Minutewomen fall to Boston College in OT after win over Northeastern
After a strong showing against Northeastern, the Massachusetts field hockey team was unable to pull off another upset win and suffered a heartbreaking overtime loss to Boston College on Sunday.
Before taking on the No. 9 Eagles in a much anticipated game, the No. 11 Minutewomen had to take care of business against a good Northeastern team Saturday.
The defense, which has proven to be the strength of this UMass team, played well once again and limited the opportunities for the Huskies’ offense. Despite being outshot, 17-13, and giving up 12 penalty corners, goalkeeper Alesha Widdall was able to stop a season-high 10 shots and record her third consecutive shutout as the Minutewomen went on to win 4-0.
After the game, UMass coach Justine Sowry expressed her satisfaction for the play of the defense.
“We’re definitely playing as a solid defensive unit. Overall, we’re happy with our performance,” she said.
Scoring for the Minutewomen was spread around as four different players were able to notch a goal. Makaela Potts led the offense by tallying a score and two assists while Jaime Bourazeris, Katie Kelly and Jill Powers all added goals.
The loss halted the Huskies’ four-game winning streak and moved their record to 4-3.
On Sunday, UMass faced BC coming off of its worst performance of the season the day before against No. 1 Maryland. The Terrapins (8-0) handed the Eagles their first loss while remaining undefeated on their campaign to defend their national championship.
The loss seemed to affect Boston College as they looked flat for most of the game. The Minutewomen had a few opportunities in the first half to take the lead but fell just short, presenting a theme that would continue throughout the game.
Finally, with 19 minutes, 46 seconds remaining in the second half, UMass broke through with a goal scored by freshman Nicole Cordero, the first of her career. Fellow freshman Kate Heineman also picked up her first career assist on the score. Cordero was eager as well as relieved after the game to have at last gotten the big moment out of the way.
“It was really exciting,” Cordero said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better opponent to have my first goal against.”
The goal gave the Minutewomen the lead but didn’t change their aggressive play. UMass kept attacking and looked as if it would add another goal which would have all but put the game out of reach for Boston College at that point.
However, the Eagles finally woke up and connected for a goal by Chelsey Feole with less than eight minutes left in the game to break Widdall’s shutout streak.
Right as regulation was about to end, the Minutewomen put in an apparent winning goal on a penalty corner as time expired, but had it waved off for a push to force overtime.
Five minutes into the extra period, Janna Anctil provided the heroics with a goal that gave the Eagles the 2-1 win and put the dagger into the hearts of the Minutewomen.
The player of the game was undoubtedly the Eagles’ goalkeeper, Kristine Stigas, who stood as a brick wall in goal and fended off nine penalty corners as well as 26 shots.
After the game, one word summed up the loss for the Minutewomen: frustrating.
“It’s very frustrating, we put in a lot of time and effort preparing for this weekend,” Sowry said. “That’s the game, you can outplay an opponent and not come away with the victory.”
“It was a really frustrating game but I think we handled ourselves very well,” Cordero said. “It’s a hard loss but you always learn from it.
Sowry was upset with how the team preformed under duress towards the end of the game and felt they wandered from the game plan.
“We have to win as a team and lose as a team. When the pressure was on us, I think we became a little individual rather than sticking together as a team. We have to stick to what we’ve been working on in practice and not let an opponent dictate what we do.”
Though the loss could be considered a moral victory for the Minutewomen, Makaela Potts was not letting her team off the hook.
“We need to go back to our basics and play better hockey,” she said.
With the loss, Boston College moves to 7-1 while UMass falls to 5-2 for the season with both losses coming in overtime games.
The Minutewomen will be back on the field this weekend when they begin another road trip on Saturday in Vermont.
Jay Asser can be reached at email@example.com.