The Boston University women’s soccer team has faced test after test so far this season in matches against teams such as Boston College on Aug. 25 and No. 11 University of South Carolina on Aug. 30. Unfortunately for the Terriers, their season did not get any easier over the weekend, as the team took on No. 14 Penn State University and the University of Akron in a grueling two-game road trip.
While taking on two challenging teams away from the friendly confines of Nickerson Field was certainly difficult for BU (3-2-1), the Terriers ended the weekend on a positive note with a win and a loss after two hard-fought contests.
BU opened up its two-game road trip Friday night, as the Terriers took on the Nittany Lions (3-1-1) in University Park, Pa.
It was a defensive battle in the first half of the game, as Penn State only recorded one shot on goal in the first 45 minutes while the Terriers managed three shots.
After halftime, the Nittany Lions got on the board quickly, as senior Taylor Schram fired the ball past BU senior goalkeeper Andrea Green in the 53rd minute to give Penn State a 1-0 lead. Unfortunately for the Terriers, they were unable to get anything going offensively against the stout Penn State defense and lost the game by the score of 1-0.
Green was solid in the game, finishing with two saves, while Penn State goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom recorded three saves in the contest.
While the Terriers were outshot 14-9 in the contest, BU coach Nancy Feldman was still encouraged by her team’s performance against the 2012 Women’s College Cup runner-up.
“We played a top-ranked team — very, very tough on Friday night, and really gave ourselves a chance to win,” Feldman said. “It was encouraging. It was disappointing that we didn’t get the result that we wanted, but there were many more positives than negatives.”
Despite playing in such a hard-fought game against Penn State, the Terriers were unable to rest in the days that followed, as the team made the 214-mile trek over to Ohio to take on Akron (2-2-2) Sunday afternoon.
After not finding the net during the entire Penn State game Friday night, the Terrier offense got off to a quick start against the Zips, as senior forward Madison Clemens scored in the fifth minute to give the Terriers a 1-0 lead.
Akron responded about 25 minutes later, as midfielder Madison Kaser headed a corner kick into the net past Green to knot the game at 1-1.
The game would remain scoreless for the rest of the first half before Akron took a 2-1 lead in the 61st minute on a goal from freshman Sarah Sivic. Luckily for the Terriers, the Zips’ lead would not stand for long, as junior midfielder Jamie Turchi tied the game with a goal just four minutes later to tie the game at two apiece.
When asked after the game, Feldman was quick to point out that Turchi’s goal was the turning point of the game.
“It absolutely was,” Feldman said. “[The goal] was from about 20 yards out. It was an excellent strike. It took the goalkeeper by surprise. … That was definitely a turning point in the game. I think from that point on, we believed if we kept moving off the ball and bringing the energy like we were doing in the second half, that the game was going to tilt our way, and it surely did.”
The Terriers would later take the lead in the 79th minute, as freshman forward Erica Kosienski scored to give the Terriers a 3-2 lead. Both teams would not score for the remainder of the game, giving the Terriers an impressive victory.
The Terrier offense finally arrived in the contest, as their three goals against Akron matched their aggregate scoring output in their first five game of the season.
“[Akron] doesn’t give up a lot of goals, so were going to have to really be focused and committed,” Feldman said. “For us, to start creating goals against any teams, and especially against a team that hasn’t given up a lot is important. We created a lot of chances, and it was good to see different people finishing. We’re not reliant on one person, and I think that is going to be good for us.”
While finishing the road trip at 1-1 wasn’t the ideal scenario for the Terriers, Feldman said that she was proud of the way the team handled themselves over the past weekend.
“It was good to see us come back when we were down with 25 minutes to go, that’s a really good sign,” Feldman said. “I think we’re all really satisfied with coming home 1-1 after playing a tough game Friday, We took care of business today [Sunday] and got the win that we should get.”