Women’s Soccer: Terriers dominate Loyola Maryland to advance to Patriot League semifinals

By Cameron Meyer

Going into the Patriot League Tournament as the No. 3 seed, Boston University Women’s Soccer (11-8-0, 6-3 PL) hosted No. 6 Loyola Maryland (6-8-4, 3-4-2 PL) in the first round of the tournament.

Thanks to a dominant performance on both sides of the ball, the Terriers bested the Greyhounds 3-0 and advanced to the semifinals, where they’ll take on No. 2-seed Bucknell. 

The win comes off the back of a disappointing 3-2 loss to Army to close out the regular season that saw the Terriers slip down the Patriot League standings. 

“I think, honestly, a real dominant performance,” BU Head Coach Casey Brown said. “Happy for the group and we’re looking forward to the next challenge.”

The Terriers opened up the scoring early into the game by way of sophomore Eileen Solomon with her first goal of the season. Defender Jenna Oldham, who was one of two Terriers named to the All-Patriot League First Team, whipped in a cross from the corner flag that hit off the head of Abigail McNulty, and Solomon was there to put the ball away.

“I think getting a lead early was huge for us,” McNulty said. “I think we fuel off adrenaline and momentum, and it gave us confidence right from the get go.”

BU’s attack wreaked havoc on the Greyhound defense all game, registering seven shots in the first half. It wasn’t long until the Terriers would get their second. 

In the 21st minute, junior Lily Matthews received the ball on the top of the box, took a touch to gather herself, and drove a shot at pace towards goalkeeper Paige Sim 25 yards out from goal. The speed of the shot got the best of Sim, who couldn’t get two palms strongly behind the ball, and the ball deflected off her hands and into the back of the net. 

“[Matthews is] awesome and it’s her birthday too, so I was especially thrilled for her,” Brown said. “She’s not always on the stat sheet, and for her to get on it today and find the goal, she’s so deserving of it. She’s a top-class player.”

The Terriers didn’t relent going into the second half and continued to give the Greyhound defense issues. Only seven minutes into the second 45, McNulty broadened her team’s advantage to three.

From the right wing, sophomore Morgan Fagan whipped in a cross to the on-rushing McNulty, who found the far corner with a glancing header. The goal marked the second time the Terriers scored more than two goals in a game this season — both came against the Greyhounds.

“You want your attacking players to be in good form,” Brown said. “So this time of the year — end of October going into playoff season in November — for them to be finding the back of the net and scoring like that I think is awesome.”

On the other end of the field, the Terrier defensive line gave their goalkeepers an easy day at the office. Both Celia Braun and Gretchen Bennett faced zero shots on target in their respective appearances as the Terriers shut out an attack for the first time in five games. 

BU’s defense showed a “real strong mentality,” according to Brown. 

The Terriers will next face off against Bucknell on Thursday at 7 p.m. in a rematch of last year’s Patriot League Championship Final. 

“We’re just going to take it one game at a time and focus on our next opponent, and just keep showing up and playing our hearts out,” McNulty said.