Soccer, Sports

Women’s soccer faces Lafayette, beginning chase for Patriot League title

Senior Jesse Shreck and the Terriers will look to have a repeat performance when they play Lafayette College. PHOTO BY JUSTIN HAWK/ DFP FILE PHOTO

The last time the Boston University women’s soccer team played Lafayette College, the Terriers left the field victorious and ended with a 3-0 victory.

This feeling is just what the Terriers (9-7-3, 6-2-1 Patriot League) will be chasing on Tuesday night, as they face the Leopards (5-8-2, 3-5-1 Patriot League) once again, this time with more at stake. If BU wins the Patriot League quarterfinal matchup, they will advance to the conference semifinals to face Bucknell University. If the Terriers take a loss, their season will be finished.

“In attack, we have to keep doing the things that got us here,” BU head coach Nancy Feldman said. “Moving the ball, keeping the width, [getting the ball] out of pressure and [opening] the game up. Open the field up, stretch [the defense] wide and high.”

BU earned the matchup against Lafayette by securing the third seed in the Patriot League tournament. The team locked up the third slot with a 3-1 handling of No. 4 seed Colgate University on Saturday. The win was massive for the Terriers, as they avoided the possibility of traveling to Lehigh University, who finished with a 5-2-2 conference record, as the No. 5 seed in the tournament.

“Not traveling is huge,” Feldman said. “Just the wear and tear. It would have probably been to Lehigh, and they are a very good home team. We played for it on Saturday and we got it done. It doesn’t necessarily lead to success in this game, we have to go out and earn it. But, it puts us in a better position that if we had to travel.”

The Terriers are able to evade the regular season conference champion, the United States Naval Academy.

In the Colgate (9-6-2, 5-2-2 Patriot League) victory, BU followed the template that has proved successful throughout the season. They outshot the Raiders, 12-7, including nine shots in a first half that resulted in a pair of goals.

Senior midfielder Jacki Carty scored her second and third goals of the season in the final regular season game of her career. Just 84:51 into the contest, junior defender Chelsea Churchill garnered her first goal of the season, breaking through to provide some insurance for the Terriers.

BU has been a formidable offense to play against for Patriot League opponents. During conference play, the Terriers led all Patriot League teams in shots per game and corner kicks  — with 18.89 and 6.22 respectively.  

The Leopards finished last in the conference with 6.89 shots and 3.11 shots on goal per game despite sealing a spot in the Patriot League Tournament.

Lafayette has allowed the third-most goals in the conference during league play with 13. Differing from how the Terriers defense has held up as they have allowed only four goals during the same span.

Playing on their home turf on Oct. 1, Lafayette failed to record a single shot as the ball remained in their defensive zone for nearly the entire game. BU rattled off 24 shots and garnered 10 corner kicks to the Leopards’ zero — with all three goals coming from different players.

“We dealt with their two-front attacking scheme solidly,” Feldman said. “That is going to be important this game. They have a certain way of doing it, and it is dangerous. We were really focused on just being sharp, limiting them from getting opportunities.”

During that game, senior midfielder Jesse Shreck starred in the game, netting her second goal of the season a third of the way through the first half to put the Terriers on the board. She then went on to assist freshman forward Anna Heilferty for her third season score just six minutes later. For good measure, sophomore defender Shannon Keefe put her foot on the action at 80:20, scoring her first goal of the season to give her team the three-goal win.

“It was not easy,” Feldman said. “Sometimes, it looks easy because you see they didn’t get a lot of shots and corners but that is because we dealt with things so well early and were in good starting positions and had good shape. That’s a key element to the game. We just need patience, poise and aggressiveness.”

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