2015 field hockey Patriot League Tournament preview
The Eagles look to claim their tenth conference championship this weekend in Boston.
After finishing conference play last weekend and garnering a series of awards this past week, the AU field hockey team travels to Boston University with the hopes of achieving its season goal: winning a Patriot League Championship.
“Our goal this season is to win the Patriot League championship, and if we do that it will be the program’s tenth Patriot League [championship] win, which is a huge accomplishment,” sophomore midfielder Angela Virtu said in a previous interview with the Eagle.
With their 3-1 victory over Bucknell University on Saturday, the Eagles finished the season with an 11-6 overall record, a 5-1 record in the Patriot League and a No. 2 seed in the league tournament. The top four teams in the seven-team league qualify for the conference championships, which will be contested Nov. 6-7 at the site of the regular season league champions, the BU Terriers.
AU will play its semifinal match against third-seeded Lafayette on Friday at 2:00 p.m. In the regular season, the Eagles triumphed over the Leopards 5-2 behind a two-goal performance from senior midfielder Isabel Terwindt. The Eagles also held Lafayette star midfielder/forward junior Amanda Magadan without a point. The Leopards, like the Eagles, won their final two regular season games, recording 1-0 road victories over both Colgate University and Yale University.
Lafayette ranks fifth in the Patriot League in goals per game, 2.00, and third in goals allowed per game, 2.50. Magadan leads the Patriot League in shots and shots per game and ranks seventh in points, recording nine goals and four assists in the regular season. Lafayette junior goalkeeper Katelyn Arnold leads the Patriot League with three regular season shutouts.
AU enters the tournament with the league’s second best offense (2.65 goals per game) and defense (2.29 goals against per game).
The Eagles boast 2015 Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year, senior Kate McBeath, who posted a 2.22 goals against average in Patriot League competition. Freshman forward/midfielder Rafaela Rubas was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Year on Tuesday after posting 23 points, nine goals and five assists in her first season with the Eagles. McBeath, Rubas and junior forward/midfielder Natalie Konerth earned Patriot League first team honors, while sophomore defender Angela Virtu was named to the second team. Konerth was also named the Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year for her 4.0 cumulative GPA and 28 points this season.
Rubas and Konerth has combined for 17 of the team’s goals this year, and head coach Steve Jennings praised their chemistry, The Eagle previously reported.
The Eagles’ only Patriot League loss came in a 5-3 decision to the top-seeded BU Terriers. BU, now ranked 17th in the nation, take on Bucknell in the other semifinal matchup. The Terriers currently top the league in team offensive and defensive categories and are lead by senior midfielder Sofi Laurito, who was named the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. Laurito tallied 25 points for the Terriers, scoring 11 goals and recording three assists. Her point totals for the year place her two points less than Konerth and two points ahead of Rubas. The Terriers defense is anchored by Defensive Player of the Year senior back Rachel Coll. Both Coll and Laurito scored in the Terriers victory over the Eagles on Oct. 3.
BU is the defending Patriot League champions and defeated AU in the semifinals 3-1 last season.
The final game will be played at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday Nov. 7.