Soccer, Sports

AE Tourney invades Nickerson

On Sunday, the Boston University women’s soccer team will appear in the America East Tournament, a place it has become very familiar with over the last decade.’
It will mark the 10th consecutive America East playoff appearance for the Terriers (13-5-1, 8-0-0 AE), who are coming off a flawless conference season. The Terriers now face the University of Maine (6-5-7, 3-3-2), which defeated the University of Hartford on penalty kicks in last night’s quarterfinal round.
BU coach Nancy Feldman traveled to West Hartford, Conn., last night to witness the quarterfinal match, and said that based on what she witnessed, both teams would have presented a challenge this weekend.
‘I think they’re both good, quality teams and both present challenges,’ Feldman said. ‘We don’t get to decide [who we play], and that’s why I go see them play ‘-‘- to figure out the best way to attack and defend them.’
After an entire week without a game, there might be some skepticism about whether the team will be prepared to play this weekend. Maine has had two games in the last week and is riding high following a win on penalty kicks against a Hartford team seeded higher than the Black Bears.
Feldman said she thinks the amount of travel Maine has endured in the last week will be ‘tiring,’ possibly giving the Terriers an advantage.
BU certainly has an edge in playing Sunday’s game at home, a reward for being seeded first in the tournament. The Terriers performed better at home in the regular season, with a 7-1-0 record at Nickerson Field. They went 6-3-1 on the road.
While she is pleased with the home-field advantage, Feldman said it is up to her players to capitalize on the luxury.
‘It’s an advantage. That’s why you play for it ‘-‘- to be the number one seed. It’s only a benefit if you come out to play and you play your best game,’ Feldman said. ‘When the whistle blows, the advantage is gone unless you make the best of it.’
The last time the Terriers played the Black Bears, BU mustered 16 shots ‘-‘- five of which were on goal in their 1-0 victory. Senior Marisha Schumacher-Hodge scored the lone goal off an unassisted rebound in the 51st minute. The defense only allowed three shots, one of which was on goal. Sophomore goalkeeper Janie Reilly did not have to make a single save.
While the Terriers have practiced over the last week in preparation for last night’s victor, they also enjoyed multiple awards handed out earlier this week. Schumacher-Hodge was tabbed Midfielder of the Year, junior Casey Brown was named Defender of the Year and Feldman and the rest of the Terrier coaches were selected as Coaching Staff of the Year.
‘It’s a great honor to win these end-of-the-year awards,’ Feldman said. ‘All the players are deserving who received awards, and the rest of the team is proud that their teammates were recognized. It’s a real indication of their success.’
Several Terriers were named to the America East All-Conference Team. Junior Mara Osher, sophomore Lina Cords and Schumacher-Hodge were named to the First Team, while senior Elizabeth Speck, junior Farrell McClernon, junior Emily Pallotta, sophomore Shauna Kelleher and Reilly were named to the Second Team. First-year player Jessica Luscinski made the All-Rookie Team.

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