The Boston University women’s soccer team dropped their regular season finale in a heartbreaking 3-2 loss against the United States Military Academy on Wednesday night.
The Terriers (10-8, 6-3 Patriot League) relinquished the first seed, falling to the third, against Army (8-4-6, 6-1-2 PL) on Pride and Faculty & Staff Appreciation Night. With the win, the Black Knights took possession of the top seed going into the PL tournament.
Army started the game with offensive pressure. First, junior forward Madison Niebish shot wide in the third minute. Six minutes later, sophomore defender Kiera Vesy put a shot on net, but sophomore goalkeeper Celia Braun recorded her first save of the evening.
The Terriers returned the offensive pressure with two consecutive corner kicks in the 10th minute, both made by redshirt senior defender Jenna Oldham. Neither opportunity from the reigning Defensive Player of the Week resulted in scoring.
An aggressive offensive push by Army led Oldham to be awarded a yellow card for a hand ball in front of the net. West Point’s senior midfielder Lauren Drysdale took advantage of the ensuing penalty kick, burying the ball in the back of the net in the 12th minute for the first score of the match.
After a flurry of substitutions, BU began an offensive push, which ended with Oldham lining up for another corner kick.
This time, she was rewarded with an assist as senior midfielder Julianna Stureman drove the ball just above the reach of Army sophomore goalkeeper Sage Strohman in the 36th minute. Sturemann’s game-tying goal was her first tally of the season and BU’s first of the match.
The Black Knights did not go quietly into halftime. Army shot twice and kicked five corners in the final six minutes of the half, all to no avail.
“It was kind of a choppier first half. We would have liked a little bit more rhythm in general,” said head coach Casey Brown. “It’s tough, you know, getting a hand ball call like that against the side early, but I thought our girls responded well.”
Army kept up the momentum early into the second half as freshman midfielder Brigid Duffy ripped a shot 24 seconds in. Senior goalkeeper Gretchen Bennett, subbed in for Braun, made the save. However, Duffy did not miss the second time. With an assist from sophomore midfielder Kaelan Bradley, Duffy gave Army a 2-1 lead.
With the clock ticking down under 10 minutes in the match, Oldham lined up for another corner kick. Senior midfielder Sophia Woodland headed the kick into the net, evening the score at two.
The Terriers tried to take the lead with three more shots, but came up empty-handed. Instead, with just 42 seconds left in the match, Army’s Bradley sent the ball into the right side of the net. BU sophomore midfielder Eileen Soloman, among other Terriers, signaled for an offsides call, but none was made. BU had no answer and fell 3-2 in a thrilling close to the regular season.
“Obviously, we wish we closed it out. It’s tough to swallow when you can see that late,” said Brown. “There’s great things to be able to take from it, and now we have to just refocus all of our energy to winning the Patriot League Championship.”
The Terriers will face the sixth-seeded Loyola Maryland in the first round of the PL Championship tournament at Nickerson Field Sunday, Oct. 30 at 2 p.m.