Field Hockey, Sports

No. 17 field hockey hosts American, visits Northeastern in bounce-back weekend set

Junior midfielder Hester van der Laan leads the Patriot League in points with 16. PHOTO BY JUSTIN HAWK/DFP FILE PHOTO

The No. 17 Boston University field hockey team opens a two-game weekend Saturday against Patriot League rival American University at New Balance Field before traveling across town to face Northeastern University on Sunday.

The Terriers (6-3, 2-0 Patriot League) defeated their rival the Eagles (7-3, 2-0 Patriot League) in the regular season and in the Patriot League Tournament last season. American won the year prior, though, making the game a matchup of the last two Patriot League champions, and the teams’ similarity shows in other ways.

Patriot League scoring leader and junior midfielder Hester van der Laan had a strong weekend with a two-goal performance against Colgate University on Saturday. Junior Natalie Konerth of American trails her in the points race by just one, giving her 15 of her own.

The BU freshman class has seen plenty of playing time over the past week, especially in the blowout victory against Colgate (0-10, 0-2 Patriot League). BU coach Sally Starr said a game like the Terriers’ 9-0 thrashing of the Raiders can have a lot of positives because reserves often get more opportunities.

Freshman forward Ally Hammel scored her third goal of the season in Sunday’s 5-1 loss to No. 2 Syracuse University, but she is one of just a few young players getting chances.

“You have to think that now that we have a gorgeous facility on campus that has helped our recruitment, we are able to be one of the top sales in the country here,” Starr said. “Ally Hammel has had a great freshman year. [Freshman forward] Kara Enoch has played a lot for us and is getting better and better every week. [Freshman midfielder] Allie Doggett as well is … playing exceptionally well.”

Junior goalkeeper Cammy Jensen was named the Corvias Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week after shutting out Colgate on Saturday and making a career-high 10 saves in BU’s loss to Syracuse (9-0) on Sunday.

“She’s somebody who’s working hard to get better each week” Starr said. “She’s someone who has a lot of confidence in herself and she loves to play. Our team really enjoys playing in front of her. There’s a very calm inner confidence to her play.”

Senior Jess Davis of American is coming off a Corvias Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week performance after she scored the game-winning goal against the College of the Holy Cross on Saturday and scored two goals against Temple University the next day.

American is second in the conference with 11.5 shots per game, while the Terriers pace the entire conference with an average of 15.4 chances per game. They will face Eagles goalkeeper Kate McBeath, the only Patriot League keeper with two shutouts.

BU remains winless against ranked opponents after the loss against Syracuse, but luckily for the Terriers neither American nor Northeastern (3-7) are ranked teams. The Terriers are undefeated in Patriot League play, but that streak will be challenged this week by the Eagles.

The second game on the slate is against the Huskies, who defeated Monmouth University and fell to the University of Maine last week.

Northeastern is tied for last in the Colonial Athletic Association with Towson University with 1.30 goals per game. The Huskies rank high in saves per game with 7.4, good for second in the conference. Goalkeeper Becky Garner is leading the conference with 72 saves.

The Huskies only have one player who has scored more than ten points, as midfielder Natalie Stewart has four goals and three assists. Jensen will look to build off her accolade-worthy week against Northeastern, while the Terriers focus on getting goals past Garner.

“The Syracuse game really gave us a chance to see where we are, what our weaknesses are, what we’re doing well and what we need to do to improve against that caliber of a team,” Starr said. “That will make us a much better opponent on Saturday [against American] and we’ll be a much better hockey team as a result of the Syracuse loss.”

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Marisa Ingemi covers field hockey for the Daily Free Press. She is also a sports radio host on WTBU and involved in BU Athletics social media department. An avid sports fan, Marisa is also the manager of the acclaimed lacrosse website and the Boston Bruins beat writer for

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