Field Hockey, Sports

Field hockey gets back on track with two weekend wins

Senior Maika Akroyd scored three points in Sunday’s game against Northwestern and currently leads the team with 15 shots. PHOTO BY JUSTIN HAWK/ DFP FILE PHOTO

After dropping their last two home games, the No. 24 Boston University field hockey team has put its season back on course with two victories against Miami University and No. 9 Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois this past weekend.

The Terriers (4-2) started their weekend split by giving up an early goal in the third minute off of a corner to Miami (3-4).

BU kept peppering shots away and eventually out-shot the RedHawks 13-5 by the end of the game. The Terriers also received more penalty corners at 10-4.

Senior midfielder Allie Doggett brought the game to a tie on a deflection, assisted by senior fullback Maika Akroyd.

Miami could not respond before sophomore forward Petra Hall produced on a rebound that brought the end score to 2-1.

BU head coach Sally Starr said she saw the games as a chance for the team to refocus.

“It’s important to come out and play on the road,” Starr said. “We had to beat Miami of Ohio first to get back on track for ourselves. I think the team worked hard this week. They didn’t look like they lost any confidence over the past week and came up this weekend with two really big wins for us.”

Sunday’s matchup against Northwestern (4-3) proved a more back-and-forth affair.

The Wildcats constantly barraged the Boston defense, outshooting the Terriers 17-11 by the end of regulation.

Akroyd broke the scoreboard first with a deflection off a corner.

The Wildcats tied the game before halftime, and both teams came out of halftime ready to attack.

Sophomore forward Ailsa Connolly directed the ball toward the net and scored in the 48th minute.

Northwestern then put up two unanswered goals, a shot from Wildcat midfielder Puck Pentenga off the goalkeeper’s stick off a penalty corner putting Northwestern in the lead for the first time in the game.

Unlike the Miami game, Northwestern had more than triple the number of penalty corners than the Terriers.

A backhanded goal from senior forward Kara Enoch tied the game up in regulation, but only one overtime shot was needed for junior fullback Kiley Gallagher to knock in a cross from sophomore forward Ailsa Connolly victory after just under two minutes.

While Doggett did not appear on the score sheet, her success against Miami carried over to Sunday against Northwestern, according to Starr.

“I think we played really hard, and the defense in particular was outstanding,” Starr said. “I think senior Allie Doggett had one of her best games of her career.”

While BU’s two losses so far in the season have been to ranked teams, the win against Northwestern is the Terriers’ first against a top-10 team since 2014.

Starr praised the two opposing teams and the challenge they provided.

“Two wins against two very good teams — very resilient,” Starr said. “The team worked really hard this week to improve. Saturday’s game was really hard fought. I think the team played with a lot of grit and determination. Played some of best hockey in last 15 minutes against Miami.”

These two away wins come in handy for BU as Saturday started a seven-game stretch during which all but two games will be played on the road.

The Terriers are now 4-0 in games played outside of Boston so far this season, with two wins in each of the away and neutral site categories.

BU looks to keep up the success away from home in the high-stakes, Patriot-League opener at American University Saturday.

“The American game is a huge game — first conference game,” Starr began. “The American-BU game often decides who hosts the Patriot League tournament. So, I think we’re going to enjoy the weekend today, Monday is a day off and Tuesday we get back to work.”

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