NCAA, Soccer, Sports

Women’s soccer defeats Holy Cross 2-1, extends win streak to five

Women's soccer
Junior midfielder Lily Matthews during a game against Lehigh University. On Oct. 12, the Boston University women’s soccer team defeated Holy Cross 2-1, resulting in their fifth game winning streak. ELIZA NUESTRO/DFP STAFF

Boston University women’s soccer team won their fifth-straight match, beating the Holy Cross Crusaders 2-1.

Holy Cross (0-10-4, 0-5-1 Patriot League) could not capture their first win of the season against the Terriers (9-6, 5-1 PL). Holy Cross has only beaten BU twice before, last handing the Terriers a loss in 2019.

“It’s … a beautiful field, beautiful place to play and obviously [we’re] happy to come in here and get the win,” Brown said.

BU wasted no time getting ahead, scoring within the first 100 seconds of the game with a goal by sophomore forward Morgan Fagan into the high right corner of the netting.

The Terriers did not wait much longer before trying to score again with just over five minutes into the match, this time off the leg of junior midfielder Lily Matthews. She missed wide to the right.

Less than two minutes later, BU got another chance to score after a foul on Crusader senior midfielder Melanie Lytle. Freshman midfielder Giulianna Gianino was unable to capitalize on the free kick opportunity, missing left of the net.

Holy Cross tied the game right before the 15 minute mark when sophomore forward Ashley Blaka served the ball to Lytle, who sent the ball into the back left corner of the net beyond the reach of sophomore goalkeeper Celia Braun. This score ended a streak of 400 scoreless minutes — over the previous four games — maintained by the Terriers’ defense.

Crusader senior forward Colleen McIlvenna was flagged for a foul right after the 17th minute, setting up a freekick for the Terriers. After a couple of fakes toward the goal, redshirt senior forward Jenna Oldham aired the ball out toward the net, and the ball barely slipped past Crusader senior goalkeeper Izzy Castagnetti. However, after a late whistle and confusion on the field, the goal was disallowed.

“I didn’t get a lot of response back on that [call] because I thought it looked like a clean goal, but who knows?” Brown said. “We’ll have to look at the video.”

In the 25th minute, Lytle committed another foul, already her third of the game and Holy Cross’s fifth, and set up a freekick for the Terriers. Oldham got her redemption and buried the goal in the high right corner of the goal, past the reach of a diving Castegnetti.

Neither team made another shot until senior forward Katie Quinn of Holy Cross missed left of the goal in the 35th minute.

To close out the half, junior midfielder Cerys Balmer of Holy Cross kicked a last-ditch shot at the goal, only to miss high.

The Terrier offense was dominant in the first half. They maintained possession of the ball for the majority of the initial 45 minutes and kept the Crusaders out of the attacking third. BU outshot Holy Cross in the first half 7 to 3.

BU maintained an aggressive offense throughout the second half, but they did not score despite some solid efforts. Oldham again had a good shot on a free kick in the 64th minute, but this time Castagnetti made the save.

Gianino made another effort with a shot at the goal five minutes later, but the ball was deflected with an athletic dive by Castagnetti.

Fagan had a nearly wide-open shot to tack on one more goal to help ensure the win with under two minutes left to play, but she missed to the left.

The miss would not ultimately matter, though, as the Terriers held off one last offensive push made by the Crusaders to lock in their ninth victory.

“We dominated in possession,” Brown said. “We grew with the amount of opportunities we were able to create in the second half, so that was a very dominant performance against a team that really was trying to disrupt us, and I think we did a good job managing that.”

The Terriers had nine shots in the second half, while the Crusaders had just two.

BU will play Bucknell University, currently in second place in the league, on Saturday, Oct. 15th at 1 p.m.

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