By: Ethan Fuller
BOSTON, MA – Coming off a hard-fought 1-0 win against Lehigh on Saturday, BU women’s soccer (2-7-2) is primed to resume Patriot League dominance. The Terriers will arrive in Worcester on Wednesday evening to face a Holy Cross team (3-6-0) that just snapped their three-game losing streak with a win over Lafayette.
Nancy Feldman is on the cusp of her 300th career victory as head coach of the team. In her 24 seasons at BU, the team has been to 13 NCAA tournaments while winning 12 regular season conference titles and 12 more conference playoff championships. Feldman has already been recognized with ten Conference Coach of the Year awards during her illustrious career, and this win would only add to her record of sustained greatness.
Terriers Chelsea Churchill and Morgan Messner received Patriot League distinctions for their play last week. Churchill, a senior, was awarded Midfielder of the Week for her game-winning header versus Lehigh. In the same match, Messner saved a career-high six shot attempts, earning her second shutout of the year as well as the nod for Rookie of the Week.
Messner has been particularly impressive in her first year at BU. She ranks eighth in the Patriot League in save percentage and seventh in saves per game. While she has struggled at times as a rookie, Messner has put together two shutouts in her last three contests and seems to be on the rise.
Anna Heilferty serves as a force of all-around impact on the pitch for the Terriers. The sophomore’s setup for Churchill’s goal marked her third assist of the year; along with Navy’s Baseley McClaskey, she is now one of only two players in the Patriot League with at least three goals and three assists.
For Holy Cross, junior forward Carly Flahive has been an offensive workhorse. She leads the team in goals with four conversions, which also ties her for fourth in the Patriot League.
Overall, the Crusaders differ from Lehigh in terms of their goal-scoring nature. While the Mountain Hawks’ aggressive offense threatened during multiple portions of Saturday’s game, many of their shots were hopelessly wide or straight to the keeper. In contrast, Holy Cross takes less shots on goal per game, but has scored 11 times versus Lehigh’s five. The Crusaders cannot be allowed easy chances at net, and Messner will need to continue her upward trend as keeper.
Boston University women’s soccer hold the advantage at 8-1 all-time against Holy Cross. Wednesday’s fixture opens the Turnpike Trophy series, an inter-sport battle between the two schools established in 2016. BU will look to continue its supremacy in the series with a victory in this first matchup. The game begins at 7 p.m.