By: Akshai Wadhwani November 4, 2017
LEWISBURG, PA — For the first time ever, the Boston University women’s soccer team will miss out on the Patriot League tournament final.
Friday evening saw a heartbreaking conclusion to the Terriers’ season, as Alex Catanzarite’s brilliant solo effort in the 87th minute proved enough to propel semifinal opponent Bucknell to a 1-0 win at Glenn Warner Soccer Facility.
Catanzarite received a throw-in from the right sideline from teammate Meghan Holtz. Unfazed by Alivya Wimmer charging out to meet her, the Bucknell midfielder took one touch to settle the bouncing ball, then flicked it over the BU center back and continued her run into the box.
There, she was jockeyed by Terrier defender Rachel Bloznalis; taking a touch away from the goal as if to go wide, Catanzarite then swiftly cut the ball back on her right foot, earning enough space before sending a left-footed shot towards the bottom right corner. BU’s Fay got a hand to the effort but couldn’t keep it out, as the ball trickled into the net.
The goal was even more crushing considering the fact that it was the Bison’s only shot of the second half. Over the course of the entire match, BU held Bucknell to seven shots and two corner kicks; the Terriers themselves posted 20 shots and eight corners.
BU had numerous chances to put themselves on the scoreboard, starting in the 12th minute. McKenna Doyle was put in behind the Bison defense by a long ball from Libby Closson. One-on-one with Bucknell goalkeeper Dani Kaufman, Doyle put a high-arching chip shot just wide of the left post.
Amanda Fay made back-to-back saves in the last five minutes of the first half, first tipping a looping shot from Bucknell’s Kendall Ham over the crossbar, and then diving to her left to smother a header off the ensuing corner kick.
The Terriers very nearly tied the match with less than a minute remaining. After earning herself a free kick from just a few yards outside the box, senior midfielder Jesse Shreck drilled a shot that was destined for the top corner before being punched over the bar by keeper Theresa Attobrah.
Twenty seconds later, the final whistle confirmed BU’s exit from the Patriot League playoffs. The 1-0 loss marks the first time since joining the conference in 2013 that the Terriers have failed to make the final round. They previously won the tournament for three straight years from 2013 to 2015, before losing the 2016 final to Bucknell. Thus, the Bison have once again proved to be the bane of BU’s season.
The Terriers’ early exit, however, does not go in tandem with their performance this season. BU finished at 6-2-1 in conference and 10-8-3 overall; that marks the fourteenth time in 15 years that the Terriers have posted an overall winning record.
BU finished the season with 27 goals scored — an average of 1.29 goals per match — and outshot their opponents 333-189. They allowed less than a goal per game on average, and recorded ten shutouts in 21 matches. Nancy Feldman now holds an all-time record of 297-143-44 as head coach of the Terriers.
BU also scooped up several individual accolades. Rachel Bloznalis was awarded Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season, while Anna Heilferty won Rookie of the Year. Both Bloznalis and Heilferty were also named to All-League teams, as well as fellow Terriers Christina Wakefield, Julianna Chen and Dorrie Varley-Barrett.
Points and Goals Scored: Christina Wakefield & Anna Heilferty
The Terriers had joint leaders in both points and goalscoring this year. Senior forward Christina Wakefield and freshman winger Anna Heilferty both finished the season with five goals and three assists, for a total of 13 points. Those five goals are a career high for Wakefield, as well as her 31 shots this season.
Assists: Jesse Shreck & Erin Neville
There were also joint leaders this year in assists, as seniors Jesse Shreck and Erin Neville both finished with five. Shreck started every single match in central midfield for the Terriers, also bagging two goals as well as 34 shots. Neville also played in all 21 matches –making one start – providing solid defense in the fullback position.
Shots & Shots on Goal: McKenna Doyle
Junior McKenna Doyle was BU’s most aggressive attacker this year, leading the Terriers in both shots (41) and shots on goal (19). She also started every single match, scoring three goals and assisting two.
Saves: Amanda Fay
Freshman Amanda Fay had giant shoes to fill when she replaced injured senior Hannah Ciolek as BU’s starting goalkeeper. And fill them she did. The first-year Terrier made 40 saves, allowing just eight goals in 15 matches played – an average of 0.56 goals per game.
Boston 6, American 0
The Terriers opened Patriot League play on September 16 with an emphatic 6-0 victory over American at Nickerson Field. Senior and co-captain Jacki Carty scored the first goal of her collegiate career, and Christina Wakefield netted a pair. BU held American to three shots with one on target.
Five-Match Shutout Streak
Over the course of five matches in two weeks, BU did not concede a goal. The streak started with the 6-0 win over American and continued with a 1-0 win against Dartmouth, a 0-0 draw at Lehigh, a 1-0 win against Holy Cross and a 3-0 victory over Lafayette. The streak was unfortunately snapped when the Terriers fell to Navy, 1-0, on the road. Undeterred, BU went on to shut out their next three opponents.
Boston 1, Holy Cross 0
The Terriers posted season highs in shots and shots on goal in a 1-0 home victory against the Crusaders. BU recorded 27 with 15 on target, including six with two on frame from Christina Wakefield, five with two from Jesse Shreck, and four with two from McKenna Doyle.
