Soccer, Sports

W. soccer eyes AE crown

With two games left on the conference slate, including a 3 p.m. contest today at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, the Boston University women’s soccer team has already clinched a share of the America East regular-season title.
If BU (11-5-1, 6-0-0 AE) can win or draw in either of the last two contests, it will take sole possession of the conference crown ‘-‘- an accomplishment heavy on the minds of all the Terriers, BU coach Nancy Feldman said.
‘Last year, we shared the title with [the University of New Hampshire], and I think now we’re motivated to not share the title with anyone,’ Feldman said. ‘That’s definitely motivation going into [today’s game with UMBC].
‘We’d like to be undefeated [in conference] and we think we’re capable of doing that.’
The Retrievers (2-15-0, 1-5-0) have struggled in 2008, scoring five goals in 17 games while allowing an average of 2.71 goals against. The goaltending combination of Catie Bukowski, Christine Bacinski and Mo Van Vlerah have done little to slow down opponents, who have scored five or more goals three times in ’08 against the Retrievers.
The UMBC offense starts and ends with the play of sophomore backer/midfielder Morgan Warrington, who has knocked in three of the team’s five goals this season. If the Retrievers are going to challenge the Terriers in the attacking zone, it will have to be through the quick feet of the Magnolia, Del., native.
The Terrier defense should be more than up to the task. Led by the play of sophomore goalkeeper Janie Reilly, BU is unbeaten in its last eight contests, including shutout victories in three of its last four games.
Reilly, who missed most of 2007 due to injury, has more than filled the shoes of graduated All-Conference netminder Christina Reuter. The Coral Springs, Fla., native has held opponents to 0.60 goals per game ‘-‘- 21st in the nation ‘-‘- while registering a .833 save percentage. She has logged eight shutouts in 2008, including clean sheets in six of BU’s past eight games.
‘[Reilly’s] been extremely solid,’ Feldman said. ‘She plays confident and makes great decisions. She’s solid in the air. If a crossed ball comes in, she’s done a really good job of either catching or punching [the ball]. She has a very commanding, confident presence back there and has made some really big saves.
‘The thing about Janie that’s so great is her mental makeup is so strong, and her focus is so good, that if the other team gets a chance after not getting a chance for a bunch of minutes, my confidence in her is still really high that she’ll be ready. She won’t be relaxed ‘-‘- she’ll be engaged, focused and ready to come up with a big save.’
A core of backers, including seniors Elizabeth Speck and Shannon Mullen, junior Casey Brown and sophomore Lina Cords, have assisted Reilly. The group has limited opponents’ opportunities all season, but as of late the defense has taken another step forward, allowing only four shots on goal over the Terriers’ last three games.
‘[Reilly’s] definitely had a terrific year thus far, and the goals-against average is definitely a lot of her,’ Feldman said. ‘But that’s thanks to the team that’s been in front of her, and she’d be the first one to tell you that.’

More Articles

Comments are closed.