By Akshai Wadhwani October 7, 2017
BOSTON, MA — The Patriot League’s most prolific offense took 85 minutes to break through the titanium wall that was the defense of the Boston University women’s soccer team.
However, when Navy did finally put the ball past Terrier keeper Amanda Fay, the goal proved to be enough to see them through to a 1-0 victory. The result ended BU’s five-game unbeaten run, while extending Navy’s win streak to an amazing eight matches. On talk of streaks, the Mids’ victory also ended a drought of six-straight losses to the Terriers.
Navy’s breakthrough arrived with just under six minutes left to play. A corner kick from Baseley McClaskey found the Mids’ Ash Fairow in the box; the junior forward struck with a powerful headed effort that beat BU’s Fay at her near-post. The Terriers thus conceded for the first time in more than 576 minutes, a period spanning almost a month.
The 1-0 scoreline was an extremely cruel verdict given how well BU played; they produced several clear-cut scoring opportunities over the course of the match. Rachel Bloznalis nearly put the visitors ahead less than three minutes in when she met freshman Anna Heilferty’s corner delivery with a dangerous-looking header. Unfortunately for the Terriers, Navy goalkeeper Sydney Fortson lived up to her name and made her first of five saves to prevent Bloznalis from giving BU a dream start.
The Terriers’ Shannon Keefe forced an additional stop from Fortson in the 35th minute, while Fay denied the Mids’ Nat Dzhandzhapanyan, Megan Rogers and Emily Keast at the other end to keep the match scoreless going into halftime.
BU came out swinging in the second half, posting five shots within 20 minutes, and forcing another three saves from Fortson. Soon after that, it was Fay’s turn to get busy as she made brilliant back-to-back saves off of shots from Navy’s Fairow and Clare Macadam in the 66th minute. The Terriers put five more shots on the board before the match was done, but managed none on target.
Macadam threatened the visitors’ goal once more in the 83rd minute, when her shot became Fay’s sixth and final save of the match, before Fairow gave Navy their go-ahead goal.
The Terriers – now 5-6-3 overall, 3-1-1 in conference – undoubtedly served the Mids their most challenging fixture to date. BU posted 16 shots – the most Navy has allowed to Patriot League opponents all season – while holding the hosts to just 12 with seven on target. That latter statistic makes them the toughest resistance the Mids have faced on home turf. Lehigh held Navy to 12 shots as well when they visited last week, but allowed nine on target.
BU also completely silenced Navy’s Eleanor Pratt, who leads the league with nine goals. The Terriers and their vaunted defense prevented Pratt from even taking a single shot.
Next Up: The Terriers return to Nickerson Field for a nonconference matchup with Harvard in midweek. Kickoff will be Wednesday at 7 P.M.