Field Hockey, Sports

Field hockey earns first top-10 ranking in 20 years

Senior forward Amanda Cassera leads the team in points with 10. PHOTO BY JUSTIN HAWK/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Senior forward Amanda Cassera leads the team in points with 10. PHOTO BY JUSTIN HAWK/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Already having its best start in program history, the Boston University field hockey team moved up four sports in this week’s National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division I Coaches Poll to obtain the No. 9 ranking nationally.

This is BU field hockey’s highest mark in the polls since 1996, when the team finished eighth in the season-ending poll. They are coming off a two-game sweep at home this past weekend versus the No. 20 University of Maine and the University of California, Davis.

BU head coach Sally Starr said she is proud of the Terriers’ efforts and hopes to see them continue when Patriot League play begins this Saturday at New Balance Field against Colgate University.

“This team has worked really hard and I think that’s a deserving rank for us how we are playing right now,” Starr said. “We are a talented team lead by a talented group of seniors.”

The eight-person senior class that Starr is referring to includes forward Amanda Cassera, who leads the team in points with 10, and midfielder Hester van der Laan, who has put up the second most shots on the team thus far.

BU is one of six remaining undefeated teams left in college field hockey. The Terriers share this honor with five top-10 programs, which include No. 6 University of Louisville, No. 5 University of Connecticut, No. 4 Pennsylvania State University, No. 2 Duke University and top-ranked Syracuse University.

The Terriers’ perfect record will be tested against these big-time national competitors in the coming weeks, as they will play host to the Huskies (5-0) and the Orange (6-0) on Sept. 25 and Oct. 23, respectively. BU will travel travel to Durham, North Carolina on Oct. 2 for a matchup against the Blue Devils (6-0) as well.

Despite the strong lineup of formidable opponents in the the Terriers’ way, their home turf has been a successful place for them this season as well as last the team won eight consecutive contests at New Balance last season.

Additionally, Starr’s side has already taken down two ranked opponents, No. 15 Northwestern and Maine (5-1).

This high ranking does not change the team’s attitude or preparation, though.

“Anytime you walk undefeated onto the field, the other team wants to knock you off,” Starr said. “We take it one game at a time with our season mantra: respect all, fear none.”

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