By: Matt Doherty
Following their 1-0 thrilling victory last Sunday over Bucknell in the Patriot League Tournament Championship, the BU Women’s Soccer Team earned an automatic bid into the 2015 NCAA Tournament.
On Monday, the NCAA revealed the 2015 Tournament Bracket with the Terriers traveling to New York to take on St. John’s University on Saturday night in the first round.
BU will play in the tournament for the 10th time in the last 11 years after capturing their third straight Patriot League Title.
The Terriers have lost just one match since September 3rd. During that stretch BU has outscored its opponents 33-8 including 16-1 in their last seven matches. The remarkable run enabled BU to go 8-0-1 in Patriot League regular season play and win both their tournament contests.
Much of the second half success is credited to the defensive denizens McKenzie Hollenbaugh, Rachel Blauner and Rachel Bloznalis, along with goalkeeper Alyssa Parisi. Hollenbaugh received PL Defensive Player of the Year and Parisi took home the PL Goalkeeper of the Year honors while the others were on the all-Patriot League squad.
The Terriers however, are only in this position thanks to freshman Chelsea Churchill who scored the game winning goal to beat Bucknell in the 86th minute. The game appeared to be heading into overtime or possibly PK’s until Churchill’s strike from twenty yards out secured the Terriers spot in the big dance.
Their opponent, the Red Storm of St. John’s finished the season with a record of 15-3-1, (7-1-1 BIG EAST) en route to claiming their first ever Big East Regular Season Title. The Red Storm however lost in the semifinals of tournament play to Butler but still earned an at-large bid. The tournament appearance is the third in school history for St. John’s and their 15 wins is a program record.
Just like BU, St. John’s dominated postseason accolades. The Red Storm have unanimous Big East Offensive Player of the Year in Rachel Daly, defensive player of the year Georgia Kearney-Perry, and goalkeeper of the year in Diana Poulin. Poulin recorded a league best 0.49 GAA.
The Terriers and the Red Storm have met just once in the history of their programs in 2002 where they tied to a 1-1 draw in ECAC play.
However, these teams do have common opponents this season as both have played Boston College, Providence, Marquette, and Colgate. St. John’s went 4-0 while the Terriers went 2-2, dropping results at Marquette and BC.
The winner of this first round game will play the winner of top-seeded Penn State, and Albany in the second round next week.
Kickoff for this first round matchup is scheduled for 7 PM at Belson Stadium in Queens, New York and can be seen live on ESPN3.