By: Akshai Wadhwani October 13, 2017
BOSTON — After getting back to their winning ways on Wednesday with a 1-0 victory over Harvard, the Boston University women’s soccer team continues their quest for a fifth Patriot League title on Saturday afternoon when they host Loyola Maryland Maryland at Nickerson Field at 1 P.M.
BU (6-6-3, 3-1-1 PL) will be looking for its fourth conference win this season. The Terriers win over Harvard marked a rapid recovery from having their five-match shutout streak broken by Navy last weekend.
Despite that defeat, BU remains in fine form; they have notched almost double the amount of shots they have allowed to their opponents, at 223-138, and have more than 14 shots and 1.2 goals per match. In Patriot League games, the Terriers have yet to be held to less than 15 shots in a contest.
Defensively, BU has allowed just 40 shots by opponents in its last seven matches — an average of 5.7 per game — and 19 shots on goal. That includes a 3-0 victory at Lafayette, where Terriers did not allow the Leopards a single shot.
The shortcomings of their opponent further BU’s chances. Loyola (3-9-1 0-4-1 PL) remains without a win in Patriot League play. They are third from the bottom of the conference table in goals scored (7) and total points (21), second from the bottom in goals allowed (25) and are one of two teams in the league to have mustered less than 100 shots.
The Greyhounds do seem to be entering a recovery of their own, however. After losing six-straight matches, they earned a goal-less draw with Holy Cross before defeating Delaware State, 2-0, in their non-conference finale. Even so, the Terriers will match Loyola’s offensive deficiencies with their own defensive solidity as an enzyme for success.
Terrier forward Christina Wakefield has the opportunity to enter double digits in goalscoring; she seeks her tenth career goal during Saturday’s matchup. Anna Heilferty could be halfway to that total in her first year alone by the end of the weekend — the freshman has already pocketed four goals and two assists this season.
Individual brilliance aside, BU’s campaign remains very much a team effort. Among the Terrier squad, 10 players have scored goals, 11 have provided assists and 17 have posted shots on goal.
The BU backline, meanwhile, will grapple with the likes of Loyola’s junior midfielder and points leader Julianna Cabrera (2 goals, 3 assists).
Goalkeeper Sumer Rahe has started all thirteen matches for the Greyhounds, averaging more than four saves per game and posting four shutouts. The Terriers, however, should test her often, with a league second-best 97 shots on goal this season.
Saturday’s kickoff from Nickerson Field is set for 1 P.M.