Field Hockey, Sports

Daunting road trip lies ahead

Fresh off an upset victory against a top 10 team, the Boston University field hockey team takes its momentum on the road this weekend to face conference rival the University of New Hampshire today and No. 9 Duke University Sunday.
Traveling from Durham, N.H., to Durham, N.C., the Terriers have newfound confidence following a stroke-off win against the then-No. 8 University of Virginia, as well as a recent award winner in the cage. Sophomore goalkeeper Kim Kastuk was named America East’s Co-Player of the Week for her career-high 13 saves, including nine in overtime.
‘If we do a good job of taking care of what’s happening in front of Kim, then Kim does a great job making the saves she needs to make,’ BU coach Sally Starr said. ‘Kim has the capability to make great saves, and I think that was shown in the Virginia game. That’s why we recruited her. She’s an outstanding athlete and outstanding goalie and she’s only going to get better and better. I truly believe she’s one of the best goalkeepers in the country.’
Kastuk’s first challenge comes against the Wildcats (4-6), who are also beginning conference play. Although New Hampshire shares the same record as the Terriers, the team should not be underestimated. Four games on its schedule have required an overtime period, and five of its six losses have come against opponents ranked in the top 10.
Freshman Whitney Frates and senior Sarah Craigue, who paces the team in goals and assists ‘-‘- including two game-winners ‘-‘- lead a squad picked to finish fourth in the conference.
‘The first conference game is probably what we’ve been preparing all September for,’ Starr said. ‘UNH is a much-improved team from last year. I’m expecting a very, very competitive match and it’s conference, so it’s really a new season for us in a lot of ways. I’m looking forward to seeing our team come out and play to our capabilities and have a very successful outing.’
The longtime foes have a rich history against each other, with the Terriers ahead in the all-time series, 17-14-3, including victories in each of their last six meetings. BU met UNH twice last year ‘-‘- a conference-opening 4-1 win and a 5-2 conference tournament semifinal victory.
A trip down the East Coast brings the Blue Devils (6-3), a squad playing above its already-high expectations. Voted No. 12 in national preseason polls, Duke has been climbing the standings all season long, with its only losses coming against ranked teams. A member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, which has all ranked teams, Duke is led by sophomore Susan Ferger and senior Marian Dickinson.
‘Duke is an excellent, excellent program, usually a perennial top 10 team,’ Starr said. ‘Duke’s all about another opportunity to play against the top teams in the country.’
The Blue Devils lead the all-time series, 4-2, including wins in each of the last four matchups. In their meeting last season, the then-No. 14 Terriers lost, 3-2, in overtime against then-No. 15 Duke despite rallying from a 2-1 halftime deficit and holding a 21-15 advantage in shots.
No matter the history between the teams, the Terriers will look to carry the energy and momentum from last week’s exhilarating victory entering this significant, potentially season-defining road swing.
‘It’s a big weekend for us ‘-‘- a conference game and then an opportunity to play one of the top programs in the country,’ Starr said. ‘It will be a test to see where our maturity is now, but I think our veterans are really leading well and our younger players have gotten better. I’m anticipating that we’ll continue the momentum that we established over this past weekend, of strong, consistent play offensively and defensively.’

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