Saturday was yet another close call for the No. 18 Boston University field hockey team. In a tightly contested game, the Terriers defeated Colgate University 2-1 in Hamilton, N.Y.
The Terriers (5-2, 1-0 Patriot League) seem to have fallen into a pattern of going down early, and spending the rest of the game clawing back.
BU first had this scenario when they played No. 16 University of Delaware at the beginning of the season. BU was able to tie the game late in the second half, forcing overtime where an acrobatic goal by freshman midfielder Hester van der Laan sent the team home with a win.
Last week, BU encountered a similar problem playing against Providence College, but a goal by junior midfielder Anne Fruitema tied the game in the second half. Then sophomore midfielder Sofi Laurito came up with a big goal in overtime to give BU the 2-1 victory.
The opening minutes of Saturday’s game against the Raiders (1-7, 0-1 Patriot League) once again saw the Terriers playing from behind.
Forward Eliana Brown took the first shot for the Raiders at the 1:34 mark from the right side of the circle and was able to hit it in off the far post for a goal against junior goalkeeper Valentina Cerda Eimbcke, who has been in stellar form this season.
“I knew that we were going to be in for a game against a team that will play really hard and aggressive, and I told our team that,” said BU coach Sally Starr. “You don’t like seeing that happen, but I said that what our team has shown is tremendous resiliency.”
The Terriers earned their first penalty corner in the 11th minute, which led to a shot from freshman forward Amanda Cassera that was saved by Colgate goalkeeper Amanda DiDomizio.
With less than four minutes remaining in the first half, the Terriers finally broke through. Fruitema dropped off the ball to van der Laan on the left, who then sent it sailing past DiDomizio to knot up the score at one apiece.
BU got the ball back shortly after the goal and attempted to tack on another before going into halftime. After two wide shots from Fruitema, the buzzer rang to signal halftime as the score remained 1-1.
The Terriers came out of the halftime break bringing momentum from the end of the first half, earning two corners just a few minutes into the half. After three penalty attack corners and three shots, Sofi Laurito fired a shot from the edge of the circle, finding the back of the net to give BU a 2-1 lead.
“In our pregame meeting, I talked about the way they defended and if you break free in the man-to-man to get away from the person that has the ball to draw away defenders,” Starr said. “That’s what happened with [Laurito] — they took the defenders away, opening space, and she went right to the top off the circle and fired off her patented reverse shot, which was beautiful.”
Shortly after the BU goal, Colgate threatened with several scoring opportunities. In a three-minute span between the 49th and 52nd minutes, the Raiders earned three corners and fired off three shots.
On the first shot, sophomore backer Katie Bernatchez was able to make a defensive save; on the second, Eimbcke made her lone save of the game. The third shot sailed over the goal.
With strong defensive play, BU was able to hold onto its lead for the remainder of the game, leaving with a win and 1-0 record against Patriot League opponents.
“I was happy to get out of there with a win — it wasn’t always pretty, but it wasn’t always ugly,” Starr said. “We won an important conference game. I’m pretty excited that it was the first win for all of BU teams in the Patriot League.”