Boston University women’s soccer (5-6-2, 2-1-1 Patriot League) returned home after a two-game road trip to resume Patriot League play against Loyola University (5-5-2, 2-0-2 PL) on Nickerson Field Saturday afternoon.
Although the Terrier defense stayed strong and held back Loyola pressure, BU could not score on the handful of opportunities they had to shoot on the net and the game ended in a draw after two overtime periods.
The Terriers only allowed nine shots to the Greyhounds through all 110 minutes of action and sophomore goalkeeper Morgan Messner recorded her third shutout of the season. Head coach Nancy Feldman commented on her team’s stellar defensive display.
“I think we showed a lot of poise defensively,” Feldman said. “I think a couple of attacking players never got a sniff, but that’s not an easy thing to do over 110 minutes.”
BU opened the first ten minutes with three shots on goal. One shot came from senior forward Shannon Keefe which was deflected away from the net by a wall of Greyhound defenders, and the other two shots were from junior forward Anna Heilferty and senior midfielder Chloee Sagmoe which were saved by Greyhound goalkeeper Paige Sim.
Loyola had an opportunity of their own in the first ten minutes, with Greyhound forward Sarah Bayer sliding past most of the Terrier defense and creating a 1 on 1 with Messner. Freshman defender Ashley Buck, who was back with Messner, ran in to kick the ball out of bounds before a strike attempt could be made.
The next thirty minutes would see great midfield fortification from the Terriers that only allowed the Greyhounds to attempt two shots between the 10th and 40th minute marks, none of which hit their target on goal. Sagmoe and freshman midfielder Geovanna Pereira were a dynamic duo in the middle, stopping Loyola from gaining offensive momentum in the BU zone through the rest of the first half.
Although the defensive help was present in the first half, the offense remained quiet and the sheets would remain clean going into the second half.
BU had a great opportunity to score in the early minutes of the second half. In the 51st minute, Keefe had an open look on the net and struck a fast-moving roller shot into the net. What seemed like a goal did not count and was called back since Keefe was called offsides on the shot.
By the 55th minute, the Greyhounds managed to solve the Terrier midfield, with sophomore midfielder Kaleigh Gallager pressuring hard into BU territory. She did have a shot attempt of her own in the 56th minute, but most of the time Gallager was swarmed by BU defenders and quickly lost ball possession.
Much later in the 71st minute, Bayer got a one-on-one rematch against Messner and Messner got the save again. In the 80th minute, a corner kick from sophomore defender Lily Perryman went to Pereria, whose header shot was saved by Sim.
Neither team would see another shot on goal for the rest of regulation. Heilferty would pull off a couple of nutmegs through Loyola defenders in the 88th minute to possibly get a last-minute shot, but an opportunity did not present itself and the game would reach the 90th minute with clean sheets.
The first overtime period saw BU get a couple of corner kick opportunities, but neither resulted in BU getting a shot on the net. Loyola would not attempt a single shot during the first OT period and the game would move onto a second overtime.
The second overtime saw no shot attempts from either side. Sagmoe launched a cross-shot in the 107th minute, but couldn’t find a Terrier striker to finish the attempt. The 110th minute would strike, and both teams would leave Nickerson Field with a point.
The Terriers will play again next Saturday against Lehigh University (3-5-4, 1-2-0 PL). Feldman will settle with the point against Loyola, noting that winning in the Patriot League is never easy, even with high expectations on the Terriers to dominate conference play.
“Winning in the league, home or away, is not easy,” Feldman said. “We’re disappointed, but we got a point and we’re one step closer to getting into the tournament.”
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