With time running down and the score tied the AU field hockey team was caught on the counterattack by the Boston University Terriers, falling 2-1 on Saturday afternoon at Jacobs Field.
After an AU attack broke down, BU senior forward Amanda Cassera carried the ball in transition before finding teammate Sara Martineau alone in front of the AU net. Martineau slotted the ball past AU sophomore goalkeeper Maura Jacobs, giving BU the lead and a share of the Patriot League regular season title.
“I thought it was a great game by both teams, a lot of energy, a lot of spirit,” head coach Steve Jennings said. “[BU was] really strong on some counterattack opportunities in the second half and that was the difference in the game.”
The Eagles (11-6, 5-1 PL) entered the game atop Patriot League standings having already clinched a share of the regular season title. However, the game against the No. 14 Terriers (12-5, 5-1 PL) represented a tiebreaker, with the winner hosting the Patriot League Tournament Nov. 4-6.
The first half was a defensive struggle, with the teams combining for only seven shots and one shot on goal. AU had chances to gain the lead through four first half penalty corners, but the BU defense, ranked seventh defensively in the NCAA with a 1.25 goals against average, prevented the Eagles from turning the penalty corner opportunities into shots on goal.
“I think each team has a unique style and was trying to do some different things [in the first half], so it was difficult for everyone to get used to the tempo,” Jennings said.
BU started the second half strongly, with senior forward Taylor Blood stealing a pass from the AU backline and firing a shot on goal less than a minute into the second half. The Terriers took the lead minutes later when sophomore forward Kara Enoch tapped a cross pass from Cassera into an empty net.
The Eagles responded with sustained pressure, and held the ball in the Terrier defensive end for much of the final thirty minutes. The pressure resulted in a goal when sophomore forward Rafaela Rubas’ pass from outside the attacking circle ricocheted off the BU goalpost to junior forward Haley Bowcutt, who scored on the rebound.
BU won a pair of penalty corners in quick succession with under twelve minutes, but the AU defense prevented the Terriers from converting either opportunity into shots on goal.
AU will be the second seed in the four-team Patriot League Tournament next weekend in Boston. The Eagles’ opponent will be determined after the conclusion of this weekend’s Patriot League schedule.
“We’re not really focused on regular season titles,” Jennings said. “We’re just trying to make sure that we’re tournament champions and we know we’ll have a tough match in the semifinal.”