Though the setting might have been different for the Boston University women’s soccer team on Saturday night, in the end it was business as usual.
Facing Lafayette College for the first time in school history, the Terriers (9-3-2, 4-1 Patriot League) blanked the Leopards (5-6-1, 1-4) 2-0 on the road for their ninth shutout of the season.
Senior midfielder Emma Clark and sophomore midfielder Clare Pleuler each scored their first goals of the season to power the Terriers to victory. Clark’s shot came upon an unassisted bouncing ball that she hooked towards the left side in the 19th minute of the first half. Lafayette initially cleared a cross from inside the six-yard box, but Clark was waiting at the edge of the penalty area for a first-time shot inside the far side netting.
A few plays later, Pleuler scored from the penalty spot on a centering pass when freshmen forward Erica Kosienski sent a low cross within the final thirty seconds of the half.
The aggressive Terriers offense continued to make strides this weekend, bombarding Lafayette for seven shots on goal and outpacing the Leopards with twelve shots in total within the first forty-five minutes.
“I thought the first half was the best half of soccer we’ve played,
said BU coach Nancy Feldman. “We started great, dominated … really opened the field up. I thought our attack was really fluid. The tempo was really good. We pressed them hard and didn’t give them much [to work with]. I thought we played a great soccer game”.
BU had a couple of set pieces in the opening fifteen minutes, but were unable to capitalize on the opportunities. The first was a free kick taken by senior midfielder Megan McGoldrick from inside 30 yards that made it on target, forcing Lafayette goalie Danielle Sedillo to make the save from afar. The next chance came two minutes later, when senior midfielder Kylie Strom took the attempt from a sharp angle, and it caught the outside of the post before going out for a goal kick.
Defensively, the Terriers again put up an impressive performance under the tutelage of senior goalkeeper Andrea Green, who made three saves in net for the Terriers and improved her goals-against average to 0.39, fifth overall in the nation. Even with junior Jaclyn Giordano, who recently made two clutch game-winning goals for the Leopards over the past four games, Lafayette did not record a shot in the entire first half.
Green was not challenged until late in the game, when Lafayette’s best chance of the game came off the left foot of sophomore Allie Torru in the 70th minute, when she strode to the left side and ripped a shot aimed at the far upper corner.
“Our team and our midfield did a great job controlling most of the flow of the game and keeping possession,” Feldman said. “They’ve been so strong and steady and I think they’re adding components to their game. They’re doing a little bit more in attack, making both short and long plays. They cover for each other. They cover for the outside backs. They made some big tackles in important moments where if you miss it or misjudge it or don’t win your battle, the other team is off to the races.”
As the season proceeds to its final stretch, BU will round out the year with four more games on the road — two of them against Patriots League opponents — before the playoffs officially begin in November.
“We’ve made really good progress,” Feldman said. “We’re certainly better now than we were a month ago. I like our chances finishing up the Patriot League and in the postseason.”