It was a successful first homestand of the season for the Boston University women’s soccer team, as the Terriers posted a 1-0-1 record after bringing the No. 11 University of South Carolina to a 0-0 draw Friday night and defeating Northwestern University by a score of 2-0 on Sunday.
Looking ahead, the Terriers (2-1-1) are set to embark on a two-game road trip this weekend that will pit them against Penn State University Friday night and the University of Akron Sunday afternoon.
The Terriers last faced off against the Nittany Lions (2-1-1) Sept. 13, 2009, where Penn State defeated BU by a score of 3-0. It was the first-ever matchup between the two teams.
Coming off of a successful season that saw Penn State boast a 21-4-2 record and an appearance in the NCAA National Championship game, which it lost 3-1 to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the Nittany Lions are once again a formidable opponent, as they are currently the No. 14 team in the country.
Led by senior Maya Hayes, who has recorded five goals in four games, the Nittany Lions currently average 2.50 goals per game and will be a big test for the Terrier defense and goalkeepers.
“Penn State is one of the top teams in the country,” said BU coach Nancy Feldman. “They were in the College Cup last year. Their ranking fell a little bit, they had a tough loss against Virginia last week, but rebounded by scoring five [goals] against La Salle [University] so they’re a very potent team. They’re always one of the top Big 10 teams, in fact over the last few years the top Big 10 team, and that’s not too shabby of a conference.”
“It’s going to be a strong test for us against a BCS Conference School that is a national champion contender.”
After playing Penn State, BU will make the trek to Ohio to play the Zips (2-1-1), a team that is currently third in the Mid-American Conference with 1.75 goals per game. While they may hold a winning record so far this season, Akron has struggled defensively, as they currently ranked last in the MAC with 2.00 goals allowed per game.
Playing in their first season in the Patriot League, the Terriers have had a solid start to the season, despite only averaging 0.75 goals per game. For BU, the biggest key to the team’s success so far this year has been their two goalkeepers, senior Andrea Green and junior Alyssa Parisi. The two goalkeepers have been spectacular, as together they have only allowed one awhy the Terriers are currently tied for first in the Patriot League.
With both goalkeepers playing at the top of their game last week, Feldman said that she has not made the decision who will get the starting nod on Friday.
“I actually haven’t decided on a starter for Penn State,” Feldman said. “Andrea hasn’t done one thing to lose her job, Aly has just really stepped up her game and has really developed into being a competitive starting goalkeeper. I don’t know how I’ll sort it out this weekend … It ends up figuring itself out.”
For Feldman, the biggest key to a successful road trip lies in the team building off of its great play during its last homestand.
“We just have to continue to improve from our performances over the last two weeks,” Feldman said. “A bright light for us was how we finished the Northwestern game. To me, if we can build on that, if we can bring that level of physicality, and that strength and power … and consistency with regard to the physical part of things … those are the kind of things that I’d like to see this coming weekend.”