By: Ethan Fuller
BOSTON – After a convincing 3-0 victory in Friday’s semifinal, Boston University will attempt to capture the program’s fourth championship since joining the Patriot League when it clashes with Lehigh University on Sunday, Nov. 4. The Terriers will make their fifth conference finals appearance in the last seven years.
BU looked well-rested against Army, as they outshot the Black Knights 17-4. Shannon Keefe notched a brace with goals in the 40th and 72nd minutes. Both scores came off assists from Rookie of the Year winner Taylor Kofton, who now has two helpers to go with her four goals.
Sophomore midfielder McKenna Kennedy also contributed her first goal of the season, and first as Terrier, by converting a penalty kick in the 68th minute of action.
Morgan Messner continued her breakout freshman season in net, locking up her sixth shutout of the season with four saves on the outing. Messner was the only goalie that saved every chance in Patriot League play. She and sophomore Amanda Fay have each started 10 games, with Fay blanking three teams of her own.
Coach Nancy Feldman could reach another milestone Sunday, as a win would be the 400th of her coaching career. Feldman would become only the 20th women’s soccer coach in NCAA history to reach this benchmark, with over 75 percent of her wins coming at the helm of the Terriers.
Meanwhile, fifth-seeded Lehigh pulled off another upset when they downed 7-1-1 Colgate University in the semis. The Mountain Hawks came up big in the clutch when senior Sabrina Mertz scored in the final minute of regulation, sealing a 2-1 decision.
After starting Patriot League play with four consecutive losses, Lehigh has gone 5-2 in their last seven conference matches (including playoffs). The Mountain Hawks are the first team in tournament history to reach the championship game from a quarterfinal berth. It will be the team’s first finals appearance since 2010.
Last time the two teams faced off, BU came out with a hard-fought 1-0 win at Nickerson Field. However, the Mountain Hawks proved to be tough, outshooting the Terriers 14-9. They were the only Patriot League team to put up more attempts than Boston University in a game.
The comforts of Nickerson will be a major advantage for the Terriers. BU has won all three home contests against Lehigh. Additionally, a win Sunday would be the 50th straight in-conference victory at Nickerson. This streak is the longest in the NCAA and dates back more than ten years.
With Patriot League supremacy and an automatic NCAA tournament bid on the line, the final conference game of 2018 kicks off at 2 p.m. on Sunday.