Soccer, Sports

W. soccer claims share of AE title

In an offensive struggle, the Boston University women’s soccer team pulled out a 2-0 victory over Stony Brook University yesterday at Nickerson Field to clinch a share of the America East regular-season title.
In the last regular-season home game of the year, the Terriers went scoreless in the first half despite forcing 15 shots, four corner kicks and a penalty shot. BU earned a penalty when senior Marisha Schumacher-Hodge was tripped up in the box. Her shot sailed toward the middle of the net, but was hit away by Seawolves goalkeeper Marisa Viola.
The Terriers continued to push, though they did not score until the 62nd minute of the second period when junior Mara Osher netted a goal off a rebound of her own penalty shot. Osher’s original strike was knocked away and made its way to junior Emily Pallotta, who also missed the goal. Osher then charged in to knock home the deflection for the Terriers’ first score of the game.
Osher said she understood the Terriers were having trouble capitalizing on offensive chances and knew another missed chance would be unacceptable.
‘At halftime, coach told us to be a little more patient since we were going to get opportunities, but we had to finish them.’ Osher said. ‘Coach told us to act like it’s your last and just put it in. Don’t waste anything, since all opportunities are good opportunities and you never know how many you’re going to get.’
BU’s second goal came from Schumacher-Hodge’s breakaway two minutes after Osher’s goal. Her initial shot deflected off Viola, but Schumacher-Hodge pursued her own rebound and placed it in the net with a left-footed shot into the corner of the goal.
BU coach Nancy Feldman said Schumacher-Hodge utilized the offensive space to create opportunities.
‘She’s really technical and she’s really poised,’ Feldman said. ‘In that play you saw her receive different types of pressure, stay calm and composed to follow up and rebound that shot.’
From that point on, the defense took control of the game, keeping the ball in Stony Brook territory and allowing few opportunities for the Seawolves. The defense held Stony Brook in check for most of the game, allowing six shots and two on goal.
In addition to clinching a share of the America East regular-season title, the Terriers earned the top seed in the conference tournament with yesterday’s win.
Senior midfielder Elizabeth Speck spoke about how two more regular-season wins would affect the team’s mindset going into the America East playoffs.
‘[These games are] all about the momentum,’ Speck said. ‘Going into the tournament, we want to be coming off two more strong wins. We don’t want to slow down. We want to take [the momentum] into the end of the season.’
On Senior Day, Feldman explained that this group of veterans has achieved a level of success that has brought them to a level of unprecedented confidence.
‘They entered this program and we had achieved some level of success within the conference,’ Feldman said. ‘What has changed in the last four years with this group is that there is a belief that we are capable of more.
‘We can be a dominant team in our conference year in and year out. We feel there is no team that we play against, whether it is regular season or NCAA Tournament, that we should fear and that we believe we can’t beat.’

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