By: Matt Doherty
In the first semifinal game of Friday evening at Nickerson Field, the top seed and host team Boston University will play Loyola Maryland with a chance to go to the Patriot League Conference Tournament Championship game.
The Terriers finished the regular season at 10-5-3, 8-0-1 and earned a bye in the quarterfinal round of the conference tournament. Meanwhile Loyola, the four seed, finished regular season play at 6-9-2, 4-4-1 PL. The Greyhounds beat visiting Colgate in penalty kicks in the quarterfinal round on Tuesday.
BU defeated Loyola 4-1 on October 3rd in a game at Nickerson Field. The goal that the Greyhounds scored in the 70th minute to break the shutout was the last goal BU has allowed in conference play. That feat has stretched across the past five conference matches.
The accomplishments from the defensive unit earned Alyssa Parisi Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year and McKenzie Hollenbaugh Patriot League Defender of the Year. The two seniors have set the tone all season long as leaders of a team that has allowed only two goals in nine conference games.
However, Hollenbaugh and Parisi aren’t the only players that will be on the field Friday that took home some hardware. Loyola senior forward Rosy Hayes won Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year. Hayes has 8 goals and 19 points on the year. The Terriers have done a phenomenal job all season limiting the touches of opposing star players and will look to do the same on Hayes for the second time this season.
On Friday, stopping Hayes and the rest of the Greyhounds will earn the Terriers a spot in the Patriot League Tournament Title taking place on Sunday. BU is looking to extend their NCAA Tournament appearance streak to three straight seasons.
Loyola has struggled as of late losing four out of their last six regular season games before beating Colgate in PK’s in the tournament. The Greyhounds have not scored a goal since October 24th while the Terriers have not allowed a goal since October 6th.
BU leads the all-time series with Loyola posting a 3-1-1 record. The Terriers are hosting a conference tournament for the first time as a member of the Patriot League. This brings an extreme home field advantage for the Terriers who have not lost a conference home game since 2007.
Nancy Feldman’s squad will look to continue that streak in arguably the biggest conference home game in a long time. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. and can be seen live on the Patriot League Network.