By Cameron Meyer
Boston University Women’s Soccer (9-6) (5-1 PL) took on Holy Cross (0-10-4) (0-4-1 PL) in Worcester on Wednesday night. Thanks to two first half goals, the Terriers edged out the Crusaders 2-1, and claimed their fifth win in a row.
The midweek victory also took the Terriers to the top spot of the Patriot League standings above Bucknell with three in-conference games to go before the postseason.
“We’re not trying to lose ourselves or get ahead of ourselves,” BU Head Coach Casey Brown said. “We’re just trying to build on performances and grow within the season.”
Although the Terriers have struggled to score as of late, only scoring four goals in their last four games, forward Morgan Fagan put her team on the scoreboard early. In the 2nd minute, Fagan put pressure on the Crusader backline and stole the ball off the foot of a defender. From there, she was 1-on-1 with Izzy Castagnetti and she calmly slotted the ball home over the goalkeeper’s outstretched hands.
The goal marked Fagan’s fifth of the season and her fourth goal contribution in the past four games.
“[Fagan’s] been a really big attacking threat for us,” Brown said. “She creates a lot with her work rate, her pressing, [and] her pace. I think she’s a handful to deal with.”
Despite going down early, the Crusaders fought to get back in the game. The home team pressed high on a Terrier backline that hadn’t conceded a goal in four straight games. That streak ended in the 15th minute.
The Crusaders forced the Terriers to cough up the ball on their left flank and the ball came to the feet of sophomore Ashley Blaka. The forward then sent senior Melanie Lytle through on net who poked the ball past Celia Braun for her first collegiate goal.
After a confusing call in which the referee ruled out a BU goal off of a Castagnetti blunder, the Terriers eventually took the lead. In the 26th minute, defender Jenna Oldham curled a direct free kick in the top right corner to put the Terriers back in front.
“[Oldham] wants the big moments,” Brown said. “She can obviously execute and we knew set pieces were going to be a big part of this game.”
The second half showed a calmer execution from the Terriers. They dealt with the Crusader press and enjoyed long periods of possession in the attacking third unlike in the first 45 minutes.
“Some adjustments at halftime helped and we were able to solve the press a little bit better and more effectively,” Brown said.
Despite enjoying much of the ball and not facing much defensive pressure, the Terriers struggled to put the game away. BU took a total of 16 shots on Wednesday, nine of which coming in the second half.
The best chances for the Terriers came in the 64th minute when Oldham rattled the woodwork from another free kick and in the 89th when Fagan hit the same left post in a 1-on-1 chance. The ability to consistently put away chances has been a constant woe for the Terriers, who have yet to score more than two goals in a game this season.
The Terriers will battle for the top seed in the Patriot League against Bucknell on Saturday at 1 p.m.