By: Alex Smith
Boston- No. 9 BU Field Hockey faces two crucial games this weekend, and one of the biggest contests in New Balance Field’s history. Today, BU travels south to Lafayette for their first away game of the month, before returning to New Balance on Sunday for a highly anticipated clash with the visiting no. 3 UConn Huskies.
Should the pair of ranked teams win their conference games on Friday, it would feature two 8-0 teams coming together in a matchup crucial for the RPI of both squads. However, Friday’s clash is far from a foregone conclusion.
A participant in last year’s Patriot League Tournament, the Leopards of Lafayette (5-2) are powered by veteran forwards Amanda Magadan and Rosie Shanks. The senior duo is credited with six of the 13 Leopard goals scored, with two impressive rookies accounting for much of the rest.
Rosa Jonckheer and Lisa van der Geest, both freshman from the Netherlands, have sparked the Leopards this year. With five goals and an assist between them, they could offer something going forward the Terriers have not seen thus far. The contest begins at 7 p.m. and can be viewed on the Patriot League Network.
In UConn on Sunday, the Terriers have their highest ranked opponent to ever play on New Balance Field. The Huskies did previously hold that honor, in 2014 they paid visit to Boston ranked sixth, and dispatched the Terriers 2-1 in a shootout. A perennial power, they’ve been a thorn in coach Sally Starr’s side with an 29-8 all time record against Boston University.
Junior forward Charlotte Veitner set a Husky record for goals in a season last year with 39 and senior back Anna Middendorf returns as a third team All-American in the middle of the backline for a talent-packed squad.
BU were blanked 5-0 in last year’s fixture in Storrs, something coach Starr lamented last season. Ranked nearly ten spots higher and on their home turf, BU is set to put up more of a fight this time around.
The clash of two undefeated heavyweights should make it another epic weekend for Terrier Field Hockey, and even with a defeat they would be unlikely to move outside the top ten. Game time is 1 p.m. and the matchup will, as always, be seen on the Patriot League Network.