Despite a solid end-to-end effort on the pitch, it took a late goal from freshman forward Erica Kosienski for the Boston University women’s soccer team to defeat Loyola University- Maryland 1-0 Saturday at Nickerson Field. With the win, the Terriers extended their unbeaten streak to seven games and clinched a spot in the Patriot League Tournament.
From the opening whistle, the Terriers (10-3-3, 5-0-1 Patriot League) took control of possession as much of the BU strategy focused on getting the ball out wide to sophomore forward Jenna Fisher and junior forward Taylor Krebs.
Both of the forwards got behind the Greyhound (1-10-3, 0-5-1 Patriot League) defense to cross the ball into the penalty box, but the Terriers failed to score. They did get a flurry of shots off, but the team struggled to put the ball both on target and past goalkeeper Didi Haracic.
In the 27th minute, the Greyhounds had their best chance of the half when freshman Maddie Boccio directed a header toward the goal. BU senior goalkeeper Andrea Green put the shot aside, however, to keep the game scoreless.
Senior forward Ana Cuffia had the lone shot on goal for the Terriers in the first half in the 33rd minute. However, Haracic made the save.
The Terriers had another chance in the 43rd minute when senior forward Jamie Turchi took a one-time shot from the top of the 18-yard box that caromed off of the crossbar but was cleared away from danger by the Greyhound defense. Although the Terriers outshot the Greyhounds 9-2 through the first 45 minutes, the scoreboard remained unchanged as the teams headed into halftime.
As the second half of action got underway, the Terriers played with a sense of urgency. BU recorded two shots in the first 10 minutes of action and dominated every aspect of the game, particularly in the air. Even though BU came out strong, however, they still could not find the back of the net.
The Greyhounds did not possess the ball and had difficulty finding the offensive side of the field throughout the half. Controlling the flow of the game allowed the Terriers to outshoot the Greyhounds 10-0 in the second half. Green and the Terrier defense remained untested throughout most of the contest, as the Greyhounds recorded only two shots the entire game.
In the 70th minute, BU coach Nancy Feldman brought Kosienski into the match for senior forward Madison Clemens to provide a spark for the Terrier offense. Kosienski was the fuel that the Terriers needed, as she continually got past Greyhound defenders with her speed.
Finally, after several close calls, Kosienski put one in the back of the net when she collected a pass from senior midfielder Megan McGoldrick near midfield, took on several Greyhound defenders and hit a soaring shot that found its way past Haracic. The crucial 82nd-minute goal was Kosienski’s fourth game-winning goal of the season, a team-leading mark.
“The mentality is so strong right now,” Kosienski said about the team’s play. “We come out every game so hard.”
With the win, BU remains undefeated at Nickerson Field. Kosienski said defending home turf is a point of emphasis for the Terriers, especially as the team heads toward the postseason.
“Protecting our home is absolutely the most amazing thing,” Kosienski said. “We have not lost here yet and that’s huge. We want to keep that up. We want to go the whole season protecting [Nickerson] and not letting anyone beat us here.”