By Henry Dinh-Price
Boston University Field Hockey (4-5, 2-1 PL) defeated the Bucknell Bison (5-6, 1-2 PL) in a 2-1 double-overtime thriller on Saturday at New Balance Field. BU opened their six-game homestand by snapping a two-game losing streak.
The first half saw an overall lack of chances by both sides. The Terriers’ best scoring opportunity came from the only penalty corner of the half, four minutes into the second quarter.
Junior back Peyton Anderson unleashed a strong shot on goal, but Bucknell’s first-year goalkeeper Sarah Althouse extended for a split save off of her right pad to keep the score level.
At the halftime break, the game remained scoreless with each side recording two shots and a save.
The breakthrough moment came for Bucknell just a minute into the second half. Junior forward Zoe Carlson-Pietraszek released a slapshot from the right-side edge of the circle that flew through the air with pace.
As BU senior goalkeeper Kate Thomason positioned herself for the shot, Bucknell sophomore midfielder Nicky Punt raised her stick to deflect the ball just a few yards in front of the goal.
The deflection from Punt’s stick saw Carlson-Pietraszek’s shot trickle into the back of the net, hitting the left-side post before crossing the goal line to give the Bison a 1-0 lead.
Only three minutes later, BU had a chance of their own after earning a penalty corner. Senior midfielder Thalia Steenssens passed the ball into sophomore forward Caroline O’Brien whose shot was blocked out of bounds, setting up another BU penalty corner.
On the Terriers’ second consecutive corner, it was Steenssens sending it in once again. This time she found Anderson at the top of the circle.
Anderson took three dribbles to her right before firing a shot. With a group of bodies in front of goal, Anderson’s shot found the stick of BU sophomore forward Martu Coulo just a couple yards from the net.
As a crowd of Bucknell defenders swarmed Coulo, she found Steenssens alone at the back post for an easy tap-in to level the score at 1-1. The goal for Steenssens marked her first of the season.
Heading into the fourth quarter, the contest remained tied at one. BU came out on their front foot, keeping the ball in Bucknell’s defensive half for the majority of the first ten minutes.
However, Bucknell responded with a few chances of their own. A shot from the Bison’s goalscorer Carlson-Pietraszek flew wide with just under five minutes remaining in regulation.
Less than two minutes later, sophomore midfielder Gianna Puorro created a scoring chance as she made a run down the left side of the field, resulting in a forceful backhand shot that barely sailed wide of Thomason’s back post.
The final chance of regulation came from the Terriers. With 45 seconds left, Coulo weaved through the Bison defense before finding O’Brien just five yards from goal.
O’Brien unleashed a strong shot towards the near post, but it found the midsection blocker of Althouse to keep the contest tied and force it into sudden-death overtime.
During extra time, the Terriers had a chance to score the game-winner at the end of the first period. Sophomore forward Amalia Preece found an opening with 20 seconds remaining, but her shot was blocked by a diving Althouse.
The rebound then found junior midfielder Katie Devine whose shot went wide, sending the game to double overtime.
The second overtime was capped off by a game-winner from the Terriers in the 78th minute.
Coulo weaved through a couple of Bucknell defenders before she found Steensens near the net. After receiving the pass, Steenssens played a ball right across the face of the goal, finding sophomore midfielder Megan Wetzel waiting alone at the back post to score the tap-in game-winning goal — the first goal of her collegiate career.
Steenssens was the standout for the Terriers, as she contributed a goal and the game-winning assist.
“It’s so essential that players like [Steenssens] really step up big in games like this,” BU Head Coach Sally Starr said. “She absolutely did get a big goal, and then also, that assist was perfect.”
With the double overtime victory, BU moves to 4-5 overall — but most importantly — 2-1 in the Patriot League.
“I cannot overstate how proud I am of this team. Just the grit, their competitive fire, the way they played together,” Starr said. “Really important game for us and important conference victory.”
The Terriers have a quick turnaround as they are set to face their inter-city rivals Northeastern University on Oct. 1. This non-league contest will begin at 1 p.m. on New Balance Field with streaming available on ESPN+ and NESN+.