oakley was the first half surge conductor claiming both assists. The first of which came off of a corner kick in the 38th minute when sophomore Ryan Bailey found the back of the net ending a two game goalless drought. Oakley then assisted freshman midfielder Emil Jesman Sunde who deeked out the Yale defender and netted the ball in the 41st minute to tally his second goal of the season.
Freshman Dominik Richter topped off the trifecta of Rhode Island goals in the 64th minute turning a Yale turnover into a long distance, game-icing, unassisted goal. Rhode Island’s Sophomore goalkeeper Nils Leifhelm turned away the two shots that he faced, posting his third clean sheet of the season and 12th of his career.
“It was a good win for us,” said head coach Gareth Elliott. “[It was] nice to get on the score sheet again and put a couple away early in the first half. [We] gave ourselves a bit more comfort in the second half, [which] gave us a chance to bring some of our guys off the bench. It’s always good to get our goals and keep the shutout.”
Following the victory against Yale, Rhode Island welcomed Boston College, led by head coach Ed Kelly. Â Early on, in the 16th minute, Boston College was first to light up the scoreboard. Boston College’s Zeiko Lewis controlled a flicked-on cross, made his way around a Rhode Island defender and beat out sophomore goalkeeper Nils Leifhelm near the post for the game’s first goal.
Just ten minutes following the allowed goal, Rhode Island had their first major opportunity to even the score. Sophomore Carlo Davids stepped up for a penalty kick off of a reckless Boston College challenge in the box. Davids’s shot was just wide off the top left of the post, leaving the score 1-0 until later in the half.
In the 33rd minute, freshman Emil Jesman Sunde chipped a well-played ball over Boston College’s center backs on to the feet of fellow freshman Dominik Richter who tucked away the game drawing goal to knot the game at 1-1.
In the second half of play Rhode Island came out with a purpose, pelting 10 shots on Boston College while holding them to five. During the overtime period Leifhelm only had to save three Boston College shots to finish off a tough draw to a quality opponent.
“Tonight I felt that we dug in deep,” Elliott said, following Wednesday’s match. “I believe this to be our most complete performance of the season. We are starting to get most of our guys back from injury although many of them are not fully at 100 percent. They dug in deep and I thought we had our chances to win the game as did they. We are excited to get conference play rolling especially against the team that was picked over us to win the Atlantic 10 this year in St. Louis. [We’re] looking forward to facing another quality opponent here.”
Following the draw, Rhode Island (5-4-1) transitions into conference play against preseason favorite St. Louis this weekend at the Rhode Island Soccer Complex this Saturday at 7:00 p.m.