By Andrew Mason
BOSTON – Patriot League season has officially arrived as the No. 24 Boston University Terriers host unranked Lafayette to kick off conference play on Saturday in their first home game since August.
The 4-3 Terriers are an undefeated 2-0 at New Balance Field, but have dropped three straight games. The most recent loss came last weekend at the hands of the No. 1 ranked team in the nation, the University of Connecticut Huskies.
Of course, the Leopards are not UConn, but still cannot be slept on. Lafayette College, a private liberal arts school in Easton, Pennsylvania, is 5-2 this season, with wins in three of its last four games.
For Boston University, a win would come at no better a time. After a perfect 4-0 start, the team has not been able to put up a “W” since Sept. 4.
In order to swing the momentum back in their favor, the Terriers, who have only scored a total of three goals in the last three games combined, will need to increase their offensive efficiency against the Leopards.
BU’s offense has relied much on its young core this season. Freshmen Miya Denison and Ailsa Connolly lead the team in goals with three each.
On the defensive end, the Terriers will need to keep freshman forward/midfielder Grace Angelella of Lafayette in check on Saturday. The Wyoming native has started all seven games for the Leopards in 2017, accumulating six points off of three goals.
Lafayette’s forward Rosie Shanks also creates trouble for opposing teams. Shanks too has six total points off of three goals so far in her senior campaign.
After allowing eight goals to UConn last weekend, the Terriers have to be looking to tighten up their defensive performance. Kathleen Keegan and Millie Baker are expected to split time at the goalkeeper position for BU on Saturday, a strategy 37th-year Head Coach Sally Starr has implemented all year.
Last season, Lafayette broke the hearts of many BU Field Hockey fans, handing the then 7-0 Terriers their first loss of the season in a game that ended in a thrilling shootout. The loss would be the first of an eventual four game losing streak.
BU will look for redemption against Lafayette at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23, at New Balance Field.