After shutting out its last three opponents—including a pair of ranked teams—Boston College field hockey headed down Commonwealth Avenue for a rivalry game against Boston University. The Eagles tipped their record over .500 just last weekend but have been heating up offensively since their second conference win against Virginia earlier this month.
Coupled with a recently impenetrable defense, it’s no surprise that BC took Sunday’s game with relative ease, tallying a 5-0 win over the Terriers to stake its claim in Boston.
It didn’t take long for the 17th-ranked Eagles (8-5, 2-1 Atlantic Coast) to establish their dominance, as offensive stalwart Margo Carlin sent the team’s first shot attempt to the back of the cage inside the first two minutes of regulation. The Terriers (4-8, 1-2 Patriot League), on the other hand, found it impossible to navigate BC’s defensive structure, struggling to get shots off in the circle.
As BU cracked under the defensive pressure, Carlin made stealthy moves to cushion the Eagles’ lead, notching another goal just five minutes after her initial scoring play. The Terriers floundered for a response, as Alisa Connolly quickly regained possession and sent a wild attempt toward the net, but Sarah Dwyer managed to get her body in front to keep the score stagnant.
BU’s Livy Golini blocked three shots to start the second quarter to keep the Terriers within striking distance, and the game soon shifted to a battle of the goalkeepers. Despite the aggressive play of both offenses, neither team could gain enough leverage to move the score. With the second frame mirroring that of a stalemate, it seemed as though the Terriers were poised for a sudden change inside the circle to get a hand back in the game.
That was until midway through the third frame, when the Eagles began taking risks on offense in order to stuff the game away. The Terriers drew a corner right after the break but failed to capitalize after a wide shot by Jodie Conolly. Carlin took the opportunity to strike again, burying her 14th goal of the season to hoist the Eagles to a 3-0 advantage, but she wasn’t done yet.
Through the combined talents of Carlin and Dwyer, BC continued to build to its largest margin of victory on the season. On the rare occasion that the Terriers could get a shot on goal, Dwyer was there, and no one was stopping Carlin in the circle. With just three minutes left in the frame, the freshman tipped in another goal off an elevated pass to seal the fate of the game, sending the Eagles into the fourth quarter with plenty of breathing room.
That breathing room translated to offensive freedom, as the Eagles piled up shot attempts while continuing to put pressure on the Terriers. Eager for another shutout, BC knitted together one of its most impressive defensive performances of the season, holding its rival to zero shots in the final quarter. Then, freshman Charlotte Von Huelsen sent a high shot from the top circle in the final minute of regulation, securing the Eagles’ 5-0 victory to make for a winning weekend.
After an inconsistent start to the season, BC is beginning to pick up quality wins to gain confidence heading into a competitive final stretch. If the Eagles can maintain their sturdy defense—they haven’t allowed a goal in their last four games—and continue to improve in scoring, they could quickly become a force to be reckoned with in the ACC.
With seven conference schools ranked inside the top 20 of the NCAA RPI ratings, BC will have to keep its momentum going as it enters the back half of ACC play. But the task may not be as daunting as it originally seemed, given the Eagles’ budding talent and recent success.
Featured Image by Bridget Clark / For The Heights