Field Hockey: 10/14 Weekend Preview

By Henry Dinh-Price

Boston University Field Hockey (7-5, 2-1 PL) is hosting the Lafayette College Leopards (6-5, 3-1 PL) and the Harvard University Crimson (9-3), with a chance to complete an undefeated six-game homestand.

The Terriers are coming off a successful weekend, defeating both New Hampshire and Columbia with fourth-quarter comebacks. While BU is on a hot streak, it will not be easy to finish the homestand undefeated as the Terriers are set to face two talented opponents.

Game 1: BU v. Lafayette – Oct. 14 at noon.

The Terriers host Lafayette on Saturday in a game with huge implications for the Patriot League standings. Lafayette is in second place with a 3-1 record. However, the Terriers, sitting in 4th place at 2-1, can leapfrog the Leopards with a win. With only four spots open in the Patriot League playoffs, this matchup will be crucial for both sides in their quest to clinch a playoff berth.

The Leopards sport the highest goals-per-game average in the Patriot League at 2.27. They also have the second-best goals allowed average at 1.55 a game. This margin of 0.72 is the highest mark in the league.

And while BU has shined in their four-game winning streak, Lafayette is on a three-game win streak of their own.

Despite Lafayette’s current win streak and overall success in the Patriot League, the Leopards will try to achieve a feat they have not done so far this season — winning a game on the road.

Lafayette is 0-4 away from home this season, including a 3-2 loss at Columbia on Sept. 10 — a squad the Terriers defeated 2-1 last weekend on Oct. 8.

The Leopards are led by junior midfielder Lineke Spaans, whose 17 points are tied with BU’s senior midfielder Thalia Steenssens for the most in the conference.

Freshman midfielder Stella Malinowski will also be a player to watch out for, as her six goals are tied for second-most in the Patriot League.

The Terriers are 7-4 all-time against Lafayette, but they have dropped their last two matchups. This includes their only loss in league play last season: a 2-0 loss on the road.

Game 2: BU v. Harvard – Oct. 17 at 6 p.m.

The Terriers have their work cut out for them against Harvard. Ranked 9th in the nation, Harvard has been tested against some of the best teams in the country.

The Crimson have three wins against ranked opponents. Harvard notched home victories against No. 10 Syracuse on Oct. 1 and No. 14 Saint Joseph’s on Oct. 8. The Crimson also defeated No. 15 UConn 3-2 (OT) on the road on Sept. 3.

Harvard’s only three losses have come against top-10 opponents. They dropped back-to-back away games on Sept. 8 and Sept. 10 against No. 9 Liberty and No. 6 Virginia, by a score of 2-1 (OT) and 1-0 respectively. The Crimson’s most recent loss came on Sept. 24 at home against No. 5 Duke in a 3-2 double-overtime loss.

As for common opponents, BU and Harvard have beaten Northeastern and Columbia at home, but the Crimson have done so by a wider margin. The Terriers beat Northeastern 3-2 in double-overtime and Columbia 2-1. Harvard beat Northeastern 5-1 and Columbia 3-0.

The Crimson are led by junior midfielder Emily Guckian, whose 23 points are the second-highest in the Ivy League.

Sophomore fullback Bronte-May Brough is also a name to watch out for as she has pitched in with five goals this season. Brough was honored with NFHCA Division 1 and Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week in the first week of October.

To pull off an upset, the Terriers will look for senior goalkeeper Kate Thomason to have a big game.

Junior fullback Peyton Anderson, last season’s Patriot League Defender of the Year, will be key to helping out Thomason in limiting Harvard’s offensive production.

The Terriers will attempt to continue their winning streak this weekend. The first game against Lafayette will be played at noon on Saturday at New Balance Field with streaming available on ESPN+.