Soccer, Sports

Halasz, Terriers gaining confidence

When the Boston University women’s soccer team treks up to the University of Vermont Sunday, it will be depending on its offense to pressure a soft Catamount (2-9-0, 0-1-0 America East) defense.
After a slow start to the season, the BU (6-5-1, 1-0-0) offense has been suddenly energized, logging 36 shots on goal over the last three games after putting just 38 shots on goal in its first nine games.
Sophomore Corie Halasz has been a spark plug to the now-dangerous Terrier attack, recording an assist and two goals on 12 shots over the team’s last three games. BU coach Nancy Feldman said Halasz’s ability and versatility make her an asset to the Terriers.
‘For the team this year, where Corie can make the biggest contribution is as an attacking player,’ Feldman said. ‘Right now, she’s our first off the bench as a back, but she, at the beginning of the year, was certainly starting material ‘-‘- one of our best 11 as an attacking player.’
According to Feldman, Halasz, who started 20-of-21 games as a freshman in 2006 before missing all of 2007 due to injury, wasn’t totally receptive to her role as a utility player at first. However, with a little encouragement from the coaching staff, the Milford, Conn., native has become a major offensive threat from any position.
‘It took her a little while to get comfortable with that role, but I think now she’s kind of embracing it,’ Feldman said. ‘She’s recognizing now that after missing a year due to injury that it’s really good for her to get on the field and compete and play.
‘She’s getting more comfortable and getting more confident. I guess we talked her into it enough to get her to buy into the fact that she really can be a factor.’
BU’s offensive attack has been notably more aggressive during the team’s last three games ‘-‘- a span during which the Terriers are 2-0-1. In soccer, aggressive offensive attacks are often susceptible to the counter-attack, but luckily for BU, each of its last three opponents (Brown University, the University at Albany and Dartmouth College) have been relatively conservative, and the Terriers have yet to be punished by strong counters.
Vermont, however, loves to play an aggressive counter-attack style, and likely will challenge BU more than its past three opponents.
‘[Vermont’s] definitely an attack-minded team,’ Feldman said. ‘We worry about every team on the counter against us if we get out of shape. We need to attack aggressively but need to stay in shape. Being in shape means that we’re not leaving ourselves exposed. You can attack aggressively without being exposed. We just have to be very disciplined.’
Feldman said it will be key for BU defenders to stifle the Catamount counters in the middle third of the field to cut off Vermont’s three-forward fronts before they penetrate the Terrier zone.
‘Whenever you play a three-front, and you end up defending a three-versus-four, the very best way to do that is to get aggressive early,’ Feldman said. ‘You have to stay aggressive to do it, because if you kind of get a little passive, they’ll see open field and they’ll start running at you, and you’re giving up way too much ground.
‘We want to be sure that we’re seeing the ball, and whenever they take an out pass, we have a defender there who’s close enough to press them so they’re not able to turn and run up the field.’

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