By Akshai Wadhwani September 6, 2018
BOSTON, MA – Thunder and lightning were the first fans to arrive for Thursday evening’s latest installment of the BU vs. BC rivalry.
Flashes could be seen across the overcast Boston sky starting around 4:30 p.m., and almost caused the match to be postponed. However, after a delay of almost an hour, the teams finally kicked off around 7:45 p.m.
Unfortunately for the Terriers, the lightning delay did not deter their Boston College opponents.
Nancy Feldman’s squad received their killer blow at the half hour mark, when a floated corner kick from the Eagles drew goalkeeper Amanda Fay out of position and allowed Mijke Roelfsema to chip a half-volley over several Terriers’ heads and into the back of the net. The goal had been coming, with BC owning the lion’s share of possession and putting three prior shots on the board. However, BU defended against the pressure admirably and likely felt the concession was a cruel one.
The resulting 1-0 loss was undoubtedly a disappointment for the Terrier women. However, a defeat by such a close margin against such a strong opponent left them with lots of learning points to build upon.
“Our goal when we play these games is to be challenged, so that we can sustain our possession and our attack against a team that is closing you pretty fast,” head coach Nancy Feldman explained postmatch. “So, what do we want to get out of it? We want to be better under this kind of duress and this kind of pressure. Unless you see it, I don’t think you have the ability to raise your game. So that would be what I hope is the meaningfulness of this game down the road.”
The Terriers withstood a total of 17 shots and seven corners from their crimson-clad opponents over the course of the 90 minutes, spending a majority of time in their own half. Add to that a bombardment of crosses low and high, mesmerizing footwork, and grueling physical play, and the fact that BU conceded just the one goal becomes somewhat astonishing.
The Eagles’ defense deserves its own commendation, having held the hosts to a meager four shots with two on target.
One standout in scarlet and white was rookie midfielder Taylor Kofton, who made several piercing runs through the middle of the pitch and passed with precision and direction throughout the match. The freshman also earned herself an open header off a corner kick early in the second half, but unfortunately saw her effort go straight down the throat of BC keeper Alexis Bryant.
“We’ve got a bright, shining, star young player there,” Feldman said of Kofton. “I was happy, really happy, with her performance. She’s strong physically, she’s got good mobility and power and explosiveness. And she’s got very good feet—she’s a very good technical player.”
BU’s Fay kept her team within reach with six saves on the night, including a brilliant diving stop down to her left to deny Roelfsema in the 68th minute. After missing three matches due to a concussion sustained against Hofstra earlier in the season (during which freshman Morgan Messner took her place), the sophomore netminder presented a welcome sight in her return to the starting lineup.
“We’re really fortunate to have three great [goalkeepers], and two who now have playing experience for the season,” Feldman commented. “I think it just makes us stronger in that position.”
Now 7-0, the BC women continue to fly to heights rivalling those of their mascot. In spite of that, Feldman remains convinced her squad could produce an even better result in the event of a rematch.
“They [BC] are a very good team, and we knew that going in,” she said. “But I feel like I’d love to see this team down the road—in the postseason, if we’re fortunate enough to get there—because I think we can do better.”
Next Up: The Terriers begin a three-match road trip with a Sunday afternoon matchup against Dartmouth. Kickoff from Hanover, NH is set for 1 p.m.