Field Hockey, Sports

No. 17 field hockey blanks Bucknell for Patriot League regular season title on Senior Day

Junior forward Amanda Cassera snagged her fifth goal of the season in BU’s 6-0 shutout of the Bison. PHOTO BY FALON MORAN/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

The No. 17 Boston University field hockey team played its final Patriot League game of the season Saturday, topping Bucknell University in a whopping 6-0 contest.

The Terriers (11-5, 6-0 Patriot League) completed their conference slate unblemished and clinched the Patriot League regular season title, all while honoring the teams’ seniors during an opening Senior Day ceremony. In addition, the win allowed BU to clinch home-field advantage for the Patriot League Tournament.

“I’m really pleased with how we competed,” said BU coach Sally Starr, “our preparation and readiness to step on the field and really play a good hockey game.”

BU would hop into the game quickly, tallying the first goal just over three minutes into the first frame. Junior forward Amanda Cassera’s redirect from the right side of the net on a penalty corner opportunity from a pass by junior fullback Bea Baumberger Altirriba gave the Terriers a 1-0 lead. It was Cassera’s fifth goal of the year.

The Terriers would hold possession of the ball in the offensive zone for most of the game, allowing them to score three additional goals before the end of the first half.

Almost halfway into the first, senior midfielder/forward Sofi Laurito would score her ninth goal of the year once again on a penalty corner opportunity redirect. Altirriba would also receive the assist on Laurito’s goal for her second point of the game and team-leading 24th point of the season.

Towards the end of the half, freshman forward Kara Enoch would capitalize on a bad turnover by the Bison (8-9, 3-2 Patriot League) and receive a breakaway opportunity. Enoch slid the ball just past Bison goalkeeper Shannon Keen, giving the Terriers a 3-0 lead.

BU added to its lead once more before the end of the half, once again on a penalty corner this time from senior fullback Rachel Coll. Coll got a rebound chance after Keen saved the initial deflected shot, putting the ball into the net from the left side.

Towards the end of the first half, junior forward Taylor Blood was hit in the back of the head with the ball and was attended to by the team medical staff. Blood was escorted off the field and showed signs of a concussion according to Starr.

“She’s going to [Boston Medical Center], just precautionary, but I think it’s going to be a bad concussion,” Starr said of Blood’s injury.

In the second half, Bucknell switched goalkeepers to sophomore Emily Finn, who made six saves in the final half. However, the Terriers generated a deep offense, and with just under 19 minutes remaining in the game, Coll tallied her second score of the night off BU’s fourth penalty corner of the game. After the initial shot from junior forward Sara Martineau was saved, Coll grabbed the rebound and poked the ball in past Finn to make the score 5-0 Terriers.

“Our corner execution was obviously outstanding,” Starr said. “I think we were three for three in the first half, it can’t get any better than that.”

Finally, sophomore midfielder-forward Grace Boston would tally the last goal of the game two minutes later. Boston would get her own rebound opportunity after a pass up from junior forward Madeline McClain and slide the ball in past Finn.

In the final four minutes of the game, freshman goalkeeper Kathleen Keegan saw some playing time, and both her and junior goalkeeper Cammy Jensen combined for the shutout victory.

“It was a big game for us,” Starr said. “There was a lot riding on us. It’s Senior Day, it’s going undefeated in the conference, it’s clinching home field advantage. There’s so many things that could be distractions and I was really pleased with our maturity and our ability to come out and play the game.”

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