The Boston University women’s soccer team was shut out, 2-0, at Nickerson Field Tuesday night by Harvard University in what was Harvard’s (10-2) fifth straight shutout as well as the final out-of-conference matchup of the 2019 season for BU (5-8-2, 2-2-1 Patriot League).
Near the end of the first half, the Crimson were able to put one in the back of the net after having momentum for most of the 45 minutes. In the 43rd minute, forward Jordan Di Verniero headed the ball off of a rebound from defender Courtney Rabb inside the box.
Harvard’s offense put pressure on BU with 17 shots in the first half alone. This trend continued for the rest of the game, ending with 25 shots for the Crimson compared to only four for the Terriers.
However, BU’s defense remained strong, which included senior goalkeeper Emma Heil’s first career start in net and 10 saves.
Head coach Nancy Feldman said Heil’s goalkeeping was a positive take away from the game.
“This was a great performance by her, [with] three or four world-class saves and just really kept us in the game,” Feldman said.
The second half was much like the first, with Harvard as the visibly dominant force. In the 51st minute, the Terrier’s defense was broken by freshman Gabby DelPico, who put the Crimson up 2-0 with her fourth goal in five games off an assist from forward Murphy Agnew.
As the second half wore on, BU ramped up its substitutions, putting in younger players to finish off the game.
“Tonight partly was about getting young players experience, so it was a little bit different,” Feldman said. “We always play to win the game, but it was a little bit of a different focus. I think it’s going to pay dividends, maybe not in the short term, but I think it will in the long term.”
That strategy will most likely not be seen in the remainder of the season, as each game left in the Terriers’ schedule is crucial to the postseason seeding.
With only four regular-season games remaining, all of which are Patriot League matchups, and BU currently behind four other teams in the standings, the Terriers’ starters and traditional substitutions will likely see more time on the field.
While BU aims to improve its record, Feldman appears confident in her team.
“The one and two seed is still in play, the six spots in the tournament are still in play and we’re playing for that,” Feldman said. “So, every game is going to be an opportunity to get closer to the goals that we had set out at the beginning of the season.”
The first hurdle in grabbing one of the highest seeds in the conference tournament will come this Saturday against Colgate University. This will be the second of three consecutive home games the Terriers will look to capitalize on.
Feldman said she knows the need for a tally in the win column with the season quickly closing.
“The next game against Colgate [record] gives us the next opportunity to get three points and to put ourselves in a better position to get to the tournament,” Feldman said.