By: Ethan Fuller
BOSTON – In a climactic face-off between the Patriot League’s top two teams, Boston University pulled out a huge victory Saturday at Colgate, winning the match 1-0. Ending the year at 9-7-3 and 7-0-2 in the Patriot League, BU edged out the opposing Raiders (7-1-1 in conference) for the number one seed in the impending playoffs.
The crucial victory capped off a remarkable in-conference season for the Terriers. They allowed just two Patriot League goals all year and never lost a match, while also holding opponents to six shots or less in each of their last three contests. For Colgate, the loss snapped a five-game shutout streak and marked their first defeat in nearly two months. The Terriers now hold an 8-0-1 all-time advantage in head-to-head matchups.
Saturday’s fixture opened with a signature barrage of offense from BU, who generated five shot attempts and two corner kicks in the first 20 minutes. However, the Terriers failed to convert the couplet of set pieces, and their attack slowed as the half went on. Still, the team kept Colgate from building offensive momentum; the hosts managed just one try at net and two corners, while BU ended the first period with eight attempts.
The Raiders entered the second half with much more offensive firepower. In one three-minute stretch they forced four corners and two shots, but still could not penetrate the Terrier defense.
Towards the latter half of the period, BU started to regain their footing. In the 78th minute, a cross flew through the box to find senior Hannah Wilcox. After a few quick touches, Wilcox powered the ball into the back of the net. The goal, her first of the season, would be the decider.
Despite a strong Colgate second half which included five shot attempts and six corner kicks, sophomore keeper Amanda Fay stood strong. She notched four saves on the day, including some spectacular diving stops, and took home her third shutout of the season.
BU will now play host to the 2018 Patriot League playoffs. As the top seeded team, the Terriers receive a first-round bye in addition to home-field advantage. The comfort of Nickerson Field has boosted the squad for years; they have won 48 straight home conference matches.
Despite the loss, Colgate will also receive a first-round bye after placing second in the regular season standings. Both teams will return to the pitch on November 2 to take part in their respective semifinal matches.
For now, the Terriers will revel in their third regular season championship as Patriot League participants while preparing for the playoffs. Quarterfinals for the playoffs take place on Tuesday.