The Boston University women’s soccer team earned a hard-fought 1-1 tie against cross-town rivals Harvard UniversityTuesday night at Nickerson Field. The Crimson are familiar foes for the Terriers, as the two teams have faced off numerous times in recent years with the most recent meeting being last year’s match which ended in a 2-2 draw.
The game started out as a physical contest as both the Terriers (8-3-2, 3-1-0 Patriot League) and the Crimson (6-3-2) tried to control the midfield. BU made a concerted effort to play the ball out wide to junior forward Taylor Krebs, who consistently blew by Crimson defenders to play crosses into the penalty box. After several close calls, senior midfielder Megan McGoldrick finally put one of Krebs’ crosses past Harvard keeper Lizsie Durack in the 12th minute to put BU up 1-0.
The Terriers seemed to be in command of the match until the 28th minute, when Crimson forward Margaret Purce collected the ball at midfield and beat three Terrier defenders before taking a low bouncing shot. The ball took several deflections until it rolled into senior goalkeeper Andrea Green’s net, evening up the score. The goal was the first one the Terriers have let up at home all season.
BU fought back with its aggressive play, recording three shots in the final 10 minutes of the first half. In the 43rd minute, junior midfielder Jamie Turchi almost gave BU the lead again when she hit a first-time shot from right outside the 18-yard box that grazed the top crossbar and flew over the goal. BU coach Nancy Feldman was particularly impressed with the Terriers’ play in the first half of action.
“I thought the first half was the best half of soccer we’ve played,” Feldman said. “We started great, dominated, I thought. Really opened the field up. I thought our attack was really fluid. The tempo was really good.”
The second half of play featured more up-tempo play from both sides. The game was primarily played in the midfield as neither team recorded a legitimate shot until senior midfielder Emma Clark sent a ball wide of the goal in the 63rd minute.
Crimson senior Elizabeth Weissman provided one of the lone shots on goal for Harvard in the 72nd minute when she fired the ball on target. However, Green made the save, her only one of the day. Clark gave away a dangerous free kick late in the second half when she fouled Purce just outside the 18-yard box.
As the game headed into overtime, both the Terriers and the Crimson tried to keep their offense fresh by inserting several substitutions at the forward position. Senior forward Madison Clemens, who recorded four shots on the day, shared time with freshman forward Erica Kosienski as each tried to use her speed to get in behind the Harvard defense.
Other than the uncharacteristic misstep in the first half, the Terrier defense, anchored by junior Kai Miller and sophomore McKenzie Hollenbaugh, stood strong, allowing the Crimson only 3 shots throughout the 110 minutes of play. Purce, who is a member of the U-20 U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, proved to be a handful for BU, but Miller and Hollenbaugh stuck to their gameplan and essentially shut her down.
“We just wanted to play the way we play against anyone that’s really good,” Miller said when asked about how she dealt with the threat of Purce. “You have to arrive on time, stand them up, not lose your feet. Even if she’s fast, you don’t let her get going. You can’t let her beat you.”
Overall, Feldman was impressed with the level of play exhibited by the Terriers.
“I’m disappointed that we didn’t get a W,” Feldman said. “I’m not disappointed in how we played … We’ve made really, really good progress. We’re certainly better now than we were a month ago. I like our chances finishing up the Patriot League and in the postseason.”