By: Matt Doherty
Advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for just the fifth time in program history, the BU Women’s Soccer team will travel to top seed Penn State on Friday night in search for a little more magic.
Boston University (13-5-3) is on an eight game winning streak following their thrilling 2-1 victory over St. John’s in the first round of the tournament last weekend. The Terriers received an overtime goal by Clare Pleuler, her fourth overtime goal of the year, to break the tie and give them the victory.
Their opponent this week however will be the toughest they have faced all season. Penn State comes in as the number one seed in the region and the 6th ranked overall team in the country. The Nittany Lions put together a 17-3-2 season capturing both the Big Ten Regular Season and Postseason Titles.
In their first tournament game, Penn State dispatched America East champion Albany 5-0. The Nittany Lions have a balanced attack with eleven players scoring goals including ten players scoring multiple goals.
Megan Schafer leads the scoring attack with eleven goals while Frannie Crouse and Mallory Weber are right behind with eight goals apiece. In a remarkable stat, 34 of the 49 goals scored this year by the NIttany Lions were by underclassmen.
Penn State also managed 17 wins through a rigorous schedule. The Nittany Lions have played 10 of the 32 teams left in the tournament field.
Beating the Nittany Lions would be a huge feat for the Terriers, but Coach Feldman’s team is certainly capable of pulling off the upset. BU has lost just one match since September 4th and has played their best soccer down the stretch in the Patriot League Tournament and last week against St. John’s.
These two schools have met twice in program history with Penn State winning both. The most recent matchup was in 2013 when the 14th ranked Nittany Lions knocked off BU 1-0.
The winner of Friday night’s game will play the winner of Virginia Tech/Ohio State on Sunday at Penn State with an Elite 8 berth on the line.
Kickoff for Penn State and Boston University is scheduled for 6:30 PM and can be seen live on ESPN3.