By: Matt Doherty
In their final game on Nickerson Field, senior captains Erica Kosienski and Rachel Bloznalis provided the scoring on Saturday afternoon as Boston University (8-10-1, 8-1 PL) defeated the Navy Midshipmen by a score of 2-0 to stretch their unbeaten streak to nine games.
Bloznalis wasted no time making an impact in her last home game as the defenseman from Upton, Mass. scored a goal directly off a corner kick in the fourth minute. The goal marked the third of the season for Bloznalis and gave the home team a quick lead.
The Terriers used the early goal to take control of the match. The rest of the first half was mainly played in the BU attacking zone but the Midshipmen defense stood tall and went into halftime with just a 1-0 deficit.
BU continued to create ample opportunities in the opening minutes of the second half but couldn’t get a shot by Navy goalkeeper Dayton Wetherby. Libby Closson and Jesse Shreck both had shots that nailed the crossbar, while Wetherby denied two point-blank chances inside the box.
However, Kosienski finally connected in the 71st minute to help secure the Senior Day victory. The forward from Plantsville, Conn. found herself on a breakaway after knifing through the Midshipmen back line. With Wetherby coming out of the net, Kosienski chipped the ball over her head to give the Terriers a 2-0 advantage.
After failing to score a goal in the first 17 matches of her senior season, Kosienski now has goals in consecutive games. Head Coach Nancy Feldman praised her captain following the game.
“This a bold statement, but in my opinion, she [Kosienski] is the offensive player of the year in the conference. She may not get it because she has two goals… but she makes us go, and anyone who watches us play and doesn’t see that, doesn’t know soccer. She’s the best attacking player,” Feldman said.
Kosienski’s slow start, especially in her statistics (2 goals, 3 assists) resembles the 2016 season for the Terriers. An 0-10 start to the season against a gauntlet of a non-conference left the team questioning themselves at the midpoint way.
But since the 0-10 start, BU has rattled off a nine game unbeaten streak with eight consecutive Patriot League wins. After some tough luck losses during the losing streak, the results finally came. Kosienski’s results also came, and they are peaking at the right time with the Patriot League tournament up next.
The win over Navy concluded a dominant stretch for Feldman’s squad in which they captured a share of the regular season league title in the process.
But Feldman was quick to say that the recent run of success takes a back seat now with the league tournament beginning Tuesday.
“I think our confidence is at a good point right now, but it’s a reset again for the tournament. I think what we bring with us is that we can play with anyone in this conference and know what it takes to be successful,” Feldman said.
Because of their head-to-head loss against Bucknell, the Terriers will enter the tournament as the second seed. BU will travel to Lewisberg where the Bison will host the tourney. The Terriers will receive a semifinal bye meaning their next game will be Friday.
For now though, the five Terrier seniors consisting of Kosienski, Bloznalis, Rachel Blauner, Bridget Conway, and Ellen Starns will cherish a Senior Day victory and another dominant performance before a run for their fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament will be on the line.
Check back on Monday for a preview of the 2016 Patriot League Women’s Soccer Tournament.