By: Greg Levinsky
In a rematch of the 2017 Patriot League Field Hockey title game, the No. 24 Boston University Terriers travel to face Bucknell University on Saturday at Graham Field.
The Terriers (7-5, 3-0 Patriot League) topped the Bison (6-5, 2-1) to reach the NCAA Tournament last year at New Balance Field. However, BU head coach Sally Starr noted her squad’s better road record than home this season, as they look to snap a two-game skid. BU is 1-2 at home and 4-1 in true road matches.
“Quite honestly, right now I think we’re better on the road,” Starr said. “When you really think about our home games so far, we’re better on the road, and we’ve got to figure out why and how.”
Last season BU went 8-3 at home and cruised to its third conference title in four years on home turf. The Terriers will face a Bucknell team that has dropped just one of their six home contests.
They’re fighting for the opportunity to host the 2018 Patriot League Championship tournament.
“Bucknell is very good,” Starr said. “They’re playing for home field advantage as well. They only have one loss in the conference.”
Junior Brittany Wilwerth leads the Bison with seven goals and three assists. Senior back Lexi Quick has five goals and six assists. Senior Nicole Rupnick rounds out a stellar offensive trio with six goals and two assists.
“They’re a very, very good team,” Starr said. “They defend really well, have good goal keeping and good individual players.”
Sophomores Ailsa Connolly and Petra Hall pace the Terriers with six goals and two assists apiece. Senior Ally Hammel has a team-best five assists to go with three goals.
With the potential for clinching home field advantage throughout the conference tournament on the line, both sides will bring their best effort.
“I am anticipating a really hard fought match,” Starr said.
Greg Levinsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GregLevinsky