By: Ethan Fuller
BOSTON, MA – After a week of preparation, Boston University will begin their Patriot League playoff journey on Friday against sixth-ranked Army. The Terriers, ranked tops in the Patriot League, will look to vanquish a foe they did not conquer in the regular season.
In their last match, BU and Army tied at 1-1 after two overtimes. Though the Terriers controlled the contest, winning the shot attempt battle 27-2, one Morgan Walsh score was all Army needed to force a draw. The game was one of only two Patriot League fixtures that did not end with a BU victory.
Despite being the lowest seed, the Black Knights upset no. 3 Navy in Tuesday’s quarterfinals, winning a thrilling double-overtime game 1-0. Sophomore Erynn Johns delivered the crucial decider in the 102nd minute, scoring her third goal of the season. For Army, the victory was their first playoff triumph since 2011 and also snapped a double-overtime winless streak of 22 games.
Johns is the team leader in assists (5) and total points (11). Fellow sophomore Morgan Walsh leads the unit in goals, with four on the year.
Two Black Knights garnered All-Patriot League honors; defender Sydney Witham landed on the First Team while goalie Sydney Cassalia reached the Second Team. Cassalia has impressed in net thus far, holding the Patriot League lead with 10 shutouts.
Unlike visiting Army, BU boasts a wealth of playoff experience. The Terriers are 7-2 in their Patriot League history and have captured three championships since joining the conference in 2013. They also have not lost a home conference game in their last 48 matches, a streak that leads the NCAA.
Boston University is riding high, coming off a critical 1-0 decision versus Colgate that saw the no. 1 seed change hands. In addition to the seven All-Patriot League recognitions earned last week, two Terriers also took home weekly honors. Senior defender Hannah Wilcox was named Defensive Player of the Week after helping limit the Raiders to six total shots in the match. She also scored the deciding goal in the 78th minute.
Sophomore keeper Amanda Fay also took home Goalkeeper of the Week for her four saves and subsequent shutout against Colgate. Fay and freshman Morgan Messner have formed a dynamic duo in net for the Terriers, combining for seven shutouts in Patriot League play.
BU will look to press the gas again versus the Black Knights. Their 27 shots in the last matchup were a season-high. Sophomore forward Anna Heilferty put up eight attempts, with three on target and multiple others off the goalposts. She and Rookie of the Year Taylor Kofton have been the chief offensive catalysts for the Terriers.
With a spot in the finals on the line, this first semifinal clash will kick off at 4:30 P.M. on Friday.