Coming off of a weekend split against Boston College and Providence College, the No. 18 Boston University field hockey team will begin Patriot League play this weekend with a trip to Hamilton, N.Y., to take on Colgate University.
Saturday will be the Terriers’ (4-2) first game against a Patriot League opponent this year as well as Colgate’s (1-5) homecoming.
Last Friday, the Terriers faced a tough BC (5-1) team that was able to steal a late victory from BU. For many Terriers, especially the seniors, losing to the Eagles led to many BU players leaving New Balance Field visibly upset.
“It definitely hurts. It was so close,” said BU coach Sally Starr following the loss against BC. “There’s definitely a lot of tears, you feel bad especially for the seniors. It’s a special game for them.”
On Sunday, the Terriers were able to rebound in a game that went to overtime against Providence (3-3) where sophomore midfielder Sofi Laurito was the hero, giving the Terriers the goal that sent them past the Friars in a 2-1 overtime victory.
This weekend, BU will take on a Raiders team that is struggling to find its form, having lost five of its six games this season.
Aside from a 2-0 loss against Robert Morris University, Colgate’s four other losses were decided by one goal, two of which went into overtime.
“They [Colgate] have some very good athletes, and their record doesn’t reflect how they play,” Starr said. “They play a good pace of hockey and we look forward to playing them.”
Despite the struggles for Colgate thus far this season, its silver lining is junior Eliana Brown. So far, she has led the team in scoring with six goals and has assisted on another goal, giving her a team-leading 13 points.
Brown has carried an offense that has only averaged 1.83 goals per contes compared to the 2.50 goals a game the Raiders are giving up. Despite goalkeeper Amanda DiDomizio’s .779 save percentage, the Raider offense has not been able to step up and take the load off of the defense and goalkeeping.
Without consistent scoring, the biggest challenge for the Raiders Saturday morning will be getting the ball past sophomore goalie Valentina Cerda Eimbcke.
Earlier this week, Eimbcke earned the Goalkeeper of the Week award in the Patriot League for her recent efforts. In six games, she has only allowed eight goals, averaged 1.28 goals per game, and made 38 saves while boasting a .824 save percentage, giving her the fourth-best percentage in the country.
With Eimbcke in goal, goalkeeping is not a main concern for BU. It is what the team is doing on the other side of the field that should concern the Terriers.
Through six games, the Terriers have scored just 11 goals. Five of those came during the team’s first game against the Ohio University, a contest highlighted by freshman forward Amanda Cassera’s first collegiate hat trick. Aside from the strong offensive showing in the game against the Bobcats (2-4), the Terriers have only scored six other goals.
“We’re working to develop our strikers,” Starr said about the team’s recent lack of offense. “On film, it looks like they’re getting close, and it’s just a matter of a little more experience and poise in the attacking third. We’re also looking to our midfielders to score — we have four great midfielders that can really play.”
This weekend’s game against Colgate could tremendously help Starr and her team when it comes to finding out what works for them as they move forward this season.
“There’s a lot of excitement starting conference play,” Starr said. “New school, new field, new opponent, and we feel like we need to take care of business when it comes to conference play.”