The No. 23 Boston University field hockey team was defeated 0-2 by the No. 11 Harvard University at a Sunday home game on New Balance Field.
For BU (7-5, 3-0 Patriot League), the game against the Crimson (11-1) was the Terriers’ second loss in a row overall and against an Ivy League opponent after they fell to No. 5 Princeton University Sept. 30.
BU head coach Sally Starr voiced her displeasure with the team’s performance, citing two costly errors that contributed to the loss.
“I’m really disappointed with today’s performance, quite honestly,” Starr said. “We did defend better, [but] we just made two huge mistakes.”
On two separate occasions, the Terriers allowed a turnover in the circle that resulted in Harvard goals.
In the first half, the Crimson pressured the Terriers, keeping the ball mostly on their side, but BU kept Harvard off the scoresheet.
BU’s defense was able to repel the Crimson, especially thanks to senior goalkeeper Kathleen Keegan’s prowess between the posts.
Keegan made eight saves against Harvard in the game, a new career high, besting her prior record of six saves from a 0-4 loss against Pennsylvania State University in September.
Starr praised Keegan’s performance, despite her disappointment with the team.
“I’m really happy for her that she’s having a great senior year, because she’s absolutely worked hard for it,” Starr said. “She was huge today, and kept us in the game.”
Though the Terriers kept Harvard from scoring in the first half, they were unable to push back, and were outshot 8-2.
In the second half, Harvard continued to push hard on the Terriers, and Starr called a timeout in the 42nd minute of play.
Starr said she called the timeout to get her team under control and remind them of their assignments defensively.
“Harvard was really taking the game to us,” Starr said. “I felt like we needed to get refocused. We played some of our best hockey after that. That’s the way we can play, and it’s disappointing we didn’t get more of that in the first half.”
The timeout allowed Starr to push BU to be more on the attack, she said, since she felt the team was lacking offensive firepower in the first half.
However, by the end of the match, senior forward Kara Enoch was the only Terrier to get multiple shots off, with two, and the Crimson were able to score twice within a short period of time midway through the second half.
Harvard forward Maddie Earle scored the first goal when the Terriers turned the ball over in their circle, her ninth goal of the season.
Only three minutes later, another turnover in the middle of the circle gave Crimson midfielder Rachel Greenwood the opportunity to score a goal from the left, her second of the season.
BU mistakes led to Harvard scoring both goals, Starr said.
“Turning the ball over, they got those two goals from that. [Those mistakes] were critical,” Starr said. “Overall, our defense was better. [Harvard is] a good attacking team, so that’s okay to hold the team to only six corners. But we still gave up two bad goals, within three minutes of each other as well.”
The Terriers will travel next Saturday to play against Bucknell University for their fourth conference game.
Bucknell (7-5, 2-1 Patriot League) sits third in the Patriot League, while BU holds the top spot, but both teams have identical overall records and a Terrier loss would tie up their conference play as well.
Starr emphasized how important it is for the team to play better at that game than they did this weekend.
“It’s a big conference game,” Starr said. “Bucknell’s a very, very good team. We’re going to have to attack much harder.”