BOSTON– For the second weekend in a row, the no. 17 Boston University Field Hockey team went a perfect 2-0. Sunday’s 2-1 win over Miami of Ohio University continued another trend of winning tight, one-goal affairs. Their goal margin after four undefeated games stands at 10-6, and three of their wins have been of the 2-1 variety.
Key for BU so far this season has been their ability to press the opponent deep within their own area. Amanda Cassera and Taylor Blood especially thrive at defending from the forward line, and that was on display from the onset of Sunday’s contest.
The Redhawks struggled immensely to progress the ball over the midline in the opening ten minutes. Hounded by Blood and Cassera, Miami found that most of their clearing passes were easily collected by preseason defensive player of the year Ellie Landsman.
Eventually, though, the game did open up. The press did create BU’s best chance of the half as Cassera stripped the last defender of the ball after some lazy passing. Through one on one with Miami’s Alyssa Xavier, she couldn’t dribble around the Guyanese keeper who made a fine play dispossessing the senior with her stick.
The majority of the play for the remainder of the half took place between the 25s, until the closing moments which finally saw BU break through. After Miami yellow card, a nice run from Allie Doggett ended in a pass upfield to Kiley Gallagher, who sprayed a quick ball out left for Kara Enoch. Enoch spotted Cassera in front of the cage just after entering the circle, laid it forward for her, and the senior from New Jersey made no mistake.
With an expert spin she dropped Xavier to the floor and simply lifted it over her into the cage, a goal that showcased her class and composure in tight areas. The score gave BU all the momentum heading into the half, as it came with just 57 seconds remaining in the frame.
The second half offered more of the same, with much of the initial play stuck in the midfield. After 13 minutes, though, another trademark Doggett run created Cassera’s second goal. Toeing the baseline, she rushed into the circle and tucked it past the last defender and into perfect position for Cassera, who slid the ball into the cage from a tight angle.
Miami created no real chances in the second half from open play, with Paula Portugal creating the only true opportunity, but got a break when they were awarded a penalty corner for an infraction committed outside the circle. Mariona Heras expertly tipped in a powerful shot from Miami’s fourth and final corner of the game, and from there the contest finished 2-1.
BU will be back in action at home next Friday against Maine at 4 PM, before hosting UC Davis the following Sunday at noon.
By Alex Smith