Terrier Tribune: Shannon Keefe Chapter 5 – “Patriot League Champs”

Photo courtesy of Boston University Athletics

By: Shannon Keefe

Dear BU soccer fans,

The 2018 soccer season is officially over. 11-7-4 record, 2018 Patriot League Champions, undefeated in conference play, and first round NCAA appearance—safe to say it was one for the record books.

We ended the regular season with a 1-0 win over Colgate, allowing us to host the Patriot League Tournament for the first time since 2015. Since we secured the first seed, we began our postseason run already in the semi-finals against Army West Point. I scored two goals off of unbelievable assists from Taylor Kofton, and McKenna Kennedy also had her first goal of the season! We won the game 3-0 and advanced to the Patriot League Final.

I think the coolest part of the tournament was the other half of the bracket. My sister Erin, who plays on Lehigh, was playing Colgate in the other semi-final game. They won the game 2-1 in the final 30 seconds. It was Keefe vs. Keefe in the final on Sunday, and my parents were ecstatic because at least one of their daughters would come out on top.

On championship Sunday, we tried to treat it as a normal, regular season game. The plan was to  go out there, keep the ball down, play our game, and win the title.

And we did exactly that.

In the minute 72 of the game, Chloee Sagmoe placed the ball down the line to Kelly Harris, who had an unbelievable cross in the air to Anna Heilferty. Heilferty, while off balance, got her head on it, fell to the ground and watched the ball go past the Lehigh goalie and into the back of the net. BU took the lead. 1-0.

It was the longest 18 minutes of our lives before the announcer got on the loudspeaker to countdown the final seconds of the game. The final score was 1-0 and we were, once again, Patriot League Champions. It was truly a magical moment for everyone. We were emotional, to say the least, excited because our season would carry on, and proud because everything we had worked for and believed in had finally paid off.

The next day we woke up as champions, eager to see who we would match up against in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. We all met in the team room at 5:00 p.m. for the NCAA selection show to find out we would be playing Louisiana State University the following Sunday!

After a long week of hard work at practice, we departed from Boston-Logan in a charter plane excited to touch down in Baton Rouge. Once we got there, we had pregame practice, explored the city and ate some really, really good food.

On Sunday, kickoff was set for 2:00 p.m. EST and everyone was tuned in and ready to go. We fought hard for 90 minutes, and then an additional 20 in overtime, out-shooting the Tigers and possessing the ball in their half. In my opinion, it was the best game we played all season.

The game moved to penalty kicks. It was the only first round game in the whole NCAA tournament that would be decided in PKs. Morgan Messner, our freshman goalkeeper, had a phenomenal game, both during regulation and in the shootout—saving 3 of LSU’s 5 kicks.

Unfortunately, LSU advanced in penalty kicks, 2-1.

They were a very good, athletic team that had won their conference. It was a devastating loss, mostly because we believed we outplayed LSU and felt we deserved to move on. However, this team has accomplished so much this season and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. The seniors were unbelievable leaders, teammates and friends that led us in a successful season.

Coach Feldman received her 400th career win this season, and earned the much-deserved Women’s Soccer Award of Excellence, sponsored by Women and Girls in Soccer (WAGS). She was also named Patriot League Coach of the Year. Emma Clark, our assistant coach, was named to the United States Soccer 30 Under 30 class.

There is so much to be proud of this year, and I am so happy I got to be a part of it all.

Thanks so much for everyone who followed BU women’s soccer this season! I hope you enjoyed the ride as much as we did.

~ Shannon Keefe