I’m not from Boston, so I’m not used to this. I’m not used to winning. I was raised in Philadelphia and am a true Philadelphia sports fan. In other words, I’ve trained to lose and lose consistently. Actually, I’ve come to expect it.
Last Wednesday, the Philadelphia Phillies did something even Steve Irwin couldn’t do ‘-‘- beat the Rays. After Game 5 was delayed for two days, I convinced myself that this would lead to another horrendous downfall and the eventual demise of any Philadelphia championship hope.
I was wrong, and I’ve never been happier to be wrong.
All of a sudden, winning surrounds me. It feels so unnatural, so very wrong. I keep on saying to myself, ‘When is this going to end? This can’t continue.’
This winning isn’t just coming from a World Series championship ‘-‘- it’s shining through with BU athletics on a level I have never seen.
I touched on all this last week, but every Terrier team has seemed to elevate its game even further. Let’s look a little deeper into all of this:
BU men’s and women’s soccer both finished at the top of America East. The women’s team went undefeated in conference play and the men lost only one game.
The men’s team is ranked fifth in the Northeast and the women are fourth. Both are clearly among the best in America East as their respective conference tournaments begin. The women have already earned a spot in Saturday’s championship game at Nickerson Field.
Field hockey has had an up-and-down year, finishing 10-9 in the regular season. What matters most is that they won when they needed to and secured a spot in the conference tournament. I would say they are at more of a disadvantage than any of these other BU sports in that they have to play every game at MIT. Who really wants to do that? I went to a game, and I kid you not, half the people walking around campus were wearing capes. Of course that’s gonna get into your head.
If you get CN8, you probably saw what the third-ranked men’s hockey team did to the Vermont Catamounts on Saturday. The game was pretty much summed up in one play ‘-‘- Brandon Yip transforming into former New Jersey Devil hitman Scott Stevens and making 5-foot-6 Peter Lenes his Eric Lindros. Yip skated across the ice and lowered his shoulder right into the skull of Lenes. It was a clean hit, but the refs decided it was so good that it had to be called as a penalty. Of course, when Lenes got hit his feet flew up and he did a 180-degree spin to the ground, where he sobbed for a few moments. I think I saw UVM captain Dean Strong try to help him up via elephant walk.
It’s really hard not to feel overly optimistic about this team. Even Jason Lawrence is shutting me up ‘-‘- he scored a goal by slapping the puck out of the air on Saturday. He’s now tied for fourth on the team in points and is looking like a perfect fit on the first line.
Women’s hockey is suddenly emerging as a force to be reckoned with ‘-‘- ranked seventh in the nation and riding a seven-game unbeaten streak. What’s more, they keep winning the newly implemented and crucial Hockey East shootouts.
What? Really? This is BU athletics?
The men’s basketball team was picked to win the conference last Monday then proceeded to beat the third-ranked Division-II team in the nation Saturday in Bentley College (which went 34-1 last year). From what I heard, they also won a fight that broke out between Matt Wolff and some questionable characters on the Bentley roster. My guess is that Jeff Pelage went in clean and came out bloody ‘-‘- none of his own blood, of course.
The women’s basketball team was picked third in the conference behind powerhouses Vermont and Hartford. It’s clear that they have claimed a spot as one of the three elite powers in the conference.
All this winning is well and good, but the thing that’s really taking it over the top for me is how well every single team is playing at their friendly confines.
There hasn’t been a loss on Commonwealth Avenue since Oct. 10. That’s almost a month ago. (I’m excluding field hockey of course, because, unfortunately, they play across the river.)
Women’s soccer is 8-1-0 on the year at home, with its only loss coming on Aug 23. If nobody was on campus to see it, did it really happen?
Men’s soccer hasn’t lost since Oct. 4, and is sitting pretty with a 5-2-2 record at The Nick.
Women’s hockey last lost Oct. 10 to Mercyhurst. On the year, they’re 6-1-1 at Walter Brown.
Men’s hockey hasn’t lost at Agganis since March 15 of last year. Including the exhibition, they’re 5-0-0 at The Greek and have outscored opponents, 23-7. Now that really is just silly.
I think all these teams have been inspired. Not by the Philadelphia Phillies, not by the untimely death of Steve Irwin, but by the women’s basketball team. Want to talk about a team of a different bread? It’s the Lady Terriers. The last time they lost on their home court of The Roof (not Agganis, that really doesn’t count in hoops) was two seasons ago ‘-‘- Feb. 10, 2007. Since then, they’re 12-0 at Case.
Now, I really hope I haven’t completely jinxed BU. I know they haven’t won anything at all yet, but they’re still winning and winning a lot.
I want you to jump on the BU bandwagon. There is a level of success unmatched by any other America East school right now. You need to come see what’s happening on Comm. Ave. Be part of this winning tradition, because who knows how quickly it could end. I’m not taking any of this for granted.