After nearly 98 minutes of inspiring play, the Boston University women’s soccer team managed to pull away with yet another clutch victory against a Patriot League rival, beating American University Sunday night in Washington for its third consecutive win.
The Terriers (12-3-3, 7-1 Patriot League) continuously pressured the Eagles (6-10-3, 4-3-1 Patriot League) for the majority of the game, but things did not click until extra time, as junior forward Taylor Krebs fired a shot from inside the box to the right of the net in the 98th minute to seal the game. It was Krebs’ second goal of the season, and her second game-winning shot of her career.
The Terrier offense, which has relied on its aggressive play to overwhelm and attack opponents, had a record night that once again showcased its tremendous success as a team. By the end of the night, the Terriers managed a season-high 31 shots, 22 corner kicks and 11 shots on goal. 12 different players also recorded at least two shot attempts in the game. Senior midfielder Kylie Strom led the team with four total shots, while senior forward Madison Clemens and freshman forward Erica Kosienski recorded two shots on goal.
“We had physicality from start to finish, which I think we need to bring for 90 minutes every game,” said BU coach Nancy Feldman. “While the points didn’t show up, I like that we started the game more physical and with a better approach to winning and being first to the ball.”
In the first half, the Terriers had their best chance to score following a corner kick by senior Emma Clark in the 27th minute, but Strom headed the shot just wide of the goal. BU also fired a pair of shots on goal in the final ten minutes of the half from Kosienski and junior forward Ana Cuffia that were stopped by American goalkeeper Charlene Belanger.
The Terriers continued their momentum in the second half as they again dominated possession and outshot the Eagles 18-1, but still had trouble finding the back of the net. Sophomore forward Jenna Fischer, senior midfielder Megan McGoldrick and junior back Kai Miller each placed a shot on goal as BU once again could not convert on several opportunities within regulation time. Senior defender Amanda Rumsey had another chance to end the game with a shot that hit the post, following a corner kick by Clark in the 94th minute.
“If we keep the tempo high, we can create more opportunities [to score],” Feldman said. “That’s the expectation. I think that’s really an important quality for success in league play and that takes you, hopefully, to success at the end of the season”.
Defensively, senior goalkeeper Andrea Green earned her ninth overall shutout of the season. The Eagles only managed two shots the entire game and did not challenge Green.
With the victory, BU continued its eight-game unbeaten streak and clinched the No. 2 seed in the upcoming six-team Patriot League Tournament. As one of the top two seeds, The Terriers will receive a first-round bye and will play in the semifinals, which will be hosted by top-seeded U.S. Naval Academy Nov. 8.
This will be the team’s — and the school’s — first foray into the Patriot League playoffs following a move from the America East Conference at the start of the 2013 season. Whether BU will succeed in its chase for their first national championship is still up for debate, but Feldman, the coach for all 10 of the Terriers’ NCAA Tournament appearances, said she believes this team is capable of succeeding.
“We’ve done well [this season],” Feldman said. “I think we have a mature and capable team, and certainly a championship one as well.”