By Claire Smieszny
Boston University field hockey (8-8, 3-2 PL) fell to No. 17 Cornell (12-3, 5-1 Ivy) 6-0 in Ithaca, N.Y. on Sunday afternoon.
The game started off a bit disorganized on both sides. Rainy weather conditions made the ball harder to control on the turf, and neither team was able to maintain possession long enough to set up much sustained offense.
The first chance of the game did not come until 5:46 into the first quarter, when Cornell was awarded the first penalty corner of the game.
Senior forward/midfielder Olivia Friedberg passed the ball into the top of the circle for senior midfielder/back Caroline Ramsey, who turned and dribbled to the outside to make a reverse hit. However, BU’s senior goalkeeper Kate Thomason was there to make the save.
The Terriers were quick to respond, as less than a minute later sophomore forward/midfielder Martu Cuolo dribbled into the Big Red’s half circle to get a shot off that didn’t get on goal. Senior midfielder/back Pili Alvarez was right in front of the net to pounce on the rebound, but couldn’t put it past Cornell’s freshman goalkeeper Martha Broderick.
Cornell started to pick up their offense and keep the ball in BU’s end for some time after that. Their pressure on the Terrier defense caused mistakes and resulted in another penalty corner for the Big Red, which they were able to capitalize on this time.
Cornell made the same play with Friedberg passing the ball into Ramsey at the top. However, this time Ramsey was able to get herself open net front, which is a dangerous place for the forward to be.
She was able to put the ball in the bottom left corner of Thomason’s net, notching her 22nd goal of the season.
While BU managed to get the ball in Cornell’s end for a couple possessions, the Terriers were not able to create another chance on net. The Big Red maintained good structure and had more sustained offensive play, creating another opportunity to score before the quarter’s end.
As the second quarter opened, Cornell’s assault continued with three consecutive penalty corners. None were successful, but the pressure was clearly stressing BU’s usually-sound defense.
The Terriers were able to get their first penalty corner of the game and another shot shortly after.
Senior midfielder Thalia Steenssens sent the ball in for junior forward Payton Anderson. The reigning PL Defensive Player of the Year was able to get the shot off, but unfortunately the ball was just wide of the net. This corner was BU’s only chance on net in the second quarter.
Cornell continued to press and dominate this game as the Terriers started to scramble under the pressure — fouling inside the striking zone for more penalty corners. One of these corners led to yet another setup and goal for Cornell’s star senior Ramsey. She made it 2-0 Big Red just 3:46 into the second quarter.
The only other close chance on either side before the first half ended with another goal for the Big Red.
Junior midfielder Hanke Govaert found herself in perfect position during a scramble in front, catching Thomason off-guard. She easily put the ball past BU’s netminder to give Cornell a three-goal lead heading into the second half.
BU had a few offensive attempts during the third quarter, but Cornell’s defense was strong and unorganized. The Big Red never let the Terriers get too close or allowed any BU player to penetrate the middle.
The second half saw Cornell start to pull away from BU. Within the first minute, the Big Red received a penalty corner, a shot — and then shortly after — its fourth goal.
Sophomore midfielder Rease Coleman was able to dribble around the outside of BU’s half circle and enter by the goal line. She sent a pass across looking for a teammate, but BU’s defensive efforts trying to bat the ball out of the air unfortunately sent it into their own net.
Tensions ran high as the Terriers started to get frustrated. Some physical play resulted in more major punishments, as Steenssens earned a green card. This was BU’s second card of the game.
Outside of a shot from BU’s freshman forward Nicole Lauro, Cornell continued to dominate and keep the ball deep in the Terriers’ end of the field for the remainder of the third.
Cornell added to their highest-scoring quarter with two more goals. The first tally came once again from Ramsey while the third goal came from sophomore forward Grace Leahy, her 11th of the season.
At the start of the fourth, BU found some life and had a couple of goes at Cornell. Steenssens and sophomore forward Caroline O’Brien led the charge. With another penalty corner and a shot on goal, the Terriers had some time with the ball.
However, both teams were held scoreless during the fourth quarter, presumably due to the fresh set of goalies in net for both teams.
Thomason and Broderick were both subbed out midway through the quarter. Although, both teams were also limited to just a shot apiece, showing how BU gained some control back on their defensive end.
Cornell, having one of their best seasons in program history, was simply too tough of a competitor for BU to control.
The Big Red ended their dominant game, beating BU by a score of 6-0. Recording 12 shots on goal to the Terriers’ mere two, Cornell looks primed for some serious success come postseason.
BU will now look to bounce back in their last regular season game, a Patriot League matchup against the American University Eagles. The home game will take place on New Balance Field on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 12 p.m., with streaming available on ESPN+.