By: Matt Doherty
Two first half goals by sophomore Chelsea Churchill proved to be the difference on Wednesday night at Smith Stadium as Boston University defeated Holy Cross by the score of 3-1 and earned the first victory of the 2016-2017 Turnpike Trophy Series.
The Terriers (6-10-1, 6-1 PL) stretched their unbeaten streak to seven games with the road victory while also clinching a spot in the upcoming Patriot League tournament.
The first half was evenly played by both teams until the 37th minute when Churchill made her impact on the match. The Carlsbad, California native received the ball from teammate Hannah Wilcox after the Crusaders failed to clear it out of the box. Churchill then sent a top-shelf shot for her first goal of the year, giving her team a 1-0 lead.
She wasted no time adding to that lead. Just minutes later, Churchill executed a designed give-and-go play with Rachel Blauner. The former was able to score her second goal of the night off the exchange to give BU a commanding 2-0 advantage going into halftime. A game that looked like it was going into the half tied, quickly turned in fortune for the visitors.
Playing with confidence, the Terriers added to their lead in the 57th minute. Libby Closson sent the ball into the box and it was redirected twice. The first was by Erica Kosienski and the second was by Jesse Shreck. Shreck’s redirect found the back of the net for her third goal of the season, while also extending her team’s lead to three.
Holy Cross added a late goal in the 84th minute from Allie Neumann to avoid the shutout. It marked just the fourth goal the Terriers have allowed in seven Patriot League games.
Nonetheless, BU was able to escape Worcester with their sixth consecutive Patriot League win while Holy Cross (2-11-2, 1-4-2 PL) continued their woes.
Head Coach Nancy Feldman was also able to pick up a victory in her first ever head-to-head matchup against a former player and assistant coach. Holy Cross head coach Casey Brown played for Feldman at BU from ’06-’09 and served as an assistant on Feldman’s staff until last year.
Feldman told BU athletics after the game how the two coach the same way. Feldman noted she had mixed feelings coming into the game because of her respect for Brown. She reminded her players to play to the best of their ability and wanted Holy Cross to follow suit.
Chelsea Churchill certainly played to the best of her ability on Wednesday. Her two goals netted her the MVP of the Turnpike Trophy Series, a year long athletic competition between the two schools.
The Terriers head home for their final two matches of the season against the service schools. This Saturday they host Army before Navy comes in the following Saturday for Senior Day. With a spot in the Patriot League tournament already clinched, the Terriers are still trying to catch undefeated Bucknell for the top seed.
Kickoff from Nickerson Field on Saturday is scheduled for 2 pm and can be seen live on the Patriot League Network.