Boston 3, Colgate 1
On the last day of the regular season, BU clinched the third seed in the Patriot League playoffs with a dominant 3-1 victory over visitors Colgate. Jacki Carty scored a brace, and was praised by Nancy Feldman after the match as “a fantastic leader” and “a dominant force”. Chelsea Churchill put in the Terriers’ third goal with a wonder strike from some 25 yards out, curving a shot high over the head of the Raiders’ keeper into the top left corner. The result marked the seventh straight year that BU has closed out the regular season with a win.
After 39 saves in 16 appearances between the sticks last season, Hannah Ciolek returned this year as the Terriers’ first-choice goalkeeper. Starting BU’s first seven matches this season, Ciolek made 29 saves and earned a shutout against Arizona State. Her final year as a Terrier was cut short when she suffered a season-ending injury in a 1-0 loss to Marquette on September 8th. Her final career numbers show 69 saves and 29 goals allowed in 20 matches; she was named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll twice, in 2014 and 2016.
Forward Christina Wakefield has been a primary offensive outlet for BU since her freshman year, when she played in 21 of the Terriers’ 22 matches and scored three goals. As a sophomore she made 21 starts in as many appearances, scoring two and notching a career high four assists. In her junior year she saw slightly less playing time, making seven starts in 11 appearances. This year, however, she returned to prolific form, starting the Terriers’ first 20 matches before being prevented from playing in the semifinal against Bucknell due to an injury picked up in BU’s 1-0 quarterfinal victory over Lafayette. As aforementioned, Wakefield scored five goals and assisted three this year, bringing her career totals to 10 goals and seven assists as well as 67 shots. She was named to the All-League First Team this year, having been named to the Third Team in 2015.
Defender Hannah Wilcox saw infrequent playing time in her first two years as a Terrier. As a junior, however, she made 19 appearances as part of a back line that recorded five shutouts. She also posted two assists and 11 shots that year. She was unable to continue that momentum into this year, as an injury early in the season limited her to two starts in three matches played. Wilcox will leave BU with 32 career appearances.
Erin Neville has been an ever-present utility player in the Terrier squad for all four years of her tenure. After notching an assist and five shots in 20 matches played as a freshman, Neville made appearances in all 22 of the Terriers’ fixtures as a sophomore; that year, she scored two goals and took 12 shots. After a less remarkable junior year–17 matches played, one assist, and four shots–Neville came back this year as a super-sub for BU. Playing in 21 matches, the full back was the Terriers’ joint leader in assists with five. She also posted 24 shots, and proved herself a force to be reckoned with on both offense and defense. Neville was named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll in 2014 and 2016.
Partnered with Rachel Bloznalis this year as a starting center back for the Terriers, co-captain Alivya Wimmer quickly cemented herself as one of BU’s essential defensive components. Starting all 18 matches in which she played, Wimmer made herself a nightmare for opposing strikers with her physicality, aerial ability, strong tackles, and intelligent marking. She was an integral part of the Terriers’ five-match shutout streak this season, and has been an integral part of the back line in general for all four of her years at BU. As a freshman, Wimmer made 16 starts in 20 appearances; as a sophomore, she made 15 in 22. Last season, the defender made 19 starts in as many appearances, helping the Terriers to five shutouts and notching her second career assist. She was also named to the Academic Honor Roll that year.
After eight appearances as a freshman, Jesse Shreck became a breakout star in her sophomore year; the midfielder played in all 22 of BU’s fixtures and made two starts. She scored two goals and assisted one that season, taking 13 shots. Shreck only got better coming into her junior year, making 19 starts in 21 matches played; she scored three goals and joint-led the Terriers in assists with four, while listing a career high 39 shots. As a senior this season, Shreck started all 21 matches for BU, and once again led the Terriers with five assists. She also had two goals and 34 shots. Shreck won two accolades last year, as she was named to the Academic Honor Roll and the All-League Third Team. She will leave BU with 10 assists, seven goals, and 86 shots in 72 matches played, along with 42 starts.
Co-captain and midfielder Jacki Carty has experienced trials and tribulations in her career as a Terrier, and has shown remarkable resilience in the face of them. After not making an appearance as a freshman, injuries limited her to five games played in her sophomore year. Fitness issues remained a monkey on her back as a junior, as she made five starts in 18 matches and recorded four shots. This year, however, shemade a tremendous comeback. Playing in all 21 matches for the Terriers, Carty made seven starts and scored four goals–including a pair against Colgate and the game-winning strike in BU’s quarterfinal victory over Lafayette. Her outstanding performance against the Raiders earned her a Patriot League Midfielder of the Week award; she was also named to the Academic Honor Roll in 2016.
This season has been another exceptional one for BU women’s soccer. Through massive victories and crushing defeats, the Terriers have retained their status as Patriot League giants–as well as a force to be reckoned with in non-conference matchups. They have displayed captivating offense, dogged defending, and an admirable resolve. Undoubtedly, Terrier fans will be itching for the beginning of next season.