KINGSTON, R.I. -
Rhode Island struck early and later converted on a pair of free kicks to hand the Boston University men's soccer team a 3-0 season-opening road defeat on Friday night.
The ability to score on set pieces proved to be the difference with the Rams successfully clearing six Terrier corner kicks.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Tallying three points for the Rams, 2016 Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year Stavros Zarokostas sent a pass from the right side in the fifth minute to the front of the box to Chae Brangman, who beat sophomore keeper Michael Bernardi to the right post for the 1-0 advantage.
- BU had a great opportunity to net the equalizer in the 15th minute following its second corner kick, but Nils Leifhelm stopped point-blank shots from junior David Riccio and senior Adam Sheikali.
- URI extended the lead in the 36th minute with the help of a free kick that set up preaseason A-10 member Peder Kristiansen's shot attempt and then Zarokostas' successful one-time score off Bernardi's save.
- The Rams' needed less than five minutes again to open a half with a goal, as Kristiansen's free kick attempt from over 35 yards out on the right side managed to get through traffic and slide inside the lower left post.
- Leifhelm had two saves in the second half, including an impressive one at 53:37 when he used his outstretched hands to tip away a hard attempt from sophomore Matt McDonnell.
NEXT UP: BOSTON COLLEGE
- The Terriers were outshot 12-7 despite owning a 6-1 advantage in corner kicks.
- Suffering its first season-opening shutout loss since 2012, BU featured just one active player in the game who scored last season ... McDonnell had three of the Terriers' 23 goals in 2016.
- Bernardi, Maxwell Aunger, Elias Lampis, Austin D'Anna, Ignacio Roitman and Peter Kargbo all started in their debut as Terriers ... Freshman Ian Richling also saw the field in his first BU game.
- BU and URI met for the first time since 2010 with the Rams snapping a seven-game losing streak in the series.
- The Terriers will host the Eagles in their home opener on Sunday (Aug. 27) at 7 p.m., as part of a BU soccer doubleheader … The women will first face Hofstra starting at 4 p.m.
- BC edged BU, 3-2, in last year's season opener at home en route to an NCAA at-large appearance that featured a 1-0 win over Fordham and 3-0 loss to Albany in the Round of 32.
- BU holds an 18-26-8 record in the all-time series dating back to 1967.