Going into the 2013 season, it was expected that the Boston University women’s soccer team would be carried offensively by established players such as senior forward Madison Clemens and senior midfielder Emma Clark.
While both of those players — as well as many of their other teammates — have made their presences felt on the field this year, one player in particular who has been turning heads so far this season has been freshman forward Erica Kosienski.
Despite only having six games under her belt, Kosienski has been one of the most productive offensive players on the Terriers (3-2-1) this season, as the Plantsville, Conn. native currently leads the team with five shots on goal through six games, despite the fact that she has not started any of those matches.
Most recently, Kosienski was named the Patriot League BRINE Rookie of the Week Monday afternoon after scoring the first goal of her career in the 79th minute of Sunday’s game against the University of Akron, breaking what was a 2-2 tie and giving the Terriers the victory.
For BU coach Nancy Feldman, Kosienski’s energetic style of play has been a welcome addition to the team’s offense this season.
“She’s been a real sparkplug off the bench,” Feldman said. “What she brings is something that is just a little bit different than the other [forwards]. She’s very aggressive running with the ball … I’ll make an analogy with running backs in football. When running backs are running downhill, they’re right on that edge between almost tripping over but also putting a lot of pressure on the opposing defense…
“Erica has that quality and it’s something that seems pretty natural to her … It’s a little different from our other forwards, but something like that really helps us a lot because if we have all the same type of players, I don’t think it’s as dangerous.”
Hollenbaugh Earns Defensive Player of the Week Award
Kosienski was not the first Terrier to earn a Patriot League award this season, as sophomore defender McKenzie Hollenbaugh was named the BRINE Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 3.
A 2012 America East All-Rookie team member last season, Hollenbaugh has continued to elevate her game, as she has started every game this season and currently anchors a defense that has helped record three shutouts.
“McKenzie is really fast and really stands out because her one-on-one defending is incredibly locked down,” Feldman said. “If she’s in a duel, because of her pace and because of her aggressiveness, she’s going to win her duels.”
Terrier Defense Continues To Be Stout
While the Terrier offense has been rather inconsistent so far with just 1.00 goals per game over their first six contests (tied for fifth amongst Patriot League schools), the team’s defense has been incredible, only allowing four goals in 560 minutes of play this season.
Despite the loss of 2012 America East Defender of the Year Jessica Morrow, who graduated following the 2012 campaign, the Terrier backfield is stacked with players such as Hollenbaugh and senior defender (as well as 2012 Second Team All-Conference member) Erin Mullen.
While the two goals that the Terriers let up against the Zips (2-2-2) Sunday afternoon were a season-high for the team, they have performed admirably against other talented teams this year, such as No. 14 Penn State University. Penn State (3-1-1) scored one goal in the game, but is averaging 2.20 goals a game.
The Terriers also played shutdown defense against the then-No. 11 University of South Carolina, and held them to no goals and only five shots overall.
For Feldman, the key to the team’s great defensive unit this season is their focus and their emphasis on team play.
“We really take pride in our team defending,” Feldman said. “Everyone has a job, everyone has a responsibility, and everyone has the same level of expectations of doing all the little things in their roles.”