Field Hockey, Sports

It all comes down to this

The Boston University field hockey team has come a long way since starting the season 3-6. Tomorrow afternoon, they have a chance to bury the past once and for all.
In a play-in game for the America East Tournament, the Terriers (9-9, 2-2 AE) will travel to the University of Vermont (9-8, 1-3) for the final game of the regular season as they meet the Catamounts for the first time this year.
With the current state of the standings, the winner of tomorrow’s matchup will earn the right to play in the conference tournament. For the loser, Saturday afternoon will mark the start of a long offseason.
‘It’s a tournament-type game for us,’ BU coach Sally Starr said. ‘It’s a play-in game, so it’s a must-win situation. It is tournament time for us right now. It’s a regular-season game, but the winner makes the conference tournament. We win and we keep playing.’
If history is any indication, fortune will be on BU’s side as the Terriers have not lost to Vermont since October of 2002.
The Terriers have battled back into America East contention with a strong second half, including two victories over ranked opponents along the way.
‘The biggest thing for us is to continue to practice with energy and urgency,’ Starr said. ‘We did that [yesterday] in practice. When we do that well, that’s when we play our best hockey. It’s going to be a critical element for us going forward.’
Since Starr has switched up her midfield lines, the offense has performed at an exceedingly high level.
Remaining mum on her exact changes for tomorrow’s showdown, Starr said her players are doing the ‘little things’ and putting in the extra effort to be in the right spot.
‘The tactical things are what will help us to be successful in the Vermont game,’ Starr said. ‘Right now it’s doing what we can control, taking care of the things that we need to do better. That was our focus last week and will continue to be our focus going forward.’
The stakes are high for tomorrow’s contest, as the Terriers could either have their season end or snag as high as the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament.
‘We could finish as high as second or as low as fourth,’ Starr said. ‘We are in a situation where we need to win. If we don’t, none of that matters.’
‘ If anyone is to feel the pressure of tomorrow’s win-or-go-home bout, it is sophomore goalkeeper Kim Kastuk.
Leading America East with five shutouts, Kastuk thrives on the energy of pressure games.
‘Kim is just like everyone else ‘-‘- she’s excited,’ Starr said. ‘It’s a situation she’s loved to compete in since we recruited her. She thrived in competitive situations in high school, loved the penalty strokes and overtime and she likes to be in situations when she needs to be at her best. She thrives on them and we fully anticipate that she will be ready to go.
‘You have to be excited ‘-‘- for everyone. That’s why you are an athlete, that’s why you train all summer. You train to be ready for these opportunities.’

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