NCAA, Soccer, Sports

BU women’s soccer bests UNH 2-1 in last non-conference game before Patriot League play

Stormy weather and a lengthy rain delay did not stop the Boston University women’s soccer team (3-3-2) from securing a 2-1 victory over the University of New Hampshire Wildcats (3-3-1) on Nickerson Field Sunday afternoon. 

Sophomore midfielder Giulianna Gianino during a game against Lehigh University last season. The Terriers defeated University of New Hampshire 2-1 this Sunday. ELIZA NUESTRO/DFP FILE

In their final non-conference matchup before entering Patriot League play, the Terriers dominated the field for a majority of the 90 minutes. BU’s consistent and gritty effort was fueled by sophomore midfielder Giulianna Gianino who cashed in on her team’s second tally. 

“I was very proud of everyone,” Gianino said. “The fact that we were able to deal with the delay was great, and we really showed our mentality and how strong we are on and off the field. I thought our energy was palpable.” 

Thunderstorms delayed the game in the 18th minute for about 45 minutes, and both teams were tasked with staying prepared and handling the momentum swings. The Terriers took it in stride and came out with spunk to finish off a scoreless first half. 

“There’s a lot of adversity that you have to manage when a game kind of gets chopped up like that. There’s not really a playbook for it,” head coach Casey Brown said. “I’m really proud of the team. What an awesome day, not so much weather-wise, but I thought the quality on the field was excellent.”

Gianino, who was recently named to the Preseason All-Patriot League Team, leads the Terriers with six points thus far this season and knocked home what turned out to be the game-winning goal.

Following sophomore midfielder Natalie Godoy’s lower-left corner strike that gave BU a 1-0 lead in the 48th minute, Gianino doubled the advantage on her ninth shot of the afternoon. The forward bent the ball on a 19-yard free kick right past the UNH wall and into the back of the net in the 75th minute to make it 2-0. 

“Staying in pockets and keeping my head on a swivel is really important for me,” Gianino said.

Junior goalkeeper Celia Braun stepped up and made some key saves in the second half to protect BU’s lead, but for the most part, the Terriers did a solid job shutting down quality UNH chances. 

BU held productive possessions while clogging the Wildcats’ passing and shooting lanes on the defensive side. There was a physical edge to UNH’s play and the Terriers leaned into that, especially on the backend. 

“The emphasis on our defensive organization was great. I thought we started on the front foot,” Brown said. “There was a real intensity to the entire game, and I thought we dictated that. I was really pleased with the overall mentality, organization but then the quality we brought today on the ball.”

UNH managed to get on the board in the 82nd minute off a goal from junior midfielder Meghan Guarente’s free kick. While the Wildcats shrunk the gap to a 2-1 score, BU held it down for the final eight minutes to seal the victory. 

The Terriers will now shift their focus to Loyola Maryland, whom they’ll welcome to Nickerson Field on Sept. 16 at 1 p.m. for the first conference game of the season. 

“I think there’s a lot of clarity on what we’re trying to do, what we’re trying to build, who we want to be, and there’s a trust within that,” Brown said. “When both parties feel that, you can really do great things together, and this year we’re really starting to take a step as a group.”

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