The Boston University women soccer team left West Point, N.Y., Saturday after recording its first Patriot League win against the U.S. Military Academy. Having lost their first conference game to the U.S. Naval Academy over a week ago, the Terriers held the Black Knights and their potent offense scoreless in the 1-0 win.
BU coach Nancy Feldman attributed a large amount of the Terriers’ (6-3-1, 1-1-0 Patriot League) success to the efforts of senior goalkeeper Andrea Green against a potent Army (5-5-1, 1-1-0 Patriot League) offense.
The Black Knights crushed the University of Rhode Island, 5-0, at West Point’s Clinton Field Sept. 15 Furthermore, forward Kimberly An was named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week for the week of Sept. 16.
However, Saturday’s victory marked the fifth shutout of the season for Green.
“We’ve been getting good goalkeeping,” Feldman said. “I thought Andrea came up really big today, coming off her line in particular, and she made a very good save on a free kick.”
But the strong defending from BU was not just a result of individual effort, Feldman said.
“We have good players [on defense],” Feldman said. “They’re tenacious and tough-minded. They’re smart and organized, good one-on-one defenders, and you have to defend as a unit.”
Despite the strong attack Army boasts, the Terriers’ defense held Army to just four chances in the first half of play, three of which were saved by Green.
In the ninth minute, forward Katie Holder got a shot off for Army, but Green was able to make the stop, her first of the contest.
The Terrier offense tried to break the scoreless tie, but early on the Black Knight defense was strong enough to ward them off. Freshman forward Erica Kosienski got the first shot on goal in the game for the Terriers, but goalkeeper Jordan Cassalia stopped it.
Despite being held without many chances, Kosienski scored the game’s lone goal on an assist from sophomore forward Jenna Fisher at the end of the first half in the 38th minute. After entering the game in the 29th minute, Kosienski was able to break through the Army defense before firing a shot from the 18-yard box for a goal just nine minutes later, her team-best third goal of the season.
Feldman expressed a vast amount of respect for Kosienski’s playing style after the game.
“She has a nose for the goal,” Feldman said. “She’s very strong and powerful, when she has an opening she goes for it, and she’s on edge 100 percent. It’s part timing, athleticism and explosiveness, but also part attitude. When she sees a moment, she pounces.”
Despite only scoring one goal and each team recording eight shots apiece, Feldman maintains that the Terriers had a slight edge.
“I think we may have generated a little more attack and possession, maybe a little bit more play in their end, but not significant,” Feldman said. “It was a game played mainly in the midfield, and it was a pretty even affair.”
The goal gave the Terriers a 1-0 advantage heading to the halftime break. At the end of the half, the teams were even in corner kicks 1-1.
As the game went into the second half, it remained competitive. Both teams were able to get four shots apiece again, with one going on goal for the Black Knights. An produced that shot on goal in the 80th minute for Army, but Green was up for the challenge again, making the save and keeping the slim 1-0 lead intact.
“Army’s a very good team and they’re very hardworking,” Feldman said. “They slipped out of our pressure and created some chances.”
Despite not racking up many chances in the second half on offense, the Terriers were able to contain the Black Knights offense, and held on for a 1-0 win.
“It feels great,” Feldman said on the team’s first Patriot League win. “We came to play, and we fought hard. We played intelligently and a hard game physically.”