Soccer, Sports

W. soccer welcomes conference rival

The Boston University women’s soccer team will vie for its third consecutive victory tonight when it hosts the University of New Hampshire at Nickerson Field.
The Terriers (9-5-1, 4-0-0 America East) enter tonight’s game with a newfound confidence. The team has not lost in six games, with the offense scoring 13 goals over that span. The defense has ceased being a concern late in games, allowing a mere three goals during that stretch.
Although New Hampshire is 5-8-1 overall, it is still a contender to win America East. The Wildcats are 4-1-0 in conference play, and if they beat BU tonight, they will be tied for first place in the league standings.
UNH has enjoyed success against other conference teams. In four of the Wildcats’ conference wins, the offense has scored three goals. Yet, their defense has been an issue. They have allowed seven tallies in five conference games while yielding 23 goals on the season. Their only hiccup in conference play was a 3-1 loss to the University at Albany ‘-‘- a team the Terriers beat, 2-0, on Sept. 28.
Last year, the Terriers played New Hampshire once in regular-season play and again in the championship game of the America East Tournament. The regular-season game ended in a scoreless tie despite the offensive onslaught brought on by New Hampshire. The Wildcats had 20 shots, nine of which were on goal. BU could not find the net despite nine corner kicks.
The last time the teams met, the outcome was very different. New Hampshire had an aggressive attack, netting a goal, but first-period scores from senior Jennifer Herman and junior Emily Pallotta gave the Terriers a win. The goals were the only two shots that BU put on net.
If the Terriers are to beat the Wildcats again, they will need to score early as they did in last year’s playoff game. New Hampshire is a weak first-half team, allowing 15 of its 23 goals in the opening period. The Terriers have scored eight first-half goals in their last three games.
The Terrier defense must take notice of the Wildcats’ main offensive weapon, senior Sarah Hourihan. Hourihan has been the center of most offensive plays, evidenced by her 37 shots this year. She leads the team with six goals and also has two assists.
The Wildcats do not need to solely rely on Hourihan, though. Three other players have scored three or more goals, including senior forward Michelle Sheehan, who has found the net five times this year.
The reassuring news for Terrier fans is that the Wildcats have lost to three of the conference teams BU has defeated or tied. New Hampshire has lost to the University of Rhode Island, Northeastern University and Dartmouth College, against whom the Terriers are 2-0-1 this season.

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