Boston University Athletics produced a number of shining moments during its 2019-20 season.
Legendary men’s soccer coach Neil Roberts retired after a 35-year run at the helm of the Terriers, and men’s basketball produced one of its best seasons in program history, which ended with a Patriot League Tournament title.
Despite these milestones, this most recent season of BU sports came to be overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic, which forced an abrupt end to both winter and spring sports.
2019 Season in Review: A six-game losing streak put BU field hockey in a hole early in the season, and the squad ended with a 6-12 record and a 2-4 record in Patriot League play.
Although the final record may appear lackluster on the surface, the Terriers proved they can compete with the top teams in the country. Six of the Terriers’ losses were against top-25 teams and three of those games were decided by a margin of two goals or less. The top scorer for BU was rising senior forward Ailsa Connolly, who led the team with nine goals.
Looking Forward: Along with Connolly, the Terriers return their second and third top scorers with rising sophomores, forward Ellie McIntyre and fullback Jodie Conolly, who scored four and eight goals respectively. On the defensive side, BU returns rising sophomore goaltender Caroline Kelly and rising senior fullbacks Kathryn Scheerer and Alexis Pettisani. Head coach Sally Starr, entering her 40th season at the helm, will be looking to take her more experienced squad back to being one of the premier field hockey programs in the Patriot League.
2019 Season in Review: During Roberts’ last season as head coach, the Terriers struggled and posted an overall record of 4-12-1 with a 3-6-0 Patriot League record. BU’s lack of scoring ability ultimately proved to be the Achilles’ heel, with eight losses coming in the form of shutouts. Despite offensive struggles, the Terriers had great success on defense mostly due to the play of rising senior goaltender Michael Stone, who ended the season with 57 saves and a goals-against-average of 1.66.
Looking Forward: New head coach Kevin Nylen will be entering the 2020 season as his first in charge. Nylen will be tasked with increasing scoring from his squad, now that BU’s top scorer forward Matt McDonnell, who scored seven of the team’s 13 goals, has graduated. On the defensive side of the ball, the Terriers’ success should continue with Stone returning for his senior season along with the return of rising junior defensemen Nate Cole, Florian Rieder and Evan Morrison.
2019 Season in Review: Woes on the road proved to sink the Terriers, who finished the season with an overall record of 5-12-2 and a 2-6-1 conference record, with eight of its losses coming away from Nickerson Field. Scoring was hard to come by for BU, with the Terriers failing to score in 10 games, eight of which resulted in losses. Graduated senior forward Shannon Keefe led the squad in scoring with three goals. In the net, rising junior goaltender Morgan Messner and rising senior goaltender Amanda Fay split time, each starting nine games.
Looking Forward: Along with Messner and Fay, BU returns rising sophomore Ashley Buck and rising junior Elle Conlin to help shore up the defense. Head coach Nancy Feldman’s squad also returns their next top leading scorers with rising junior forward Ashley Raphael and rising senior forward Anna Heilferty, both of whom scored twice last season.
Men’s Ice Hockey
2019-20 Season in Review: In head coach Albie O’Connell’s second year in charge of the program, the Terriers struggled with consistency, which resulted in a final record of 13-13-8 and a 10-9-5 record in Hockey East. Although there were struggles at various junctures in the season, the squad still displayed flashes of brilliance. During the Beanpot tournament, BU upset Boston College in a 5-4 double-overtime nail-biter and then narrowly missed out on a Beanpot championship in a double-overtime loss to Northeastern. The Terriers were led in total points by rising senior defenseman David Farrance and forward Patrick Harper. Before BU had a chance to compete in the Hockey East Tournament, it was cancelled and the season suddenly ended due to COVID-19.
Looking Forward: Although Harper graduated and signed a contract with the National Hockey League’s Nashville Predators, the Terriers will bring back Farrance, who scored 14 goals last season, tied with Harper. BU also loses its leading individual goal-scorer in forward Patrick Curry, who signed a minor league deal with the Detroit Red Wings, as well as forward Trevor Zegras, who signed with the Anaheim Ducks. On the other hand, the Terriers return rising sophomore forward Robert Mastrosimone and rising sophomore goaltender Ashton Abel.
Women’s Ice Hockey
2019-20 Season in Review: Coming off a Beanpot title, the BU women’s hockey team led by head coach Brian Durocher continued its high-level play. The Terriers ended their season with a 24-8-4 record overall and a record of 18-6-3 in Hockey East play. In the Beanpot tournament, BU was victorious in its first matchup against Boston College, then fell in the final to Northeastern in double-overtime. After the Beanpot, the Terriers continued to rack up wins, but were upset early in the first round of the Hockey East tournament by the University of Maine.
