By Akshai Wadhwani September 4, 2018
BOSTON, MA – There is not a single soul at Boston University who will admit to being afraid of any challenge—be it academic, athletic, or extracurricular—from Boston College.
Even so, when looking at an overview of the upcoming matchup between the Eagles and BU women’s soccer, a sense of foreboding is rather hard to avoid.
BC is currently a perfect 6-0. Contributing to that record are a 4-1 trouncing of Penn State (who are currently ranked fifth in the country by the NCAA United Soccer Coaches) and a 1-0 shutout of Northeastern (whom the Terriers lost to, 3-2, a couple of matches ago). The Eagles have not conceded a goal since August 17; they are averaging 2.67 goals and 15.8 shots per game while outshooting opponents 95-52, and have scored 11 goals in their last four matches.
Sophomore Samantha Coffey holds the second-most points in the country, with four goals and six assists (1st in the ACC), while her fellow second-year Gianna Mitchell joint-leads the ACC with five goals. Six different BC players have recorded multiple points.
The sheer weight of those statistics is likely to cause balking—but BU has momentum of its own. Most recently, the Terriers dominated UConn for a jubilant 3-0 decision at Nickerson Field. The result, their first win of the year, provided a vital boost in confidence—a boost they will be heavily in need of as they prepare for what looks like their toughest fixture yet.
Nancy Feldman’s squad is being outscored 7-11, with 1.17 goals and 13.3 shots per game. Anna Heilferty remains atop the points table with a pair of goals and assists each; McKenna Doyle follows with a goal and an assist. Seven additional Terriers have provided point contributions, including Kelly Harris and Lauren Adelman, who both netted their first career tallies in the match against UConn. Freshman goalkeeper Morgan Messner has received the starting spot between the posts after Amanda Fay’s injury, and has made 13 saves thus far.
History, as well as the head-to-head numbers, favors BC. The Eagles maintain a 17-5-1 series lead, including back-to-back 3-0 victories in the past two seasons and a 2-1 win in 2015. Still, perhaps Nancy Feldman can pull an upset out of her hat—she is, after all, two triumphs away from her 300th career win as head coach.
Kickoff is set for Thursday at 7 p.m.