In a battle of the defenses, Boston University women’s soccer fell just short against Colgate University in the team’s second Patriot League game, losing 1-0 at Nickerson Field Wednesday evening.
Many scoring opportunities were presented to both teams, but the Raiders (5-4, 1-1 Patriot League) took advantage of one of those opportunities in the 54th minute to take the lead. While the Terriers (4-5-1, 1-1 PL) played a great game defensively, they were unable to climb out of the one-goal deficit. Head coach Nancy Feldman said she plans to use this loss as motivation.
“We had our chances, and I think we played a strong 90 minutes,” Feldman said after the game. “Credit to them, they put us under a bit of pressure, but I think this game will make us better for sure.”
The Raiders dominated possession in the first half, rarely losing touch of the ball offensively — Colgate had its foot on the gas with seven attempted shots.
The Terriers’ defense held strong with many key deflections, including two clutch saves from junior goalkeeper Gretchen Bennett. The strength of the defense led to a shutout going into halftime.
The Terriers’ offense did not go silently — the team notched three shots in the first half. BU nearly broke the shutout in the 44th minute after a corner kick was sent into the box, but it was cleared and the Terriers went into halftime empty-handed.
Both teams started the second half with the determination to strike first.
Freshman goalkeeper Celia Braun entered the game at halftime and recorded five saves — the most saves in her career as a Terrier.
Despite its dominance, the BU defense eventually cracked in the 54th minute, as Raiders senior midfielder Hannah Pinkus headed a free kick into the top left corner of the goal to take the lead.
Following this play, the Terriers quickly picked up the pace and took more control on the offensive side of the ball with four shots, including two corner kicks. The Terriers looked poised to score the equalizer in the 67th minute as freshman forward Morgan Fagan had only Raiders senior goalkeeper Grace Poncsak in her way. However, Fagan’s shot rolled just wide right, keeping the game 1-0.
The teams continued their defensive battle until time expired and the Raiders left victorious.
The BU defense has been exceptionally stellar this year, allowing an average 1.7 goals per game. Wednesday’s game was no exception — the defense had a shutout in the first half and made a number of critical stands in the second half.
“I thought everybody put effort in defensively,” Feldman said. “People showed a lot of poise with aggressiveness, good footwork and blocking some shots, and just rising to the occasion in individual defending moments … I was proud of that.”
The Terriers ended the game with seven shots, which was pale in comparison to the Raiders’ 15. This game brought the all-time series record between BU and Colgate to 9-3-1.
BU’s next challenge will be the United States Naval Academy Saturday. The Midshipmen (5-4-1, 1-1 PL) are favorites to win the Patriot League Championship, ranking first in the preseason poll.
“We know they’re a good team, and they’ll be one of the teams that will be vying for a championship just like Colgate,” Feldman said. “We’ll prepare for them and be ready to play Saturday.”
BU will begin a two-game road stretch, starting with Navy Sept. 25 at 12 p.m. in Annapolis, Maryland.