By: Akshai Wadhwani
BOSTON, MA – Hot streak will meet cold feet at Nickerson Field on Saturday afternoon, with the Terrier women primed to take on Lafayette in the opening match of a doubleheader that will round out the month of September for BU soccer.
BU (3-7-2) began its 2018 Patriot League with a somewhat underwhelming 1-1 draw at American, before storming back with consecutive shutout victories against Lehigh, 1-0, and Holy Cross, 3-0.
The former result earned both senior Chelsea Churchill and freshman Morgan Messner their first career Patriot League accolades; Churchill picked up Midfielder of the Week after netting the lone goal against the Mountain Hawks, while Messner bagged Rookie of the Week with her second shutout of the season (she now has three after starting and playing 81 minutes against the Crusaders).
Meanwhile, in the latter win, Anna Heilferty netted a brace on her way to matching her points total from last season—the sophomore’s five goals and three assists are an exact clone of her team-leading numbers in 2017. She has recorded seven points total over the Terriers’ first three Patriot League games.
Even Nancy Feldman has not missed out on the recent individual achievements. The 3-0 trouncing of Holy Cross marked a 300th career victory for BU’s head honcho; she now boasts a record of 300-150-46 in her 24 years at the helm.
Lafayette (4-6) pales in comparison of recent form. The Leopards have lost four of their last five matches—including two straight in the Patriot League—with all four losses being shutouts. The large dip in form is curious, given the Pennsylvania-based side began conference play with a shocking 2-0 victory over two-time conference champions and Patriot League giants Bucknell.
Regardless, Lafayette has been outscored 8-2 over the aforementioned five-match time frame; they are also the least offensively aggressive team in the Patriot League by far, with a conference-low 87 shots over the course of the season—31 attempts behind the next-lowest total.
Nevertheless, Alex Stanford has been a standout up front for the Leopards. The senior owns five goals and a helper on the year, awarding her an average of 1.10 points per game (3rd in PL). Stanford is aided by her fellow senior Katie Brannigan (four assists) as well as sophomore Krista Kissell (two goals). Second-year goalkeeper Maggie Pohl owns every minute of the season in between the posts, along with a .810 save percentage and a 1.20 goals against average.
Vengeance could have an influence on the tone of Saturday’s match—at least for the visiting team. After all, BU robbed the Leopards of a second straight Patriot League semifinal appearance last year, with Jacki Carty’s header giving the Terriers a 1-0 home decision.
The spotlight now returns to Nickerson Field for the latest regular season installment, with BU looking to continue a perfect 6-0 record all-time against the visitors. The Leopards have squeezed just a single goal out of those six contests, with the Terriers holding an overwhelming 19-1 scoring advantage.
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Nickerson Field.