Sports, Fall, Field Hockey

Eagles Blow Two-Goal Lead in Fourth Quarter, Fall to Fairfield in OT

Last season, Boston College field hockey played in 12 one-goal games, even ending the season with five straight close games. In those final five matchups, the Eagles dropped four of them, and it was the difference in not earning an NCAA Tournament bid as BC narrowly missed out on the tournament. This season, even with the loss of a plethora of seniors, head coach Kelly Doton and her team set the goal of making the field for the first time since 2016. 

Through two games, though, BC has found itself on the either side of one-goal games, and Sunday’s result against Fairfield was one that the Eagles will have to avoid moving forward if they’re to fulfill that goal. The Stags, who BC cruised by last season, erased a two-goal deficit late and went on to hand the 13th-ranked Eagles a disappointing 3-2 loss in overtime.

Trailing, 2-0, at the start of the final quarter, Fairfield (1-1) staged an impressive rally. Attacker Julianna Kratz scored her first goal of the season in the 47th minute off an assist from Malen Iglesias on a penalty corner. The Stags didn’t stop pressing, and Kratz came up big again just two minutes later when she set up teammate Page Lowry, who tucked away the equalizer past BC (1-1) goaltender Sarah Dwyer.

Momentum in hand, Fairfield rode out the final 10 minutes of regulation and entered the “sudden victory” overtime period. It didn’t take long for the Stags to send the Eagles packing, too. Just a minute and a half in, Fairfield got a golden opportunity with a penalty corner. Danielle Profita connected with teammate Luzi Persiehl, who one-timed it past Dwyer for the Stags’ first ranked win since 2017.

It was a dramatic shift from the opening 45 minutes, when BC looked the part of a superior team. In fact, through three quarters, the Eagles held a two-goal lead that likely should’ve been more—they led Fairfield in shots (31-4), shots on goal (14-2), and penalty corners (17-3). The same explosive offense that totaled three goals against the Stags in 2018 was on display, and it didn’t take long for BC to open the scoring.

The Eagles piled up 15 shots to Fairfield’s none in the first quarter, and one of them—from junior Fusine Govaert—found the back of the cage. Govaert, who scored in the opener against Providence and would take a team-high 12 shots on the day, buried her second goal of the season off a feed from Sky Caron. 

A little over 25 minutes later in the third quarter, BC doubled its lead. Once again, it was someone who scored in the win over the Friars registering their name in the scorecard: Maggie Carlin. The freshman continued her hot start to the fall with a breakaway goal, beating Stags’ keeper Zoe Rosen. Other than those two goals, though, Rosen was impressive in the cage. She logged 14 saves, denying Caron and Charlotte Von Huelsen three times apiece. 

Having been unable to extend their lead despite a plethora of opportunities, the Eagles came out a bit flat in the fourth and final quarter. They were outshot, 6-4, and called on Rosen to make just one save—which she did with ease in the 53rd minute. Meanwhile, an opportunistic Fairfield offense made the most of having the ball more, and Kratz and Lowry scored to eventually set up Persiehl’s heroics.

It’s a hiccup for the team, and it comes at an inopportune time. Yes, it’s early in the season and formations and substitutions are still being sorted out—but BC is entering arguably its biggest two-game stretch of the year. The Eagles are traveling to Evanston, Ill., for matchups with No. 2 Maryland and No. 15 Northwestern in the B1G/ACC Cup. If there are any non-conference games that could help BC’s NCAA Tournament chances, it’s these two. Fittingly, the Eagles lost to both teams by a single goal last season, so it’ll be important for Doton’s side to respond to this overtime setback and start flipping those results.

Featured Image by Ikram Ali / Heights Editor

September 1, 2019