Looking Forward: The biggest loss BU will have to cope with is forward Sammy Davis, recently drafted No. 1 overall by the Boston Pride in the National Women’s Hockey League Draft. Davis led the Terriers in 17 goals in her last season. BU will also lose graduated forward Deziray De Sousa, who netted eight goals. Despite two big losses, the Terriers return rising sophomore forward Julia Nearis, rising senior forwards Jesse Compher and Nara Elia, as well as rising senior goaltender Corinne Schroeder and rising junior defender Alex Allan.
2019-20 Season in Review: The BU men’s basketball team completed one of its best seasons in program history with a final record of 21-13 and a Patriot League record of 12-6. The high point of the season came in early March when the Terriers defeated Colgate to secure its first-ever Patriot League conference tournament title. With the conference title, BU secured its first bid to the NCAA tournament since 2011, but missed out on playing in March Madness as a result of coronavirus. The Terriers were led on the court by forward Max Mahoney, who led the team in total points, rebounds and steals.
Looking Forward: Head coach Joe Jones will have a tough task in replacing Mahoney. Nevertheless, BU returns a great deal of players who saw significant playing time. Rising junior guard Walter Whyte and rising senior guard Javante McCoy, who were second and third in points-scored respectively, both return to the court next season. The Terriers will also be looking for further development from rising senior forward Sukhmail Mathon, who was tied for second in team blocks, to replace the defensive role of Mahoney.
2019-20 Season in Review: In its second year under head coach Marisa Moseley, BU produced its best season since 2012-13, finishing 18-12 overall and 12-6 in Patriot League play. The Terriers were led by rising senior guard Katie Nelson in points and assists. BU was led on the defensive side of the ball by rising sophomore forward Maren Durant, who led the squad in blocks, as well as rising junior forward Riley Childs, who led the team in defensive rebounds. The Terriers were slated to take on Lehigh University in the Patriot League Tournament semifinals before the tournament was canceled due to the pandemic.
Looking Forward: The Terriers return a vast majority of its squad from last season, but will be tasked with replacing forward and team captain Nia Irving, who placed third on the team in scoring in 2019-20. Along with Nelson, Durant and Childs, BU returns rising sophomore guards Maggie Pina and Sydney Johnson, who were second and fourth in scoring, respectively.
2020 Season in Review: BU was only able to play six games before the NCAA announced the cancellation of all remaining Spring sports on March 12. In these six games the Terriers went 3-3 and won their sole Patriot League matchup. BU was led on offense by the young pair of freshman attacks Vince D’Alto, who led the squad with 14 goals, and Louis Perfetto, who was tied for second with eight goals. A much more experienced core led the Terriers on defense with graduated goaltender Joe McSorley, as well as graduated long-stick midfielders Chase Levesque and Reece Eddy.
Looking Forward: Although BU will be tasked with replacing its talented defensive core, head coach Ryan Polley’s squad will look to continue to develop on offense with the return of D’Alto, Perfetto and rising junior attack Timmy Ley, who was tied for second in goals with Perfetto. In between the posts, the Terriers will be looking for rising junior goaltender Matt Garber to step into McSorley’s role.
2020 Season in Review: Coronavirus also cut the BU women’s lacrosse season to six games, where they went 3-3 without an opportunity to play any Patriot League opponents. The Terriers were led on offense by rising senior attack Makenzie Irvine, who netted 14 goals. On defense, graduated goaltender Bianca Smith and rising junior goaltender Kennady Smith split time in the net, each playing six games.
Looking Forward: Despite the return of Irvine, head coach Lauren Morton’s team will need to replace midfielder Lexi Lewis and attack Kailey Conry, who were second and third in goals scored. In order to make up for that lost offensive production, the Terriers will be looking to rising senior attack Ava Barry and rising sophomore attack Lauren Kaye, both of whom scored seven goals last season. On defense, BU will have another goaltender along with Kennady Smith competing to fill Bianca Smith’s role with rising sophomore Arielle Hammer.
2020 Season in Review: BU started off the season with an eight-game win streak, but cooled off when it got to a tough stretch in its schedule that included losses to the University of Arkansas, the University of Michigan and the University of California, Los Angeles, all of which were ranked teams. The Terriers had their season canceled before they could get into Patriot League play, and ended the season with a record of 14-8. BU was led in batting by rising junior outfielder Aliyah Huerta-Leipner, who led the team with a batting average of .333. On the mound, the Terriers were led by rising senior pitcher Ali DuBois, who ended the season with an earned-run-average of 1.44
Looking Forward: Along with Huerta-Leipner, BU will be returning all nine batters from its starting lineup. Rising senior infielder Marina Sylvestri, who was second in batting average and runs-batted-in, as well as rising sophomore infielder Caitlin Coker, who was third in batting average, will be major pieces for the Terriers batting. Along with DuBois, head coach Ashley Water’s squad will return another impressive pitcher in rising junior Emily Gant, who ended the season with a 3.05 ERA.