As the Boston University women’s soccer team braces for the end of the regular season, it will travel to Hamilton, N.Y.,Wednesday to face off against Colgate University.
The Terriers (10-3-3, 5-1-0 Patriot League) improved their unbeaten streak to seven games after defeating Loyola University-Maryland 1-0 Saturday afternoon. BU will have a much tougher test Wednesday night as the Raiders (8-4-1, 4-1-1) currently sit in fourth place in the Patriot League standings.
Despite Loyola’s (1-10-3, 0-5-1) lackluster form this season, the Terriers were unable to finish their array of chances — BU led the Greyhounds in shots 19-2 — during the match. The game’s lone breakthrough finally came when freshman forward Erica Kosienski guided a shot past Loyola goalkeeper Didi Haracic after receiving an assist from senior midfielder Megan McGoldrick.
This was the second straight game in which Kosienski had added onto her scoring total. She is currently tied with senior forward Madison Clemens with five goals this season. The two are both tied for third in the conference in goal scoring.
Kosienski was also named last week’s BRINE Rookie of the Week.
“She’s been coming off the bench and providing a spark for us,” said BU coach Nancy Feldman. “She’s got some talent. She’s getting more comfortable with her teammates and with the expectations and demands of our environment.”
While BU’s struggle against the last-place Greyhounds came as a surprise, the victory clinched the Terriers a spot in the Patriot League conference tournament, which begins Nov. 5. Currently, BU is in second place in the conference with 15 points, three points behind the U.S. Naval Academy.
Despite the team’s guaranteed placement in postseason play, Feldman said that BU must raise its expectations for the match against Colgate.
“They’re a good team,” Feldman said. “They were the champions last year and have a number of good players back. They’re a pretty well-put-together team.
“They’re athletic and play quick on the counter. It’s going to be bringing our skill and also bringing our grit that will be an important element in the game tomorrow.”
In the Raiders’ last game, they played to a 1-1 draw against Bucknell University. Colgate’s captain and scoring leader, forward Caroline Brawner, delivered Colgate’s only goal.
Brawner has been a potent contributor for her team all season, as she now has five goals and three assists on the year, yet her performance has certainly not been without help from her teammates. Colgate is second in the Patriot League with both 22 goals as well as 19 assists this season.
The Raiders also possess a stellar defense, as they have allowed just nine goals on the year. The only Patriot League team that has allowed fewer goals is BU with seven.
The Terriers are hoping to maintain their excellent form defensively through the leadership of two center backs, sophomore McKenzie Hollenbaugh and junior Kai Miller. The fact that senior goalkeeper Andrea Green leads the conference with only five goals allowed this season does not tell the entire story. Green ranks 10th in terms of saves opportunities, which shows how little Hollenbaugh and Miller have allowed their opponents to get past them all year.
An aspect of Wednesday’s game that may play in Colgate’s favor is the setting, as the Raiders have won all four of their home games. In those games, they have outscored their opponents 11-1. Furthermore, all three of BU’s losses have come on the road. However, the Terriers’ current unbeaten streak includes three away games.
As BU approaches the end of the regular season, the team looks to maintain its stamina.
“There’s certainly fatigue,” Feldman said. “But we’ve tried to help manage that. The players have to manage themselves with their schoolwork, and we forget how much pressure they’re under in school. They all have very challenging courseloads, and that’s real.
“It’s also about just pushing through. When it’s uncomfortable or it’s a little bit more difficult, that’s when you separate yourself apart as a championship-type team.”