Terrier Twelve - #6: Men's Soccer Returns to the NCAAs

Terrier Twelve - #6: Men's Soccer Returns to the NCAAs

This summer, GoTerriers.com will once again count down the top 12 achievements of Boston University teams and student-athletes from the previous year. Check back each Tuesday and Friday as we reveal this year's Terrier Twelve.

Coming in at No. 6 in this year's Terrier Twelve is the men's soccer team returning to the NCAA tournament for the first time in seven years and claiming three major Patriot League awards. 

The Terriers were coming off the heartbreak of an overtime Patriot League title game defeat and just missing out on an NCAA at-large berth with a 12-6-2 record and RPI ranking of 38. They opened the 2015 campaign determined to reach the postseason and started with a thrilling 2-1 overtime win at defending Atlantic 10 champion Fordham. They would go on to claim impressive non-conference victories over three top-75 RPI squads in Harvard, Albany and UMass Lowell while also defeating in-state foe UMass on the road.

During the conference portion of the schedule, BU went 6-1-2 with key road wins over American (#41), Colgate (#62) and Navy (#99). The Terriers' lone loss occurred in overtime to Lehigh (#50), who would eventually capture the tournament crown. The Patriot League ranked 10th out of 24 in conference RPI rankings to help boost head coach Neil Roberts' efforts on gaining the program's first NCAA berth since 2008.

The Terriers reached the NCAAs with key contributions across the roster, as they finished in the top 70 in 12 of 14 statistical categories while tallying a combined seven shutouts. A total of 12 men contributed at least one goal during the season with 14 earning at least one assist. 

With 2015 PL Defender of the Year David Asbjornsson and PL Goalkeeper of the Year Matt Gilbert leading the defensive efforts, BU finished the year 30th in save percentage (.804) and 61st in goals against average (1.06). NSCAA All-Region First Team honorees Felix De Bona and Anthony Viteri helped on the offensive end with a combined 15 goals, while PL Rookie of the Year Magnus Benediktsson finished 47th nationally in assists per game (0.38) behind a team-high six assists.

The junior De Bona gave the Terriers a 1-0 halftime lead at UConn in the opening round of the NCAAs, as both junior Mark Wadid and freshman T.J. Butzke tallied their fourth assists of the year. The Huskies though rallied in the second half to eliminate BU, 3-1.

Another highlight of the season happened at the home opener in which 7,379 fans came out to watch BU battle rival Boston College at the ninth-annual Terrier Tailgate. The program record-breaking crowd marked the largest attendance in a non-football on-campus athletic event in BU Athletic history. It was also the fifth largest of the season in NCAA Division I soccer.

After claiming 12+ win seasons in back-to-back years for the first time since 1993-94, Roberts will return nine of his top 10 point contributors for the 2016 season. He will also enter the season with both De Bona and Viteri on the prestigious MAC Hermann Award Watch List. 

2015-16 Terrier Twelve

#7: Women's Tennis Three-Peats, Sweeps Major PL Awards
#8: Terriers Excel in Classroom, Set Department GPA Records
#9: Johnson Named Assistant Coach of 2016 USA Olympic Track & Field Team
#10: Adela Cejnarova Repeats as Patriot League Champion
#11: Men's Ice Hockey Returns to NCAAs, Reloads with Impressive Class
#12: Giving Day Reaches New Heights

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