This weekend, the No. 19 Boston University field hockey team returns to New Balance Field for two games that will test out how well this year’s team can play under tough conditions.
The Terriers (3-1) are coming off of a weekend split in Evanston, Ill., where they took on No.11 Northwestern University and Miami University (Ohio).
Against the Wildcats (5-1), both the heat and the lack of substitutions proved to be too much as BU fell to No. 11 Northwestern University 4-1. The following day, the Terriers had a chance to rebound against the Red Hawks (2-3). In the end, the Terriers stole the low-scoring game away from Miami, winning the game by a score of 1-0 off of a goal from junior Anne Fruitema. It was the Terriers’ first shutout of the season.
BU will have its first game under the lights at New Balance Field Friday night, as the Terriers will host their Commonwealth Avenue rival, No. 17 Boston College. BU will then finish off the weekend homestand Sundayafternoon when it hosts Providence College.
Both teams are expected to put up a good fight against the Terriers, especially Boston College (4–1), since both teams are trying to work their way up the national rankings.
BC, who was bounced out of the first round of the ACC Tournament last season, has had an impressive start to its 2013 campaign. The Eagles started their season with a 10–1 victory over the University of Vermont and followed it up with three more close victories against Rutgers University, the University of Maine and Quinnipiac University.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, their bid at perfection came to an end this past weekend when they took on No. 7 University of Massachusetts. Both teams played evenly in the first half, but it was the Minutewomen (5-0) who dominated in the second half, scoring two goals and keeping BC off the board for the remainder of the game to go on to win by a score of 4–2.
“Boston College is an outstanding team and we always have great games against them,” said BU coach Sally Starr. “I want our girls to keep their composure, go out and play hockey against a very well coached BC team.”
Meanwhile, the Friars (2-2) are looking to shake some inconsistent play when they take on the Terriers Sundayafternoon.
Providence started off the season with an impressive 2-1 overtime win over then-No. 11 Northwestern. The Friars followed it up with a 4-1 loss against an unranked University of Albany team the very next day.
They went 1-1 the following weekend, beating Holy Cross 4-1 and falling to then-No. 15 Northeastern University.
“PC is an improving team,” Starr said. “They play hard, they compete and play fast and I’m looking forward to two exciting field hockey games at New Balance Field.”
The key for the Terriers this weekend is going to be their defense. Two weeks ago, BU lost starting sophomore backer Katie Bernatchez to a concussion, leaving the position even thinner than it was entering the season and putting Starr in a tough position. Last week, freshman Ellie Landsman filled Bernatchez’s spot. She was forced to play the entirety of both games because of the lack of substitutes on BU’s teams.Goalkeeping will also be key. BU has been in plenty of low-scoring games and after only scoring one goal against an inferior Miami team last week, it will need junior goalkeeper Valentina Cerda Eimbcke to continue her stellar play, especially against a BC team that put up 10 goals in a game earlier this season.
“I’m looking for a continued improvement, really competing hard for 70 minutes,” Starr said. “Sometimes we were playing some really good hockey but other times we had blinders on; so I’m just looking for more consistent play.”