In its first contest at New Balance Field, with a few fresh faces on the field, the Boston University field hockey team came away with a 5-1 win over Ohio University Saturday afternoon in its season opener.
With the opening of the brand new field, Saturday marked the first time BU field hockey (1-0) played a game on campus since the end of the 2000 season. Before this season, the team had been playing at Harvard University’s Jordan Field two miles away.
The Terriers initially struggled to get the ball across midfield and into Bobcat (0-1) territory, as BU instead focused on playing defense.
“Openers are tough games, because you know nothing about the other team, you don’t know how they’re going to outlet, how they’re going to press, their style of play, so I think at the beginning it was just a little bit of feeling it out, just to get an idea,” said BU coach Sally Starr.
In the seventh minute, Ohio had a corner and an opportunity to score, but the attack was shut down by sophomore goalie Valentina Cerda Eimbcke.
10 minutes later, the Terriers began to move the ball well despite slippery conditions, leading to a corner. On a pass from senior midfielder Madeline Hackett, sophomore backer Katie Bernatchez fired a shot that bounced over the Bobcat goalie Brittany Walker and into the net. Not only was it BU’s first goal of the season, but it was also Bernatchez’s first of her career.
In the 13th minute BU had two opportunities to score but neither led to anything. On the second attempt, Bernatchez was denied by Walker on a diving save, keeping the score at 1-0.
Despite the failure to score in the 13th minute, BU was able to bounce back and break through once again in the 28th minute, this time on a goal by freshman forward Amanda Cassera. Cassera snatched up a rebound and put in the net giving the Terriers a 2-0 advantage. The goal was the first for Cassera as a Terrier.
Cassera was not done, as she scored once again in the 32nd minute, with help of her classmate, forward Sara Martineau, who earned the assist on the play.
“They’re a very talented group. They’ve had an outstanding preseason,” Starr said of her freshmen. “It’s really a testament to this entire freshman class. As you can see, there’s a lot of talent out there and they’re just going to get better and better as the season progresses.
BU went into the half leading the Bobcats 3-0, outshooting Ohio 15-5.
As the second half began, the Terriers continued to control the ball well until the 38th minute when BU turned the ball over, which led to Ohio senior Katherine Fenzel scoring on a rebound to put her team on the board.
The momentum and early goal the Bobcats gained in the in the half went away quickly as turnovers continued to kill any movement up field.
In the 45th minute the Terriers earned a penalty shot. Sophomore backer Ysi Schieb laced the ball into the left side of the goal, flying right past a diving Walker.
BU added one more goal before the final buzzer rang with two minutes remaining as Cassera recorded her third goal of the game with a hard shot right over Walker.
“We knew she definitely had [goal scoring] capabilities,” Starr said. “I’m very happy that she [scored a hat trick] in her first game and our first game at New Balance Field, it’s awesome.”
As the game came to a close, the Terriers celebrated their first win as members of the Patriot League, their first win of the season and first win at New Balance Field.
“I just loved the way our team competed,” Starr said. “It wasn’t always pretty but they were really aggressive and going after it. They were battling out there today, for 70 minutes and I’m really happy with that.”