Soccer, Sports

Women’s soccer claims share of regular-season title after besting Navy

Senior forward Erica Kosienski scored one of BU's goals on Saturday. PHOTO BY KELSEY CRONIN/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Senior forward Erica Kosienski scored one of BU’s goals on Saturday. PHOTO BY KELSEY CRONIN/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

The Boston University women’s soccer team defeated the United States Naval Academy 2-0 on Saturday afternoon at Nickerson Field in its final regular-season match.

The Terriers (8-10-1, 8-1 Patriot League) extended their unbeaten streak to nine games in the win over the Midshipmen (8-10-2, 4-4-1 Patriot League).

The triumph also guaranteed BU a share of the Patriot League crown for a second consecutive season, sharing the honors with conference rival Bucknell University.

On their senior day, senior defender Rachel Bloznalis and senior forward Erica Kosienski each scored goals for the Terriers.

BU head coach Nancy Feldman said the win was an ideal way to finish the season with the Patriot League Tournament on the horizon.

“You definitely want to be consistent at the end of the season,” Feldman said. “I put a high priority in consistency from game to game, practice to practice and within the game. Today was a good, complete game — the positives outweighed the critiques today.”

BU controlled the pace from the start, spending the majority of the first five minutes in Navy’s zone.

The Terriers broke through in the fifth minute when they scored on a corner kick opportunity.

Bloznalis took the corner and bent it toward the back right corner of the net. Navy goalkeeper Dayton Wetherby attempted the save, but the ball deflected off her fingertips and into the back of the net for the 1-0 Terrier lead.

After the goal, both teams had scoring opportunities, but neither capitalized.

In the 23rd minute, Navy forward Clare MacAdam took a shot on a fast break, but senior goalkeeper Bridget Conway was there for the save to stop the Patriot League’s second-leading shot taker.

Two minutes later, BU sophomore forward McKenna Doyle sent a cross to freshman forward Kelly Park, but her effort went over the net.

In the 31st minute, sophomore defender Chelsea Churchill collided with Navy freshman Alex Jackson. Churchill was taken out of the game, and Jackson was handed a yellow card.

As evidenced by this play, the first half was one that showed very physical play between the two sides. The teams entered halftime with 10 fouls combined, but combined for just five in the second half.

The Terriers were the aggressors to begin the final 45 minutes. Looking to extend their lead, they took five shots within the first 10 minutes of the second half, but were unable to convert.

While the Terriers sought their second goal, their defense held the Midshipmen in check.

Despite taking the third-most shots in their conference (144), the Midshipmen were limited to six attempts on Saturday.

An important part in stopping Navy was limiting MacAdam and senior Rachel Feldman.

“We had to limit how much they got the ball in dangerous places,” Feldman said. “We couldn’t let MacAdam see a free shot. She can shoot from anywhere with either foot, so when she’s on the ball, it’s about not giving her a window.”

Feldman praised her defense for limiting Navy’s offensive attack.

“It’s team defending, but Bloznalis, [junior defender] Alivya Wimmer and [sophomore defender] Libby Closson were outstanding today,” Feldman said. “Closson had one of her best games, and Bloznalis and Wimmer are an outstanding center back duo.”

After the defense shut down Navy, the Terriers capitalized and extended their lead in the 71st minute.

On a fast break, Kosienski took a shot over Wetherby, who came out of her goal to pressure. The ball sailed into the net to give BU a 2-0 lead and a firm grasp on the game.

Feldman said she likes the way her team is playing as it heads to the Patriot League Tournament, but is still looking for improvement in certain areas.

“We weren’t perfect, but we strive for excellence,” Feldman said. “That being said, I think, and I’ll always think, we can play a little bit better.”

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