If there is one constant to the Boston University women’s soccer team’s success at Nickerson Field, chances are it might be due to its outstanding second-half play.
The Terriers (8-3-1, 3-1 Patriot League) downed Lehigh University by a score of 3-0 Saturday. It was BU’s third consecutive shutout — their eighth overall for the season — and it came to fruition with an outstanding second half when senior forward Madison Clemens and senior midfielder Megan McGoldrick scored unassisted goals in the 55th and 71st minutes, respectively.
Junior midfielder Jamie Turchi rounded out the scoring with a header goal in the 83rd minute assisted by junior forward Ana Cuffia, adding some insurance late into the second half.
“We came out a bit slow [in the first half], but then we changed it pretty quick,” Clemens said. “We really just needed to get a goal to shift the momentum towards our side.”
This is not the first time this year that BU has rebounded from a slow start. Against College of the Holy Cross on Wednesday night, the Terriers did not record a shot on goal until the 27th minute in their 3-0 win. Against the U.S. Military Academy on Sept. 28, the team’s only goal came in the 38th minute when freshman forward Erica Kosienski put one in the back of the net.
For BU coach Nancy Feldman’s team — one that has been coached and encouraged to create opportunities and shots from aggressive and disciplined play — the results are somewhat disappointing.
“It took us a while to get our attacking rhythm today, just like [we did against Holy Cross]” Feldman said. “I think that we have to keep our tempo high in the back. We didn’t do that at the beginning of the game, and it just allowed [Lehigh] to have more of the ball. I think we proved [in the second half] that if we keep the tempo high, we can create more opportunities. That’s something we’re going to have to work on, keeping our tempo high even when the game may be allowing you to play a little slower.”
Clemens said the team is striving to play at a high level through all 90 minutes.
“We don’t want to be thought of as a second-half team,” Clemens said. “We want to come out as a full 90-minute team. We’re working on that because we have come out a little slow in the beginning of games and we don’t want it to become a trend.”
Only time will tell whether this tendency of late scoring will continue for the Terriers. Feldman said she is hopeful that the team will get off on hotter starts in the future.
“I thought we had physicality from start to finish, which I think we need to bring for 90 minutes every game,” Feldman said. “That’s the expectation. Sometimes it just takes a while for you to figure out where the holes are and how you break a team down. There’s another team out there and they are a well-coached and hard-working side. You have to figure it out sometimes.
“One thing I think we’ve tried to do over the years — and this year is no exception — is to be really focused. I think that’s really an important quality for success in league play and that takes you, hopefully, to success at the end of the season. I think our team has done a wonderful job of doing that all over the field and not letting our guard down … Our team culture and our team belief is that if we do accomplish that goal, we will have clean sheets.”