Soccer, Sports

Women’s soccer extends unbeaten streak to five with Harvard draw

Freshman forward Kelly Park scored her first collegiate goal Tuesday night. PHOTO BY JUSTIN HAWK/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Freshman forward Kelly Park scored her first collegiate goal Tuesday night. PHOTO BY JUSTIN HAWK/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

The Boston University women’s soccer team’s unbeaten streak extended to five games following a 2-2 non-conference draw against Harvard University on Tuesday night at Jordan Field.

In a season that started off with little hope, the Terriers (4-10-1, 4-1 Patriot League) have wielded an impressive league record. After starting off the season 0-10, BU finds itself in second place in the conference behind rival Bucknell University, which has a perfect 5-0.

The Terriers battled tough with an Ivy League opponent that came into the game with an unbeaten streak of their own, as the Crimson (7-3-2) have gone 5-0-2 in their past seven games. Harvard went into this contest undefeated in league play, and has not lost in over a month.

The draw with an unfamiliar opponent provides the Terriers with a much-needed confidence boost with just four games left in regular-season play.

“We really take it one game at a time,” said BU head coach Nancy Feldman. “It was an opportunity to play against a team that could win the Ivy League. It was a good test.”

The game began with a very methodical pace, but sped up as both teams registered shots on goal in the opening minutes.

Feldman commented on the fast-paced start to the contest, saying it will “help once we get back into league play to have the team under pressure.”

In the 20th minute, freshman forward Kelly Park punched one in off an assist from sophomore forward McKenna Doyle to give BU a 1-0 lead on her first collegiate goal.

This marked the fifth consecutive game in which the Terriers scored first, which mirrors their success of late.

The score remained 1-0 heading into halftime as both teams continued to be aggressive. Harvard came out of the half aggressive, and it paid off as they were able to tie the game in the 48th minute.

The goal came courtesy of senior Margaret Purce, who redirected forward Rachel Garcia’s pass into the BU net to knot the game at one.

It was the Olney, Maryland, native’s team-leading 10th goal of the season. No other Crimson player has tallied more than three goals thus far.

Feldman was proud of her team’s effort throughout the second half, citing the skilled attackers that Harvard possesses.

“They have some really dynamic attacking personalities that put a lot more pressure on us in the second half,” Feldman said. “But I thought we stayed strong.”

Later in the second half, BU regained the lead on a set piece, which was scored by freshman defender Shannon Keefe.

The goal came when junior midfielder Jesse Shreck’s service was sent to the front of the net, where Keefe redirected it past Crimson goalkeeper Kat Hess to give the Terriers a 2-1 advantage in the 64th minute.

Going into the Harvard matchup, the Terriers’ four wins came when they scored first; this time, however, they lost the lead for a second time when Harvard tied the game just three minutes later.

Off a pass from Purce, Garcia sent her 20-yard shot past junior goalkeeper Hannah Ciolek to tie the game at two.  

It was the fifth straight game that BU split time between the two main goalkeepers: senior Bridget Conway and Ciolek.

Conway had to save just one shot in her 55 minutes of play, and didn’t concede any goals.

Ciolek was more pressed after halftime, allowing two goals while making five saves. The duo went on to swap overtime periods.

The tactic has certainly worked, but when asked about this continuing goalkeeping strategy, Feldman was unable to commit for the remainder of the season.

“We will assess it over the next couple of days and see if that’s the best option for our team moving forward,” Feldman said. “That’s a decision we will have to make for Friday.”

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