By: Andrew Mason
STORRS, CONN. — Boston University Field Hockey saw its season come to end on Saturday after a 3-1 loss to the top-seeded University of Connecticut Huskies. The Terriers finish their season with a 14-8 record, while the Huskies move to 20-0.
BU fared much better against UConn this time around, compared to the 8-1 catastrophe the Terriers suffered in mid-September. On Saturday, it was the defense that kept BU close to the Huskies for the majority of the game. The Terriers conceded just three goals to UConn, a team that averages close to five scores per game.
Offensively, BU’s leading scorer, freshman Ailsa Connolly, grabbed the only goal of the day for the scarlet and white. Connolly’s goal tied the game up seven minutes into the contest after BU had allowed an early UConn score in the 3rd minute. Freshman goalkeeper Millie Baker, who finished with four saves, surrendered another goal to the Huskies, making it a 2-1 UConn lead at half.
The Terriers were not able to find the back of the cage for the remainder of the win-or-go-home contest while the Huskies added one more to their lead in the second half, making it a 3-1 defeat at Sherman Complex.
The major reason the Terriers were not able to put up more points comes from their failure to earn penalty corners during the game. BU finished 2-7 in games this season when they had fewer corner opportunities than opponents.
In a season that delivered a Patriot League trophy, an undefeated conference showing, and the 13th National Tournament appearance in school history, BU still has much to be proud of.
Junior Defensive anchor Allie Hammel took home the Patriot League’s Defensive Player of the Year award for the first time in her career. Along with Hammel, co-captain Kali Shumock and junior Allie Doggett were selected to the All-Patriot League First Team. Kiley Gallagher and Ailsa Connolly received Second Team honors. And at the helm, it was Head Coach Sally Starr who earned Patriot League Coach of the Year for her ninth time in 37 years.
Above all, BU Field Hockey concludes the 2017 season knowing the future is bright. The freshmen class was the dependent staple for this team throughout the entirety of the season. When it came to putting points on the board, 37 percent of goals (23 of 62) were scored by the class of 2021.
Leading the way was the New Zealand native Connolly, who finished her freshman campaign with a team-high 22 points (11g), while Petra Hall and Miya Denison also notched five and six goals, respectively.
And in goal, Australian Millie Baker stepped up to the challenge in her first year, sharing minutes just about equally with junior Kathleen Keegan. Baker finished with 29 saves and a 1.91 goals against average per game.
That being said, Terrier veterans carried their weight this season as well. Seniors Allie Renzi and Grace Boston combined for seven game-winners, including Renzi’s clutch go-ahead score against Bucknell in the Patriot League title game to send BU to the NCAA Tournament. Juniors Maika Akroyd and Hammel posed as threats to pouring on the points in penalty corner situations. The senior class made of Renzi, Boston, Beesmer, and Shumock finished their Terrier careers with 55 total wins, three conference championships and three NCAA Tournament appearances.