By: Greg Levinsky
Junior midfielder Maika Akroyd scored the game’s lone goal for the No. 21 Boston University field hockey team as the Terriers finished off the 2017 regular season slate undefeated in conference play.
With the Patriot League tournament already destined for New Balance Field, the Boston University field hockey team (11-7, 6-0 Patriot League) took to the turf on Saturday afternoon for their last game of the regular season against the Bucknell Bison.
Head coach Sally Starr said she was pleased with the result of the game, but not with how her team played.
“Credit to Bucknell, they competed hard and challenged us for every possession,” Starr said. “We found a way to get a victory, we persevered and defended really well.”
The Bison (8-9, 3-3 Patriot League) rode the defensive efforts of reigning Patriot League weekly awards winners Lexi Quick and Emily Finn.
Quick, the Defender of the Week continued her stellar effort anchoring the Bison defense. The Terriers were limited to just one goal in the game and failed to convert on a penalty corner opportunity other than Akroyd’s goal.
“I’m not really thrilled with the way we played today,” Starr said. “Credit to Bucknell for throwing us out of our rhythm a little bit.”
Finn made five saves for the Bison, including four in the second half after being named Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week. She made countless stoppages on loose balls near the cage demonstrating a cerebral and aggressive style.
Akroyd’s goal came off a penalty corner set at 14:55 of the first half. Senior Kali Shumock inserted a pass in the direction of freshman Petra Hall who set up a shot for Akroyd. Akroyd lifted the ball over a diving Finn to record her third goal of the season, also the third of her career.
“Coach told us that stick side for the goalie was open and she put me on that side twice in a row and then a third,” Akroyd said. “The goalie was shifting and our hope was for [Ally] Hammel on post side, and I was lucky.”
The Terriers rolled out their usual two goalie tandem, starting freshman Millie Baker while junior Kathleen Keegan relieved for the second half. Baker made two saves while Keegan did not face a shot on goal.
It was also senior day at New Balance field honoring Allie Renzi, Jordyn Beesmer, Kali Shumock and Grace Boston.
Akroyd said their mentorship has helped the team, especially the freshman.
“They’ve done miles of mentoring, for our nine freshman they’ve been such great role models,” Akroyd said. “It’s so sad to see them leave, but even when they’re gone we are going to strive to be even better.”
With a graduating class half the size of that in 2016, the 2017 edition is also special to Starr.
“Their roles have changed over the four years and they have grown into outstanding hockey players, outstanding leaders and outstanding teammates,” Starr said. “We’re going to really miss them as people and friends more than anything else.”
Semifinals of the Patriot League tournament begin on Friday at New Balance Field with a 12 PM matchup between the Terriers and Holy Cross followed by American and Bucknell. The championship game is set for 12:00 PM on Sunday.
Akroyd seconded Starr saying the Terriers did not play their best field hockey and the team will reflect on this game to improve for next weekend and try to extend the career of the team’s four seniors.
“We need to reflect on what we can do better,” Akroyd said. “After today’s game the seniors told us to reflect on this game because they knew we can do even better.”