The Boston University field hockey went on the road this weekend, splitting a pair of games against Lehigh University and the No. 4 University of Connecticut.
Saturday afternoon the Terriers (8-6, 3-1 Patriot League) continued their tour through the Patriot League as they defeated Lehigh (3-11, 0-3 Patriot League) by a score of 3-1.
“It was our best game. We’ve been working on our strikers,” said BU coach Sally Starr. “That all came together in that game which we were very happy to see.”
It was a shaky start for the Terriers as the Mountain Hawks pressured them early in the first half. For the first five minutes, Lehigh was able to keep possession in BU territory, getting a few shots off and earning a penalty corner, all of which were thwarted by the Terriers’ defense and stellar goalkeeping of junior Valentina Cerda Eimbcke.
After the initial Mountain Hawk offensive spurt, BU went into attack mode. Seven and a half minutes into the game, freshman forward Sara Martineau took the first shot for BU, and was able to beat the goalie Julia Ward with a low shot.
Just 13 minutes later, BU was on the attack once again. Freshman backer Bea Baumberger Altirriba fed her classmate, forward Amanda Cassera, who was able to knock it in past the Ward for a 2-0 lead.
For the remainder of the period BU would control the ball and get several more shots off before the buzzer would sound. Going into the halftime, BU led 2-0, outshooting Lehigh 13-3.
Four minutes into the second half, the Terriers earned a corner, which senior midfielder Madeline Hackett passed in. First senior backer Anne Fruitema fired a shot, but was stopped by Ward. Freshman forward Sara Martineau fired off a shot following the miss by Fruitema, but Ward saved this attempt yet again. On the second rebound attempt, Cassera was able to break through with her second goal of the day.
“We wanted to put them away,” Starr said. “They are a young and scrappy team and did not want to let them back in.”
BU would go on to win the game 3-1, as Lehigh freshman Marissa Glatt managed a goal with 1:13 remaining. The Terriers outshot the Mountain Hawks 27-5 in the contest.
Sunday afternoon, the Terriers moved on to Storrs, Conn., to take on No. 4 University of Connecticut.
“A game like that is all about opportunity,” Starr said about playing a top-tier team in Connecticut. “We were playing one of their best teams that they have had in many years.”
The Terriers were strong against the Huskies (12-1) in the first half, as the two exchanged shots and possessions and were all knotted up going into final minute of the first half.
With 54 seconds left in the first half, UConn grabbed the momentum and the lead. Forward Chloe Hunnable was able to put a questionable goal past Eimbcke, giving the Huskies a 1-0 advantage.
“The first goal was unfortunate,” Starr said. “I argued it, the girls argued it and it should have been 0-0 going into halftime.”
Coming out of halftime, the momentum shift was evident, as it took only a little over a minute for the Huskies to push the ball downfield and score their second goal of the day.
Nearly 25 minutes into the second half, Connecticut’s lead slim lead exploded into a blowout as they posted three goals past Eimbcke.
It was not until the 67th minute when BU would break through with a goal, as junior forward Nell Burdis recorded her first goal of the season with a pass from freshman midfielder Hester van der Laan.
Although BU earned a late goal from Burdis, the Terriers succumbed to the Huskies by a 5-1 margin.
“We have four weeks of hockey remaining and I really preached how much we improved in the four weeks we had between the [Boston College] scrimmage and BC game,” Starr said. “So I told them if we can make that type of jump again in these final weeks we can be very good going to into postseason but we have a lot of work left to do.”