Field Hockey, Sports

No. 17 field hockey shines in Patriot League debut against Lafayette

Junior back Bea Baumberger Altirriba snagged her 12th point of the season with her 29th minute goal. PHOTO BY BETSEY GOLDWASSER/DFP FILE PHOTO

The No. 17 Boston University field hockey team played its first Patriot League game of the season against Lafayette College Saturday at New Balance Field. Despite it being their only game this weekend, the Terriers were sure to make it count, topping the Leopards, 3-1.

BU (5-2, 1-0 Patriot League) started the match off strong, maintaining possession of the ball for much of the first half and combating Lafayette’s (5-3, 0-1 Patriot League) defensive pushback. The Terriers generated quite a few early scoring opportunities, but officially tallied the first goal of the game in the 29th minute.

On a penalty corner opportunity, junior fullback Bea Baumberger Altirriba’s shot cruised right into the back of the net on senior fullback Rachel Coll’s original pass received by junior forward Taylor Blood. It was Altirriba’s third goal and 12th point of the season, as well as the lone goal scored in the first half.

“I’m pleased we scored some good goals,” said BU coach Sally Starr. “Lafayette was a really formidable opponent today. It was a tough game for us, and we needed to play well and compete well. It was not easy out there at all, I think we just clawed away and got a really good conference win.”

In the second half, the Terriers continued their offensive dominance, with senior midfielder/forward Sofi Laurito drawing a penalty shot opportunity in the 44th minute. Junior midfielder Hester van der Laan took the shot and scored on Lafayette goalkeeper Katelyn Arnold, putting the Terriers up 2-0. It was van der Laan’s fourth goal and 11th point of the season.

In the 47th minute, Lafayette midfielder Ami Turner received a yellow card for roughing Laurito, which resulted in a penalty corner opportunity for BU. Altirriba passed the ball to junior forward Amanda Cassera, who was open at the corner of the net and tipped it in past Arnold for her second goal of the year.

“We have a really well-balanced team,” Starr said. “We’re not a team that’s just very good on offense and poor on defense and vice versa. Lafayette is a very good attacking team. They’re having a great year, they were 5-1 coming in today, and they’ve scored a lot of goals against some good teams, so we needed to defend very well today and they defended very well as well.”

Despite the hard work of the Terriers’ defense, including junior goalkeeper Cammy Jensen and her three big saves, Lafayette broke through in the 58th minute of the game on a penalty corner opportunity. Junior points leader Amanda Magadan scored her fifth goal of the year on a shot from the edge of the circle.

“Jensen came up with some big saves,” Starr said. “[Lafayette] was able to get some good shots on her. The more game experience she gets, the more confident she gets and I’m pleased to see her playing so well.”

Jensen and the Terriers would go on to stop any further attempts by the Leopards and end the game with their first Patriot League victory of the season.

“We’ve got a little bit of a mini win streak going right now,” Starr said. “I’m able to give them two days off, which is awesome. I think we’re going to be able to refresh and reenergize and come back ready to get to work on Tuesday.”

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Ranya currently covers field hockey and women’s hockey for the Daily Free Press. As a Biology major at BU, she spends much of her time buried in her Chemistry textbook with the occasional trip to the piano practice room to rehearse her favorite piece, Debussy’s "Claire de Lune." She is an avid ice hockey fan and a proud supporter of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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