After beginning the season 4-0, the Boston University field hockey team (4-3) has dropped three consecutive games.
The Terriers look to right the ship with a weekend slate of games. Returning to the New Balance Field for the first time since capturing the Terrier Classic title on Aug. 27, BU will host Patriot League foe Lafayette College on Saturday and 17th ranked Princeton University on Sunday.
Saturday’s game marks the first Patriot League contest for the Terriers. They are the only team in the Patriot League to have not yet played an in conference game.
BU head coach Sally Starr said she is glad to return home for the weekend.
“It gets us in our comfort zone for sure,” Starr said. “We love New Balance Field and we play really well on it.”
The team is ranked 24th in the NCAA Coaches Poll, so it is imperative for the team to capture victories if they want to stay ranked. The Terriers have fallen eight spots from where they began the 2017 campaign.
Freshmen Miya Denison and Ailsa Connolly led the Terriers with three goals apiece. Denison recorded the team’s only tally in an 8-1 defeat at the University of Connecticut. Junior goalkeeper Kathleen Keegan remains the first option for the Terriers. The first year starter’s average 1.5 goals against ranks third among Patriot League leaders.
Lafayette (5-2, 1-0 Patriot League) is coming off a 2-0 loss at the hands of Cornell University. The Leopards are on the road after hosting their previous three games.
“It’s great to be home and start Patriot League play,” Starr said. “I think we’re coming in and really ready to play some of our best hockey.”
Last season, The Terriers went 5-1 in conference play with their only loss coming to Lafayette on the road in a shootout.
Starr said this week included an assortment of great practices.
“We’ve gotten better from our losses,” she said. “Our losses have been tough to take but they’ve us a better team.”
Lafayette’s sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Park leads the Patriot League in goals against average among conference players.
Freshman Grace Angelella and senior Rosie Shanks pace the Lafayette offense with three goals each.
Princeton (2-4) is a team on the rise. The Tigers have an extremely tough schedule since currently eight of their first 11 games are against ranked teams, the other three being in conference. Princeton is coming off their biggest win of the season, a 2-1 victory over 10th ranked University of Maryland.
The Tigers will face Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire before traveling to New Balance Field on Sunday afternoon.
Senior Ryan McCarthy is the player to watch for Princeton. The reigning First team All-Ivy League team member has amassed four goals and one assist to lead the Tigers this season.
“They’ve played a monster schedule so far and have been competitive in all of their games,” Starr said.
Starr remains Belichickian in her preparation for the weekend.
“We’ve really gotten our sights on Lafayette,” Starr said. “It’s a huge game for us, a conference game and once we get Lafayette we’ll start looking at Princeton.”