By Charlie DeMatteo
Boston University women’s soccer (6-5-3, 3-2-1 PL) lost 1-0 to the Holy Cross Crusaders (4-4-5, 2-1-3 PL) at home at Nickerson Field on Wednesday night.
Despite dominating in chances and possession, a well-worked set piece by the Crusaders was enough for the victory as BU failed to convert any of its opportunities into goals.
“It’s a tough one,” BU Head Coach Casey Brown said postgame. “Obviously an unfortunate result because we felt like we started the game really strong, but we have to be able to separate ourselves from teams and we didn’t do that.”
The Terriers started quickly through sophomore midfielder Natalie Godoy who had a golden opportunity inside two minutes. Junior forward Morgan Fagan made a bursting run down the right flank and found Godoy wide open in front of the net, but Godoy’s effort was tame and hit straight to Crusader goalie Julia Walsh.
Not even a minute later, some great build up play by the Terriers gave Fagan a chance in front of goal, but her effort on her weaker left foot was also saved by Walsh.
The Terriers came into the matchup having scored seven goals in their last two games, and Brown couldn’t pinpoint what was off against the Crusaders.
“I’m not quite sure [what was different],” Brown said. “I thought we had some really good looks in the first half.”
Then, with their first shot on target of the half, Holy Cross snatched the game away from BU in the 36th minute when junior defender Grace Soltesz headed home a free kick into the bottom left corner.
“I think it’s really unfortunate the goal that we gave up,” Brown said. “We felt like we were really in control of the match, the ball, and the opportunities.”
Despite outshooting the Crusaders 9-1 in the first half, the Terriers entered the break down 1-0.
“We felt like it was unfortunate but we couldn’t sit on that for too long,” Brown said. “We had a real aggressive mentality to try to get after it in the next 45 minutes.”
As opposed to the first half, Holy Cross started the stronger of the two teams in the second half. In the 52nd minute, senior midfielder Cerys Balmer had a headed effort dribble just wide of BU GK Celia Braun.
BU responded through senior forward Abigail McNulty in the 63rd minute. McNulty made a trademark run down the left flank and poked a cross that took a deflection towards the net but was somehow cleared off the line by Holy Cross defender Emily Bubonovich, keeping the Crusaders in front.
McNulty and Fagan both posed threats on either flank, but were consistently cutting in on their weaker foots. To address this, Brown swapped the two attackers at the 70 minute mark, trying to spark something for her team.
“I was trying to jumpstart something, I was looking at matchups,” Brown said. “We were trying to figure out what we could to add something to the attack, unfortunately it didn’t help create a goal.”
Neither team had any significant chances in the final 20 minutes, as the Crusaders were content with sitting on their lead and the Terriers were unable to break them down.
“We’ll bounce back because this team is resilient, they’re tough,” Brown said. “It’s one game and one result and part of what you have to do to be successful is to learn from it and move on.”
The Terriers will travel to Lewisburg, Pennsylvania next on Saturday to face Bucknell with kickoff set for 1 p.m.