In the Boston University women’s soccer team’s final match of the regular season, BU (9-7-3, 7-0-2 Patriot League) earned a 1-0 victory over Colgate University, breaking the Raiders’ (11-3-3, 7-1-1 Patriot League) seven-game winning streak and securing the Patriot League regular season title.
The title is the Terriers’ second outright since joining the Patriot League and 13th regular season conference championship in the program’s 24-year history.
BU head coach Nancy Feldman said that the team’s determination after a tough out-of-conference line-up helped prepare the team for its current success.
“I think that persistence, positivity, self-belief and a trust in the process helps get us here, to where we’re Patriot League regular season champs,” Feldman said. “That’s how a team develops and comes together and is hopefully better at the end of the season than they were in the beginning.”
The big win came during a dreary, sodden day in small-town Hamilton, New York, on Beyer-Small ‘76 Field, Colgate’s home turf.
The game’s tempo started slow — purposefully so on the Raiders’ part, according to Feldman.
While the Terriers never lost a Patriot League game, two ties, one against American University and the other against the United States Military Academy, put the team two points behind Colgate in conference standings going into the match.
This meant that the Raiders only needed a tie game to win the title for themselves.
Despite being a team that had outscored its opponents 24-8 and outshot them 261-200 during the rest of the season, Colgate recorded only one shot in the opening half.
Feldman said that in the 27th minute, she was forced to switch to a more attack-first style of play and defend further up the field.
“When they break that initial pressure, you’re a little vulnerable, but we had to be,” Feldman said. “We had big-time goalkeeping, big-time stepping up from our center backs, McKenna Kennedy and Elle Conlin.”
Conlin, a freshman, was called upon in the 20th minute after senior defender Royce Light had to leave the game due to injury.
In the 42nd minute, freshman forward Ashley Raphael recorded the team’s eighth and final shot of the period in her first appearance as Terrier.
Coming out of halftime, the Raiders were prepared for BU’s new form and increased its shot production to five, forcing sophomore goalkeeper Amanda Fay to make three saves.
Fay was called upon in the 57th minute when, in a series of four corner kicks in the span of four minutes, Colgate defender Leah Lewis headed the ball toward the net from within the penalty box. However, Fay was able to get her fingers on the ball and redirect it to the side.
The Terriers still outpaced the Raiders with six shots, but were facing down one of the Patriot League’s top goalkeepers, junior Kelly Chiavaro.
In the last nine games she played before facing BU, Chiavaro allowed a total of one goal against.
With 12 minutes left in the second half, junior forward Kelly Park crossed the ball to in front of the net.
The Raider defense cleared the ball from the goal area, but junior defender Shannon Keefe kept the ball in the penalty box. As Chiavaro left the net, senior defender Hannah Wilcox shot the ball right by her, scoring her first of the season and becoming the first to solve Chiavaro in 456:33 minutes of play.
Colgate was unable to respond, and the scored ended with a 1-0 Terrier win.
BU will start its postseason run Friday on Nickerson Field against the Patriot League’s lowest-seeding playoff team.
“The gals defended shots and put their body in front of it,” Feldman said. “Amanda stood tall and dealt with corners and restarts that were dangerous, but we dealt with our marks and won our battles … We were in a position where we had to win and a tie was as good as a loss.”
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that this was the team’s first outright championship, when it was its second. The current version of this article reflects those changes.