By: Matt Doherty
Playing each other for the first time since the opening round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, BU and Northeastern battled it out once again Thursday night at Nickerson Field with one team looking for revenge while the other seeking to continue their recent run of success.
Just like the 2014 tournament contest, Northeastern knocked off Boston University 2-0.
The Terriers returned home, following a pair of losses to James Madison and Virginia Tech, in search for their first win of the season against their crosstown rival. BU came out with vengeance, dominating the opening minutes of play and almost putting one in the back of the net when Julianna Chen’s header sailed right over the crossbar.
Moments later, the Terriers had another golden opportunity. This time Christina Wakefield found herself on a breakaway but her ensuing point blank shot went right into the chest of Huskie goalie Nathalie Nidetch.
The rest of the first half though was dominated by Northeastern. After a sequence of flurries, the Huskies finally found the back of the net. Sophomore Hannah Rosenblatt sent a through ball up the left side of the field where star senior striker Kayla Cappuzzo gathered the ball and sent a shot from 8 yards out to beat Bridget Conway low and put Northeastern on the board first.
“I thought we started well and then we lost our way there in the first half. We started playing impatient and a little too direct and couldn’t control the ball,” Head Coach Nancy Feldman said.
Northeastern out-shot the Terriers 9-6 in the first half and won the corner kick battle 4-2.
However, BU started to regain their aggressive form in the second half. The Terriers had a promising chance to tie the game in the 61st minute when McKenna Doyle gathered a bouncing ball outside the box and sent a shot that plopped right over the net. The BU midfielders and forwards continued to create chances but the impressive Husky defensive line didn’t falter.
Northeastern put the nail in the coffin in the 73rd minute. Freshman Kerri Zerfoss had a beautiful set piece from mid field that found its way into the Huskie box. From there, Carly Wilhelm made the play of the night as she controlled the ball, spun to her left, and sent a rocketing, left-footed shot into the top right corner of the net beating Conway and ending any chance of a BU comeback.
The Terriers offense was stymied once again as they have now scored just two goals in nine games this season. Despite the offensive struggles, Feldman said her team is progressing on that end of the field.
“We’re getting more and more comfortable with how we want to attack and we’re making a lot of progress. Unfortunately we’re not seeing the results in the progress which is discouraging, but we have a lot of games to play that matter,” Feldman said.
The loss also drops Boston University to 0-9 on the season. The winless Terriers though have a lot of positives and lessons to take out of this difficult start to the season.
“If we take lessons learned then this tough schedule has prepared us well. I feel like we’ve grown as an organization with imprinting an attacking style and having a good idea of how we are going to defend as a team. There’s a lot of grit, the kids work hard, and I feel like we are a more cohesive team,” Feldman said.
BU now has a chance to put the rigid non-conference schedule behind them, with Patriot League play beginning this weekend.
“We’re 0-0 again. I love this team. There’s nothing wrong with this team. If we don’t put heavy on the results then we’ll go into the second half of the season with the right mindset,” Feldman said.
A positive BU can take away from this game is the amount of attacking chances the team had. The Terriers ended the night with 12 shots including 6 on net, opposed to Northeastern who had 12 shots as well but only 4 on net. Feldman noted the great close-range opportunities for her team and how just one shot that went a couple more inches to the right could have changed the game.
“It’s a sliver. That sliver is the difference but how do you change that sliver? I don’t know. You just keep fighting and it’s gonna happen. I mean why wouldn’t it? The kids haven’t done anything wrong. They’re all good kids. We just have to keep taking action. We just have to do a little bit more in those moments,” Feldman said.
The Terriers will have an opportunity to pick up their first win of the season Sunday afternoon when they travel to Bucknell in a rematch of last years Patriot League Final. Kickoff from Lewisburg, Pennsylvania is scheduled for 1 PM and can be seen live on the Patriot League Network.