The friendly confines of Nickerson Field have been a welcome sight for the Boston University women’s soccer team over the years, as the Terriers have amassed an impressive home record of 48-6 over the last five seasons.
“It’s always great to be home — we love playing on Nickerson Field,” said BU coach Nancy Feldman. We like to think that we’re a tough team at home and we’ve got to back that up, but I’d like to think that. … We think that it can be an advantage if we make it an advantage so we’re really pleased to be home.”
Luckily for BU (3-2-1), after enduring a grueling 1,289-mile road trip last weekend that included games against No. 14 Penn State University and the University of Akron, the Terriers will gear up for a well-deserved homestand this weekend that will pit the Terriers against the University of Connecticut Friday night and Providence College Sunday afternoon.
Though they finished last weekend with a 1-1 record, Terriers were proud of their effort in those two games, as there were a lot of positive things to take away from both contests.
In the Terriers’ game against the Nittany Lions (4-1-1), BU performed well despite being outshot 14-9 in the contest, as a goal from senior Taylor Schram in the 53rd minute made the difference in what turned out to be a 1-0 Penn State victory.
The Terriers had much better success against the Zips (2-2-2) Sunday afternoon, as BU scored a season-high three goals against Akron, matching its scoring output from their last five games combined.
While their defense has once again been impressive, the Terriers’ offense has shown stretches of inconsistency so far this season, as BU is currently tied for fifth among Patriot League teams with 1.00 goals per game. Leading the way for the BU offense this season has been Patriot League preseason Offensive Player of the Year Madison Clemens, who leads the team in goals with two on the year.
Despite their unsteady play, the Terriers will have to improve quickly on offense, as they face UConn (4-2-0), one of the best defensive teams in the American Athletic Conference Led by redshirt freshman Gabriella Cuevas, who was named American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week Monday afternoon, and goalkeeper Emily Armstrong, who is fourth among AAC goalies with a .852 save percentage, the Huskies have held teams to 0.67 goals per game and have shutout their last four opponents.
“They’re solid in goal and they’re solid in the back,” Feldman said. “They’re a good team. Personnel-wise, I think that they’re a little stronger then they’ve been the last few years … We want to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves and to make the most of them, and you need to be able to recognize those moments and you need to be able to execute in those moments.”
After a day off, the Terriers will resume their homestand with a match against the Friars (3-1-1) Sundayafternoon.
The Friars have featured a talented offense so far this season, as they have tallied 11 goals over their first five games. They are led by sophomore Kathryn Hiller and senior Amanda Webster, who also lead the team in points with nine (four goals, one assist) and seven (two goals, three assists) respectively.
For Feldman, the biggest key to a successful homestand lies in the Terriers putting together a physical and determined performance against their opponents.
“The physical aspect of our play has been really phenomenal,” she said. “That’s something that’s going to have to continue during these matches … It’s doing all the things that we’ve done, and doing them better.”