This weekend, the Boston University field hockey team travelled to Evanston, Ill., for two games that would not only test how the team could play on the road, but also test how they could play with a big injury impacting the team. The weekend began on a low note with a 4-1 loss at the hands of Northwestern University, but rebounded Sunday afternoon with a 1–0 victory over Miami University of Ohio.
The Terriers (3–1) started off the year with a thin backfield and, with the loss of sophomore backer Katie Bernatchez, who sustained a concussion last weekend, the Terriers are even thinner at the back.
“We started with two freshman, Ellie Landsman [who played] for Katie at left back, and Bea Baumberger, another frosh,” said BU coach Sally Starr. “They were previously splitting right back and played 70 minutes both games this weekend. It was some good experience for some good players.”
The Huskies (3-1) jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on a goal by midfielder Tara Puffenberger in the first minute.
It was not long before Northwestern continued to attack BU junior goalie Valentina Cerda Eimbcke and the Terrier defense. Two minutes later, the Huskies earned their first penalty attack corner. Eimbcke saved the first two shots, but was unable to stop the third shot by midfielder Lisa McCarthy.
Northwestern continued to dominate possession, and it was not until the 11th minute that the Terriers were able to get their first shot from freshman forward Amanda Cassera, but it was saved by Northwestern goalie Maddy Carpenter.
Following Cassera’s missed opportunity, the Terriers began to play with more aggression and were able to get two penalty attack corners. Unfortunately, neither chance was successful.
Through the rest of the first half, Northwestern did not allow BU many more opportunities, and the two teams went into the half with Northwestern leading the Terriers 2–0. Northwestern had dominated offense to that point, outshooting the Terriers 11-3.
BU came out of the break on the attack and, in a matter of minutes, it was able to get on the board and cut the lead in half. In the 39th minute sophomore midfielder Sofi Laurito notched her second goal of the season.
The 2-1 deficit was short-lived as Northwestern tacked on another goal with 20 minutes remaining in the half.
The Wildcats scored their fourth and final goal in the 58th minute and would go on to defeat the Terriers 4–1.
“It was really a situation where Northwestern played the best they’ve played all season and we were on our heels from the start,” Starr said. “We never got into our rhythm and, because of the heat and limited subs, it was tough. Their third goal was really tough for us.”
Sunday afternoon, BU took on the Redhawks (2–2) in a neutral site game.
“[The night before] we really talked about getting ‘back in the saddle’,” Starr said. “I was happy we had a game right away, we debriefed and moved forward and it was awesome to have an opportunity to compete right away.
In the 16th minute junior midfielder Anne Fruitema got the first shot on net for the Terriers, but Miami goalie Sarah Mueller made the save. Freshman forward Amanda Cassera attempted to put back the rebound, but Mueller was able to stop that as well.
The Terrier defense did not allow a shot on net in the half, and Eimbcke was left untested.
With the game scoreless going into the second half, the Terriers sought to get on the board. Two minutes into the half freshman forward Taylor Blood got a shot on net, but Mueller made another save.
In both the 13th and 18th minutes, BU had two more chances to break the tie, but Mueller frustrated the attack again with two saves.
In the 20th minute, Eimbcke was finally tested and made two saves. Backer Ali Froede took the initial shot. Backer Shannon Regan put the ensuing rebound on target, but Eimbcke was able to stop that as well.
After many unsuccessful attempts, the Terriers finally got on the board with a little over 10 minutes to go in the half on a goal by Fruitema.
The Redhawks attempted to tie the score in the 30th minute, but Eimbcke was able to make two saves to preserve the lead. This was the last chance on net for either team, as the Terriers came away with the 1-0 win.
“I think the atmosphere was lot like the Delaware game,” Starr said. “They knew they were going to be able to get something, and they just kept plugging away and that it was going to be a matter of time.”