In the Turnpike Trophy matchup, the Boston University women’s soccer team (5-10-2, 2-4-1 Patriot League) allowed the College of the Holy Cross (3-3-7, 1-1-4 PL) to stage a comeback in the second half leading to a 1-2 loss at Nickerson Field Wednesday night.
Going into the second half up 1-0, BU let Holy Cross score two goals in the second half to secure the win on the road.
BU head coach Nancy Feldman gave credit to Holy Cross for maintaining consistent momentum in the second half that her squad could not keep pace with.
“They got on a front foot, they raised it a little bit,” Feldman said, “and we just didn’t respond.”
Collecting her seventh career point against Holy Cross, junior forward Anna Heilferty struck a long pass from sophomore forward Jenna Oldham. The ball went past the diving Crusader goalkeeper Sophia Lettieri and into the lower right corner of the Holy Cross net and put BU up 1-0.
For the rest of the first half, BU dominated the offensive and defensive game, maintaining secure ball possession and keeping the pressure on the Crusader net. Heilferty got two more shots on the net and senior forward Shannon Keefe got a decently-open look in the 23rd minute, but her shot went wide of the net.
The last few minutes of the first half Holy Cross got their offense moving fast in the BU zone. A failed corner kick attempt that gave the Terriers the ball ensured a 1-0 BU lead going into halftime.
The Terrier offense came out blazing in the second half, picking up back-to-back corner kicks and senior midfielder Chloee Sagmoe and Keefe attempting shots on goal.
In the 51st minute, Holy Cross stopped the defensive bleeding and tied the game up. Crusader midfielder Paige Epp quickly dashed past the BU defense and striked the counter-attack into the net to tie the game at one apiece.
From then on, Holy Cross maintained firm ball possession. Much of this possession was led by Crusader midfielder Sydney Fisher, who attempted two significant strikes between the 67th and 75th minutes that were barely saved by Fay. Fay had to work a lot more in the second half. After giving up the goal to Epp in the 50th minute, she made six saves within twenty-five minutes.
Eventually, the Crusader offense would solve Fay for a second time. In the 78th minute, Holy Cross midfielder Kelly Crowley beat Fay on the short side of the BU net and picked up the go-ahead goal to put the Crusaders up 2-1.
With this one-goal lead, Holy Cross was able to hog up ball possession, not allowing BU to have many chances to have ball control as the clock ran down.
At the 89:59 mark, Keefe would attempt a last-minute close-range strike on the goal. However, Lettieri dove on top of the ball and got the save, securing the win for Holy Cross.
Despite starting the second half strong, Feldman said her team did not raise their energy and pressure when Holy Cross began to gain traction after the Epp goal.
“We dropped off, I’m not sure [where],” Feldman said. “And then you know, they’re [shooting] more balls, they’re possessing it more than we are and you lose your grip on the match.”
After this loss, BU now stands in seventh place in the Patriot League with seven conference points. Holy Cross is currently in sixth place with ten conference points and is within the top-six teams in the conference that will qualify for the Patriot League playoffs.
With the likelihood of making the Patriot League playoffs getting dimmer, Feldman is going to remain focused on winning. The team is ready to play the next gamer to win the next game and keep believing in making the playoffs until no hope is left.
“I don’t look too much at the standings, I just know we need points,” Feldman said. “We need to get points until someone tells me we have no hope. And even at that point, we have games to play, and we need to finish out the season.”