Field Hockey: Terriers cruise past Colgate off O’Brien hat trick 

By Henry Dinh-Price

Led by a hat trick from sophomore forward Caroline O’Brien, Boston University field hockey (8-7, 3-2 PL) earned a 6-2 victory over the Colgate University Raiders (3-11, 0-5 PL) on Friday afternoon at Tyler’s Field to clinch their spot in the Patriot League tournament. 

In addition to O’Brien’s hat trick, freshman forward Nicole Lauro scored two goals of her own. The elite offensive play from the pair put BU back in the win column and above .500. 

“Overall, a great team win for us, and I could not be more thrilled that we punched that ticket to the PL tournament,” BU Head Coach Sally Starr said postgame. 

Following an uneventful first quarter, BU opened the scoring in the 18th minute. 

After a defensive breakdown in transition by Colgate, sophomore forward Amalia Preece found herself on a two-on-one with O’Brien against Colgate sophomore goalkeeper Claire van Kempen. As van Kempen charged toward Preece, Preece made the pass to an open O’Brien who scored on an open net to put BU ahead 1-0.

The Terriers doubled their lead six minutes later. With Colgate failing to score on a penalty corner, BU set off in transition once again. After a BU clearance, senior back Brooklyn Lamb sent a long pass from just behind the midfield line to Lauro just outside of the shooting circle. Lauro took a few dribbles, evading a charging van Kempen, before putting the ball in the back of the net. 

Colgate fought back with a goal of their own just three minutes later. 

Earning their seventh penalty corner of the half, the Raiders finally converted. Senior midfielder Ella Murphy released a shot into a sea of bodies in front of the goal. Sophomore forward Anna Lochhead found the loose ball and tipped it into the back of the net to cut the BU lead in half before the halftime break. 

At the half, BU led 2-1 despite Colgate outpacing the Terriers in shots, 7-5, and in penalty corners, 7-4. 

While Colgate stayed competitive throughout the first 30 minutes of action, the Terriers separated themselves in the second half.

The third quarter got off to a strong start for BU when O’Brien scored her second goal of the game in the 32nd minute. 

After Colgate was whistled for a foul around midfield, BU set off to attack on the restart. Receiving the pass from Lauro, senior midfielder Pili Alvarez dribbled past a defender and found O’Brien open in the shooting circle. O’Brien’s slapshot evaded the pads of van Kempen and gave BU a 3-1 lead. 

The Terriers further extended their lead in the 38th minute when junior back Peyton Anderson scored off of a BU penalty corner. Anderson’s slapshot traveled past the waves of Colgate’s defense to give the Terriers a 4-1 lead. 

After being stuck in their defensive end for almost all of the third quarter, the Raiders found a rare opportunity as the period came to a close. 

Colgate worked their way into the shooting circle, and with BU defenders focused on sophomore forward Dani Palmer near the end line, she sent a backhand pass in front of the net to Lochhead, who sent her shot past senior goalkeeper Kate Thomason for her second goal of the game that trimmed BU’s lead to 4-2. 

The Terriers reclaimed their three-goal lead in the 49th minute on the strength of a third goal by O’Brien, who earned her second hat trick of the season. 

Alvarez forced a turnover in the Raiders’ defensive zone and then found an open O’Brien in the circle. O’Brien sent her shot high into the netting to score her team-high ninth goal of the season and put the Terriers up 5-2. 

In the 54th minute, BU tacked on one last goal to make it 6-2. With the ball at her stick, Lauro spun past a Colgate defender before unleashing a backhand shot past van Kempen. This marked Lauro’s second goal of the game and third of the season. 

BU emptied their bench for the final minutes of the contest as they celebrated a commanding victory. 

The Terriers dominated in the second half, outnumbering Colgate in shots 11-2, and in penalty corners 6-0. 

BU will close out their non-conference schedule with a challenging test against No. 17 Cornell. 

“I’m glad that we have an opportunity on this trip to play against another really good team and see what we can do,” Starr said. 

The contest will be held at Dodson Field on Sunday, Oct. 22 at 2 p.m., with streaming available on ESPN+.