In 2017, Boston University’s field hockey team started the season with a four-game winning streak and ended the season in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
The No. 19 Terriers (2-2) kicked off their season with two victories against Northeastern University and the University of New Hampshire at the Wildcat Classic on Aug. 24 and 26, then lost two games on home turf the following weekend.
BU head coach Sally Starr also noted the games resulted in injuries to sophomore Kathryn Scheerer and senior captain Allie Doggett.
Still, BU has the tools for this season to be successful, so much so that it was voted most likely to top the Patriot League by the end of the season.
Ally Hammel leads the way
Senior co-captain Ally Hammel began picking up titles before the season began with the title of the 2018 Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
“Ally is definitely the heart of our team, and she’s our captain as well and she’s a tremendous hockey player and tremendous leader,” Starr said, “and I think that when you have somebody like that on your team, it just raises the level of everybody on the team.”
Hammel was later named the Longstreth/NFHCA Division I Defensive Player of the Week after leading the Terriers to the Wildcat Classic Title with two goals and three assists, as well as helping limit Northeastern (1-2) to one goal and shut out UNH (1-2) in the defensive end.
Starr stated that Hammel serves as a “great role model” for the BU team.
U.S. national teams invited several Terriers to summer tournaments.
BU alumna Taylor Blood joined Hammel on the U.S. Women’s National Development Squad for a four-game series against the Chilean women’s and U-19 teams in May, all of which ended with shutout U.S. victories.
Blood graduated in 2016 after tallying up a career-total of 16 goals and 15 assists and was named to the Patriot League All-Conference First Team and All-Tournament Team. After spending the 2017 season at Merrimack College as an assistant coach, Blood has joined the University of Massachusetts Lowell staff for the 2018 season, again as an assistant coach.
Hammel and Blood also appeared at the 2018 Young Women’s National Championship alongside junior Kiley Gallagher and sophomores Miya Denison and Maggie New.
Underclassmen coming up big
Starr also noted the influence Hammel on the four-woman class of 2022.
“[Hammel] is a great role model for our younger kids, and I’m looking forward to her continuing to improve along with our team,” Starr said.
The team added freshmen Haley Lowell, Molly Rottinghaus, Rebecca Janes and Casey Thompson at the start of the season. Thompson scored the lone goal for the Terriers in their loss against University of Maine and is third in points on the team.
Sophomore Ailsa Connolly, last year’s leading scorer, scored the only two goals in a loss against Ohio State University.
“Friday night, I thought we got outworked by Maine … I really thought that we competed really hard yesterday [against Ohio State] in very, very hot conditions,” Starr said. “I was really happy with our team’s grit and their determination to compete hard.”