The Boston University women’s soccer team will travel to Dartmouth College Wednesday where it will look to extend its five-game unbeaten streak.
Saturday, the Big Green (5-4-2) defeated Yale University 1-0, while the Terriers (9-3-2, 4-1-0 Patriot League) went on the road to beat Lafayette College by a score of 2-0.
The Terriers pounced on Lafayette (5-6-1, 1-4 Patriot League) early to score two first half goals. The goals came from senior midfielder Emma Clark and sophomore midfielder Clare Pleuler, each earning her first of the season.
In the second half, the Terriers continued to stifle Lafayette with their on-ball pressure, as the score remained 2-0 until the final whistle.
Since 2006, BU is 3-2-2 against Dartmouth. The Terriers fell to the Big Green last season by a score of 2-1.
In last year’s match, BU got out to an early lead against Dartmouth with a 12th minute goal from senior forward Madison Clemens. However, the Big Green found an equalizer soon after, and the Terriers lost the advantage for the rest of the game. The game was sealed when midfielder Kendall Kraus scored in the 87th minute and sent BU home with a loss.
“I’d like to think that we’re a better and more mature team,” said BU coach Nancy Feldman on last year’s battle. “I’d like to think that we’ve improved. We’re more experienced, so I think we’ll get a different result.
“The influx of the new players definitely helps. [Freshman forward] Erica Kosienski has helped coming off of the bench. I feel like our back line is a lot more established than it was last year. I think this should put us in a better position against Dartmouth.”
This season, Dartmouth is fourth in the Ivy League with a 2-1-0 conference record. In addition, the Big Green have proven to be unstoppable at home. Dartmouth is 4-0 on its own field this year, outscoring its opponents by an astonishing 10-0.
This feat may pose a threat to BU, as the Terriers are only 3-3 away from Nickerson Field, and their only losses have come on the road.
Feldman said this discrepancy is a result of both having difficult opponents on the road as well as being too used to playing at home.
“The record doesn’t tell the whole story,” Feldman said. “A lot of it has been the level of opponents. And a lot of it is the comfort on our own field. But we don’t use that as an excuse. We’re going to have to figure out a way to get comfortable winning home games.”
BU has certainly played tougher teams on the road than it has at home, as its road losses have come against then-No. 14 Penn State University, Boston College and the U.S. Naval Academy.
One of the Big Green’s biggest strengths is in its balance. Defensively, Dartmouth is second in the Ivy League with seven shutouts. Goalkeeper Tatiana Saunders leads the conference with 48 saves.
On offense, the team has excelled through the performance of senior Emma Brush. Brush scored the game-winning goal in the team’s contest with Yale. She is third in the Ivy League with six goals.
Dartmouth will face one of its toughest tests of the year tomorrow, however, as BU is unbeaten in its last five games. In addition, the Terriers have only conceded one goal during this stretch.
BU has received seen consistent offense from players such as Clemens, Kosienski and senior midfielder Megan McGoldrick. It has also had tremendous help in the net from senior goalkeeper Andrea Green, who leads the Patriot League with only five goals allowed in 13 games played.
Considering the success of both teams as well as the strength of their respective schedules, one can expect a fierce battle for tomorrow’s game.
“Dartmouth has a very strong team,” Feldman said. “They’re strong physically, athletic and well-coached. We have a very healthy rivalry with Dartmouth, and I think it brings the best out of both teams.”