Having only appeared in two games during her time on the Boston University women’s soccer team, it came as a shock to junior goalkeeper Alyssa Parisi when BU coach Nancy Feldman announced to the team that Parisi would start in net against Northwestern University on Sunday.
“It was amazing,” Parisi said. “It was a surprise. Coach didn’t tell me until we were in the team room right before the game, but it felt really good.”
Despite it being the first career start of her career, Parisi was spectacular, as the Camarillo, Calif., native recorded three saves and shutout the Wildcats (0-3-1) to help lead the Terriers (2-1-1) to a 2-0 victory.
The Wildcats nearly scored early in the game, as midfielder Nicole Jewell recorded a shot on goal just seven minutes into the contest, but Parisi was able to make the save and preserve the scoreless game.
A goal from senior forward Madison Clemens in the 17th minute gave the Terriers and Parisi some breathing room.
Northwestern would get its next scoring opportunity 39 minutes into the game, as freshman Maria Grygleski fired a shot at the net that Parisi deflected with her hand but rebounded off of the near post. While Northwestern was able to attempt another shot off of the rebound, the BU defenders were there to block the shot and keep the shutout intact.
“Very nerve-wracking,” Parisi said in regards to the Wildcats’ scoring attempt. “I got my hands on it at one point and it was just a big mess in front of the goal. Luckily [freshman defender] Rachel [Bloznalis] came up big for us.”
Northwestern would only record one shot attempt in the final 45 minutes of the contest as the Terriers and Parisi secured the 2-0 victory.
While regular starting senior goalkeeper Andrea Green has been solid in net this season with a 0.50 goals-against average and a .833 save percentage, Feldman believed that Green needed a break and Parisi had earned the opportunity to start a game.
“Well, [Parisi] has put herself in a position where she’s … earned playing time,” Feldman said. “She’s been a gamer. This preseason, she played a half against Northeastern, played great. And we need the second experienced goalkeeper; we have to have another player ready to go and she’s closed the gap with Andrea [Green] and I felt like she earned it and Andrea has been working real hard and playing real well but is a little bit tired and beat up. It takes a toll.
“I felt that having a fresh goalkeeper that was ready to play and is a gamer, or has proved to be so far, would be good for the team, and I think that it worked out.”
While it is unclear what the rotation will be for Terriers goalkeepers going forward, it is reassuring to Feldman that she has two skilled goalkeepers ready at the drop of a hat to play. For Parisi, simply having the chance to go out and help her team earn the victory was all that she cared about.
“It just felt really good to be able to play on the field and lift my team,” Parisi said.