The Boston University women’s soccer team shut out Lafayette University 3-0 in a complete-game effort on Saturday afternoon at Nickerson Field for its fourth consecutive victory.
The Terriers (4-10, 4-1 Patriot League), who started the season 0-10, defeated the Leopards (4-5-3, 1-3-1 Patriot League) behind a relentless offense and strong defense.
To this point in the season, the Terriers have been near the top of the Patriot League in shot attempts, but haven’t been able to convert their opportunities. On Saturday, they turned their chances into goals.
“We are getting more practice and confidence,” BU head coach Nancy Feldman said. “Confidence comes from putting the ball in the back of the net. The players are keeping track of [their goals], so today will hopefully build confidence for a few more players as we move forward.”
BU’s confidence was on display as they dominated through the first 45 minutes of play. After establishing early possession in Lafayette’s zone, they broke through in the seventh minute.
Sophomore forward McKenna Doyle advanced the ball and crossed it to junior midfielder Jesse Shreck. She put it past goalkeeper Danielle Sedillo for her second goal of the season and a 1-0 Terrier lead.
“Shreck was a reserve for us last year,” Feldman said. “This year she has come on and done great things.”
BU continued its pressure, and in the 13th minute, senior forward Erica Kosienski’s shot from 20 feet out deflected off the post.
Just two and a half minutes later, Shreck found graduate student midfielder Rachel Blauner in front of the goal. The East Bridgewater native converted to give BU a 2-0 lead.
The Terriers attacked again in the 27th minute when they drew a corner. Looking for their third goal, multiple players headed the ball, but were met by the goalpost.
Three minutes later, their third goal came. Junior defender Alivya Wimmer sent a free kick deep to Doyle. Doyle, a product of Manhattan Beach, California, headed the ball just between the keeper and the post for her first score of the year.
Despite its 3-0 lead, BU was the aggressor in the second half. Although they had fewer shots than in the first half, the Terriers spent the majority of the second half in the Leopards’ zone.
In the 61st minute, Doyle led freshman defender Shannon Keefe with a pass toward Lafayette’s goal. Keefe ripped a high shot, but Lafayette goalkeeper Kelly O’Brien made a diving save.
O’Brien, who replaced Sedillo in the second half, did a nice job of limiting the damage, finishing with four saves.
Lafayette struggled to mount a comeback due to BU’s solid defense, led by Blauner and senior Rachel Bloznalis.
The Leopards have the third-leading point scorer and second-leading assister in the Patriot League in seniors Melissa Lynskey and Kaelin King, respectively. However, the Terriers limited their touches.
“We had to limit how much [King and Lynskey] had the ball, and we couldn’t let them in behind us,” Feldman said. “It’s a coordination of the frontline, midline and backline keeping their chances in check.
The closest Lafayette’s duo came to scoring was in the 68th minute. Lynskey crossed the ball to the front of the net for King, who couldn’t make solid contact.
The Terriers secured their victory over the last 20 minutes by retaining possession, and moved to an impressive 4-1 in conference play.
“We had a reset as soon as the Patriot League play started,” Feldman said. “The first part of the season is a distant memory. As far as I’m concerned, we’re 4-1. Right now we’re in the conference schedule looking toward the Patriot League tournament and we’re playing for the highest seed we can get.”