The Boston University women’s soccer team enjoyed a series of highlights during its 3-0 win against College of the Holy Cross. Wednesday night saw the first goal of the season for junior forward Taylor Krebs, the second multi-goal game in senior forward Madison Clemens’ career and the team earning its fourth consecutive shutout at Nickerson Field this season.
For Nancy Feldman and her team, this success stems from the ability to play aggressive, fundamentally sound soccer that has carried BU (7-3-1, 2-1 Patriot League) this year.
“One of our goals [against Holy Cross] was to be more aggressive in the final third, and we saw that from start to finish,” Feldman said. “[When] we move better off the ball and we make more unpredictable passes and get a little bit more separation from them, we wear our opponents down.”
This dynamic approach has worked wonders for the Terriers’ high-powered offense. BU had three times the amount of shots on goal against the Crusaders (1-7-3, 1-2 Patriot League) and dominated in virtually all other categories, including corner kicks (9-3) and total shots (17-5).
Perhaps this was most evident in the final stretch of the first half, when the Terriers connected for two goals and three total shots under the crusade of Clemens, Krebs, sophomore forward Jenna Fisher and senior midfielder Kylie Strom within a five-minute span.
Overall, the Terriers have outshot opponents 61-38, while outscoring teams 6-1 in their last five games, leading to the emergence of rising stars such as Fisher and freshman forward Erica Kosienski. Kosienski had two shots of her ownWednesday night after securing the game-winning goal the week before.
“When we accomplish those things, we work stronger and we have more opportunities to work with” Feldman said. “That is a step we have to take in order to score more goals. These things aren’t gonna come out of the blue, and you have to make them happen. You have to be on the edge, and I thought we did that … tonight, and I haven’t seen that all season.”
Of course, being aggressive is only a small part within Feldman’s mentality. Being sound and playing within a controlled manner is also something that Feldman has stressed toward her players. Feldman cited the play of Fisher, who provided the assist to Krebs’ goal, of what she considers to be a perfect example.
“She brings great bite, she’s doing a better job of her touches and [she is] more under control and composed, and she’s bringing her own competitiveness that [she] balances with composure,” Feldman said about Fisher. “When we put those things together, it makes things a lot more effective.”
Attacking on defense is important, but Feldman said ball control is as well. One of the main goals that the team has looked to attain is avoiding turnovers and not allowing the other team to intercept BU’s moves.
“Keeping possession of the ball is a big part of how we play,” Feldman said. “So in essence, we have to do one and the other, but it’s hard to put those two together as you’re going fast and furious and you have to be calm and use your technique at the same time.”
Yet as Feldman said, in the end success — and in turn, victory — only comes when the players buy in to their methods.
“I wouldn’t say want to be dominant in that area — it’s just an attitude. Some of it of is body position, some of it is starting position, footwork, lifting, explosiveness. But a lot of it is attitude. And we make it a priority. We make the players learn the attitude so they can get on the field.”