By Andrew Mason
Coming off their first loss of the season Friday, the 4-1 Boston University Field Hockey team looks to gain back momentum Sunday afternoon against the 3-2 University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Currently the 16th ranked team in the nation, BU has not faced the Minutewoman of UMass since 2015, when BU lost a close one by a score of 2-1. Despite losing the last three faceoffs between these two squads, BU holds a 19-17-2 all-time series lead.
UMass is an offensive-heavy team, led by powerhouse freshman Lucy Cooper. The New Zealand native leads the Minutewoman in three categories: points (11), assists (3), shots (17), and goals (4). Midfielder Sarah Hawkshaw adds to the arsenal with nine points off four goals and an assist.
However, BU has the clear advantage when it comes to depth. Only seven players on the UMass squad has recorded a point this season, compared to 13 for the Terriers. In goal, UMass tends to stick to only one goalkeeper the entire game, senior Emily Hazard. As for BU, two goalkeepers in Kathleen Keegan and Millie Baker allow fresh legs throughout the game to anchor down the team’s defense.
Look for Terrier freshmen Ailsa Connolly and Petra Hall to step up in this one. Each with two goals early on the season, neither has scored in the last three contests, and will be looking to find the back of the net for the first time on the road this season.
Senior co-captain Grace Boston has been fantastic for the Terriers offensively, leading the team in scoring with five points (2g, 1a). Meanwhile, junior Ally Hammel continues to be a nuisance for opponents on the defensive end, establishing herself as one of the top defenders in the Patriot League.
Following head coach Sally Starr’s usual strategy, junior goalkeeper Keegan is expected to see all minutes in goal for the first half, with freshman Baker taking the second half. Baker, who let in three goals in Friday’s game against Albany, will need to stop UMass’s offensive weapons from capitalizing on her inexperience at the collegiate level.
UMass is coming off a 1-0 home win against Sacred Heart, and are undefeated (3-0) at home this season.
The game is set to begin at 1 p.m. at Gladchuk Field Hockey Complex.