The air was crisp and still in the Newton Field Hockey Complex as Boston College’s senior leaders took the field. Taking what could be their last steps on their turf, the Eagles had only one mindset: this game is a must win.
On the night in honor of their seniors, No. 10 BC field hockey took on local rival Northeastern in the Eagles’ last home game of the season. Despite a gritty, full-game effort from the Huskies, the Eagles came out with a mission on senior night and were rewarded with the hard-fought, 2-1 victory.
Coming off yet another huge rebound win Sunday against Harvard, the Eagles (10-5, 0-5 Atlantic Coast) entered Friday’s contest looking to build on their momentum toward an upcoming playoff run.
On a perfect night in Newton, the Eagles came out with a fire in the first half that Northeastern (7-7, 2-1 Colonial Athletic) quickly had to adjust to.
The first 10 minutes of the half were played almost exclusively in NU’s defensive quarter with BC getting multiple shots off before the 10th minute.
But the Eagles would keep pushing for a goal and after only 10:52, freshman Fusine Govaert would deliver her fifth goal of the season, a stunning rocket to the upper-right corner, to give the Eagles the 1-0 advantage.
But the Huskies would prove they had some fight in them yet. A strong run by Jamie Bartucca at the 15-minute mark gave the Huskies their first clean shot and scoring chance of the half, only to be blocked by BC keeper Sarah Dwyer. The effort would earn NU its first penalty corner, but a stringent Eagles defense quickly cleared the zone and snuffed any early threats.
The frustrated Huskies knew the adjustments they had to make in the first half, pulling back on defense to contest every pass while surging forward for opportune attacks. After going back and forth, a kicked ball at the 24:30 mark awarded NU its second penalty corner of the game—but would turn up empty again as the Eagles’ defense never flinched.
That would be the Huskies’ story for the first half, going into the locker room down 1-0.. But if it were ever bothered, Northeastern made sure to leave those feelings on the sidelines as they came out for the second half of play.
Making one of many spectacular runs in the early minutes of the half, Northeastern’s June Curry-Lindahl made sure to keep the BC defense on its toes. But the Eagles had the advantage and could apply pressure of their own, keeping play primarily in NU’s defensive half for the first 10 minutes.
Although never more than one step behind them, BC’s defense was slowing down in the face of Northeastern’s quick-outlet fast breaks. A few impressive saves by Dwyer were enough to cut out a few runs from an NU offense surging up the field with every miscue.
Ultimately though, it was Northeastern’s ability to take advantage of opportunities that would push the envelope. At the 22:22 mark, NU would earn its third penalty corner of the game and this time, it would not be denied. With a clean assist off the corner by Ffion Thompson, freshman Aniek van de Graaf found the back of the net, scoring the equalizer goal at 48:32.
Everything about this game screamed overtime, but BC smelled opportunity and knew they could wrap it up in regular time.
With six minutes left in the game, the tides finally turned in favor of the Eagles. With its first penalty corner of the game, BC was in control of their fate. On a second dime assist from Alesandra Miller, Frederique Haverhals finished the penalty with a goal to give the Eagles the 2-1 advantage over the Huskies that would ice the game.
Hard-fought to the end, it’s a tough loss for a Northeastern squad that left it all out on the field. But the Eagles played well as BC pulled a gritty and meaningful win on Senior Night.
Featured Image by Jake Catania / Heights Staff