By: Akshai Wadhwani October 27, 2017
BOSTON — The Boston University women’s soccer team’s last match of the regular season could prove to be its most impactful.
The Terriers will host Colgate on Saturday afternoon, with the two teams separated in the Patriot League table by a single point. A victory would lift BU above the Raiders into third place in the league, thereby awarding them the precious No. 3 seed going into the playoffs.
A draw would be enough to secure a fourth seed as fifth place Lehigh trails the Terriers by two points with only one game to go. On the other hand, a loss to Colgate would put BU at risk of dropping into the fifth spot if Lehigh wins their final game.
The Terriers (8-7-3, 5-2-1 PL) had a span of three consecutive victories interrupted when they lost, 2-1, to Bucknell last weekend. They are still, however, producing a powerful offense, outshooting opponents 280-169 with 15.6 shots per match and a 0.439 SOG percentage.
Christina Wakefield and Anna Heilferty each have five goals to their names, while Jesse Shreck has the same number in assists — good for joint-second in the Patriot League.
Freshman McKenna Kennedy has stepped up big time for some heavy lifting in the absence of veteran center-back Alivya Wimmer, starting every match since the senior’s injury; the first-year defender has proved herself to be both reliable and resilient, helping maintain the Terriers’ unyielding defense and earning consistent praise from head coach Nancy Feldman.
Further, BU has defined “team effort” this season. Seventeen different players have contributed points — 11 with goals, 12 with assists — and 20 have taken shots. Every member of the squad has made an appearance at some point in the season, and 16 different players have started at least one match. The Terriers are definitely contenders for the most wide-ranging squad depth in their division.
Colgate (9-5-2, 5-1-2 PL) made a hefty statement two weeks ago when they pulled off a massive upset against league giants Bucknell, defeating the Bison, 3-2, in Pennsylvania. Since then, however, the Raiders’ form has been less stellar; they were held to a 0-0 draw at Holy Cross, then lost to Navy, 2-1, last Saturday. The former result, in fact, was the first time Colgate had been shut out in a match since August.
Despite the drawbacks, the Raiders still display offensive numbers to rival the Terriers. They are outshooting opponents 256-173, and averaging 16 shots and 1.56 goals per match. Forwards Mara Cosentino (6 goals, 4 assists) and Abby Sotomayor (5 goals, 2 assists) have combined for almost half of Colgate’s total points, with Sotomayor also posting a league-leading 47 shots. Goalkeepers Kelly Chiavaro and Sophia Boggs have shared starting time, combining for five shutouts on the season; Boggs has allowed just one goal in almost 336 of in-game minutes.
Saturday’s clash is sure to be an absolute thriller, with plenty at stake for both teams. Kickoff from Nickerson Field is set for 1 P.M.