What seemed like a back-and-forth defensive slogfest between Boston University women’s soccer (1-5-1) and Northeastern University (2-4) on a blustery fall night at Nickerson Field ended in walk-off 1-0 win for the Terriers in second overtime,
With her first collegiate goal, it was freshman midfielder Geo Pereira who gave the Terriers not only their first win of the season but a boost of momentum and confidence that the team desperately needed, according to BU head coach Nancy Feldman.
“Momentum and [feeling good about yourself] is a big part of sports,” Feldman said. “We came up today with a lot of belief in ourselves and eachother.”
This win for the Terriers saw Northeastern carrying a lot of momentum throughout the game, especially in the first period. In the first 12 minutes of the game, the Huskies had four corner kick opportunities while the Terriers had zero. Despite struggling on offense and having difficulty keeping Northeastern out of their own zone, the Terriers still kept their sheets clean, with BU goalkeeper Morgan Messner making two sensational saves in the 21st and 31st minutes.
Later in the first half, BU began to gain some offensive momentum, with senior forward Shannon Keefe making several charges towards the Husky net. Keefe attempted a line drive strike in the 40th minute against Northeastern goalkeeper Megan Adams, which Adams barely managed to grab and save from going into the net.
The Terrier pressure winded down as the first period came to an end. Northeastern led the Terriers in shots on goal 9-3 despite the score still being zero apiece.
In the past, Feldman has really hoped that the team would work on better defense and giving up fewer goals. Tonight she said that she was very proud of how much the defense has bounced back.
“We worked on it,” Feldman said about improving the defense. “They applied some lessons that they got [in practice] Tuesday, and that’s all you can ask for.”
This improved defense remained strong through the second half. Keefe and junior forward Anna Hilferty were in the Northeastern zone applying offensive pressure through the first ten minutes of the second.
Northeastern did not attempt a single shot on the Terrier net until the 68th minute; it was a shot from McKenna McManus that went wide.
Within the last ten minutes of regulation, the Terriers began to pick up the offense again. In the 82nd minute, sophomore forward Lauren Adelman shot the ball slowly towards the left side of the Northeastern net, but no Terrier was around to finish as Adams picked up the slow-rolling ball for the save.
Husky forward Chelsea Domond had a couple of pressure attempts in the 84th and 85th minutes. The first was a header attempt that missed the goal. The second was a charge down the field into a sea of Terrier defenders with no Husky around to pass to.
Neither team would be able to score in the last five minutes of regulation and free soccer began at Nickerson.
Right at the beginning of first overtime, Keefe had a 1 on 1 in front of the goal with Adams, but her roller shot was just short of the lower-left corner of the goal and rolled out of bounds.
The sheets would remain clean for the rest of the first overtime, with the only close call in the period being a goal kick from Northeastern in the 98th minute that went high of the Terrier net.
The tieless tension would finally break in the second overtime. California native Pereira notched the game-winning goal in the 101st minute with a perfect shot on the top right corner of the Northeastern net. The crowd of fans that had stayed at the game despite chilly, windy conditions finally had a reason to erupt in cheers for a team that has struggled a lot so far this season.
Feldman is proud of how the team fought hard to pick up a big win against a respectable opponent.
“We’ve had some disappointments, we’ve had some good games where we didn’t get the result, [and] we had a couple of games where we didn’t play our best,” Feldman said. “Tonight I thought they were rewarded with what I thought a very complete game against a really good team.”
The Terriers will continue their four-game homestand Sunday at 2 p.m. against the University of Rhode Island. The Rams (3-1-2) also played Thursday night and tied with the College of the Holy Cross (1-2-3).
According to Feldman, this win will help the team continue to believe in themselves down the stretch, but the team still needs to remain focused on playing good soccer.
“The win certainly helps me feel a little bit better going into the next game,” Feldman said. “But it’s not the magic pill, we have to come and show up and we have to execute, and I thought tonight we played a very focused game and did the little things we needed to do to win.”