By: Matt Doherty
Just like their first victory of the year, a 1-0 shutout over American University last time out, the Boston University Women’s Soccer Team used an early goal combined with stout defending to knock off the Colgate University Raiders and win their second game in as many tries at Nickerson Field.
The Terriers (2-10, 2-1 PL) started attacking early and often like last game. They had a golden opportunity in the opening minutes when McKenna Doyle found Dorrie Varley-Barrett inside the box for a wide open, point blank shot. However, the sophomore from Chelmsford, Mass. squandered the chance pushing the shot wide.
Moment later, Varley-Barrett redeemed herself. This time she made a nice move along the end line to separate space from the defender and sent a cross towards the box that found Jesse Shreck. Shreck made sure to not let this opportunity go to waste and sent the point blank shot past Colgate goalkeeper Kelly Chiavaro in the 14th minute giving BU the lead for just the second time all season.
BU made sure to not give up this rare lead, using another exceptional game from their defensive unit to post a second consecutive shutout.
“It was a team defending effort. I thought our back line was stable and our goalkeeping was solid. We tried to limit their free looks, they had some looks, but we tried to keep them wider and under pressure,” coach Nancy Feldman said.
Throughout the contest the Terriers had their hands full with a talented Colgate attacking unit led by freshman phenom Abby Sotomayor (7 goals). Feldman had nothing but praise for Sotomayor and fellow striker Sarah Coy.
“They got away from us a few times. I mean they are two tough players to defend. They’re there one second and then they’re over there the next second. They’re mobile, they play with a lot of imagination and creativity and they’re hard to defend. We tried to limit them and limit their touches,” Feldman said.
Trying to find the equalizer, Sotomayor and Coy were in attack mode most of the second half. The Raiders controlled the later moments in the game but a late surge went empty. Colgate tallied 9 shots in the second half, but junior Hannah Ciolek, who played the last 45 minutes after Bridget Conway opened up the game, made the key saves to preserve the shutout.
The backline of the Terrier defense, led by senior captains Rachel Blauner and Rachel Bloznalis showed leadership and poise as the anchors of the defense just like they have all season long.
“They are so positive. I mean what senior wants to start their season 0-10. But all of them have believed in this team, believed in the process, and they had a strong influence on the other gals. Alivya Wimmer is also doing a great job in the back. They’ve been marvelous and really stable,” Feldman said.
The defense allowed BU to pick up their second consecutive win and improve to 2-10 overall on the season. Colgate dropped to 4-4-3 on the year. The Red Raiders outshot the Terriers 14-13 and won the corner kick battle 6-1 but as Feldman said “that was a pretty even boxing match.”
The Terriers though, picked up a win in a pretty even game, something that wasn’t happening earlier in the season on the 10 game losing streak.
“We kept trying to judge ourselves when we weren’t getting results. But that doesn’t tell the whole story so we tried to assess ourselves to see the progress we were making. I could tell them that because I could see the results. I could show them. It was really showing them how we were playing and how we were improving,” Feldman said.
BU has certainly learned from those tough times and the good fortune is starting to become present for this Terriers squad. Winners of their last two, the team will head down to Maryland on Saturday for a Patriot League road battle against Loyola in search of a third straight win. Kickoff from Loyola is scheduled for 2:30 pm.