Field Hockey, Sports

Weekend series could end in perfect Patriot League season for field hockey

Senior fullback Maika Akroyd in an Oct. 20 game against Lehigh University. Akroyd and the Terriers will play Holy Cross and Boston College in the final two games of the regular season. MAISIE MANSFIELD-GREENWALD/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

The Boston University field hockey continues its three-game homestand Friday against Patriot League rival the College of the Holy Cross before ending its regular season in Newton against Boston College Sunday.

The Terriers (9-6, 5-0 Patriot League) come into this game following a weekend split against Lehigh University and the No. 4 University of Connecticut.

BU head coach Sally Starr noted that the team is looking to continue its conference winning streak this Friday against Holy Cross (3-12, 2-3 Patriot League).

“It’s our last conference game,” Starr said. “It’ll give us the opportunity to finish the season undefeated in the conference.”

The Crusaders will come to New Balance Field on a three-game losing streak, falling most recently to Bucknell University with a final score of 1-3.

Holy Cross took the lead Saturday in the 18th minute when senior forward Suzanne Noone scored off of a cross from senior midfielder Emily Loprete.

The two teams went into the second half of the game tied after sophomore midfielder Sarah Dimock scored for the Bison (8-7, 3-2 Patriot League) — her first goal this season.

Seniors defender Sally Olson and forward M.C. Evans secured the win for the Bison in the second half, also assuring their place in the Patriot League playoffs where they will face Boston University.

The Terriers defeated Bucknell Oct. 13 in a double overtime game with a final score of 3-2 thanks to a goal from senior midfielder Allie Doggett in the 81st minute, earning her Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honors.

Starr said having her full team ready to play adds to security going into this weekend.

“We’re healthy,” Starr said. “I think we’re very much a team that plays for each other and with each other.”

Crusaders goalkeeper Marcia Laplante has played every minute between the pipes for Holy Cross this season and currently stands at a .761 save percentage.

BU’s lead goalkeeper, senior Kathleen Keegan, has played the majority of minutes since the team faced Miami University earlier in the season and holds a .586 save percentage.

The last time the Terriers faced Holy Cross, they outshot the opposing team 26-2 leading into a 4-0 shutout in the Patriot League semifinal match, including goals from current BU midfielders senior Maika Akroyd and junior Kiley Gallagher.

While certain players have had success in the past, Starr said she will be looking across the roster for players to step up in the upcoming games.

“That’s what I really like about this team,” Starr said. “I think we’re really a complete team. We don’t rely on just a few players. Collectively, we have really strong core players, and we also have players that can come in off the bench.”

The Terriers’ final regular-season opponent, BC (9-7), will have a chance of breaking its two-game losing streak against No. 6 Harvard University before hosting BU on home turf.

Historically, the Eagles have a 22-12-1 record against Harvard (13-1).

In both of its recent losses against No. 3 Duke University and Liberty University, BC fell 1-2. Before that, the Eagles had defeated the University of Massachusetts 6-1.

BC midfielder Lucy Lytle, who is the team’s third-best point producer, has scored a goal in the last four games straight.

The match against BU will be the Eagles’ first home game at the Boston College Field Hockey Complex since Oct. 14, where they have gone 5-1 this season.

It will be the first time the Terriers will face BC since the 2017 season match where BU was felled 2-3 in an overtime decision, the fourth straight where extra time was necessary to decide the winners between the crosstown rivals.

Friday will be the Terriers’ final home game of the regular season and also gives them a chance to end their home stint above .500.

“We need to continue to build on [last weekend] and get better and better,” Starr said. “It’ll be a competitive opportunity.”

Most recently, BU fell to UConn when, in the 60th minute, Husky fullback Cecile Pieper scored her 17th goal for the Huskies this season, securing the win.

Saturday, the Terriers clinched top seed in the Patriot League with their 5-1 victory over Lehigh (2-15, 1-5 Patriot League).

This is the fourth straight regular season title earned by the team in its five-year history in the conference.

Starr said the final regular season home game also allowed them to acknowledge the team’s five-member senior class.

“It’s senior night, so it’ll be an emotional night,” Starr said. “… The biggest thing is that I felt we had our best weekend of hockey, two back-to-back games where we played really well, and we need to look to continue that.”

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