Sports, Field Hockey

Breaking Down BC Field Hockey’s 2021 Schedule

The story of last season for Boston College field hockey was one of disconnection. In addition to a five-game postponement due to COVID-19 protocols, the Eagles faced a single season split across two years, half in the fall of 2020 and half in the spring of 2021. This season is a rebound for the Eagles, not because their record faltered last season (they finished 9-5 despite setbacks), but because it is somewhat of a return to normalcy. With Jonna Kennedy, the NFHCA Northeast Region Player of the Year and ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, returning in the net—and a host of offensive weapons continuing a tradition of success—the Eagles are on the hunt to get back to the unprecedented success they found in 2019.

As is tradition for the Eagles, BC will open its season with scrimmages against UMass Lowell and Boston University in late August. From there, the Eagles will take on one of the toughest schedules in the country, thanks to an ACC stacked with teams such as nine-time national champion UNC, as well as non-conference perennial powerhouses Northwestern and UConn. 

Aug. 27 vs. Quinnipiac (Newton, Mass.) *Home Opener

For a non-conference matchup, BC and Quinnipiac have met a surprising number of times since their first meeting in 2002. BC has taken away wins in all 16 of those meetings in the last 19 years, and Quinnipiac averaged just one goal per game in those contests. In the teams’ last meeting in 2019, the Eagles shut Quinnipiac out 4-0 at home. To open the season, the Eagles will look to repeat that historical success.

Aug. 28 vs. Maine (Newton, Mass.)

Sept. 3 at Maryland (Durham, N.C.)

The Eagles will open the ACC/Big Ten Cup with a rematch of the 2019 Cup—when No. 2 Maryland took down No. 13 BC. The loss at the time dropped BC to 1–2 on the season, but it wasn’t a death sentence for the Eagles, who finished the 2019 season with their furthest run in the NCAA Tournament in program history. 

Sept. 5 at Northwestern (Durham, N.C.)

The second match in the ACC/Big Ten Cup is also a mirror of 2019, as the Eagles faced one of the Big Ten’s top contenders. The Wildcats made it all the way to the NCAA Quarterfinals last season before falling to Big Ten foe Iowa. 

Sept. 10 vs. Connecticut (Newton, Mass.)

Sept. 12 vs. Boston University (Newton, Mass.)

Sept. 17 vs. Syracuse (Newton, Mass.) *ACC Opener

After nearly a month of non-conference games, the Eagles will take their first dip into the icy waters of ACC competition at home against Syracuse. BC has historically struggled against the Orange. Syracuse leads the all-time series 13–8 since the teams’ first meeting in 2001. Though BC defended its home turf with a 2–1 win this April, BC is just 5–5 against the Orange in Chestnut Hill. 

Sept. 19 at New Hampshire (Durham, N.H.)

Sept. 24 at North Carolina (Chapel Hill, N.C.)

BC will take on the reigning national champion Tar Heels just over a month into its season, which will likely prove to be the Eagles’ biggest test up to that point. UNC is the three-time defending national champion and has taken home the trophy nine times in program history. BC was scheduled to meet UNC on Oct. 25, 2020, but COVID-19 protocols within the BC program forced its cancellation. Instead, the teams faced off in the first round of the ACC Championship in early November, and the Tar Heels won 4–0. 

Oct. 3 vs. UMass (Newton, Mass.)

Oct. 9 at Virginia (Charlottesville, VA)

For avid BC field hockey fans, Virginia stands out as one of the Eagles’ most iconic opponents. BC took down the Cavaliers with an overtime goal from Fusine Govaert to send the Eagles to their first-ever ACC Championship game appearance in program history in 2019. In the fall of 2020, BC’s game against Virginia was one of the casualties of BC’s COVID-19-related pause, and when the teams faced off in the spring, the Cavaliers eked out a 1-0 win. 

Oct. 10 at Richmond (Richmond, Va.)

Oct. 15 vs. Louisville (Newton, Mass.)

Oct. 17 vs. St. Joseph’s (Newton, Mass.)

BC will break up its demanding conference schedule with three non-conference games, only one of which will be at home for the Eagles. That game is against St. Joseph’s, a familiar non-conference opponent for the Eagles. The last time the teams met was in September 2019, when the then-No. 11 Hawks pulled out a 5–4 victory. Pepa Serrano netted the winning goal for St. Joseph’s with under one minute to go in the game, which sent BC packing on a heartbreaker.

Oct. 22 vs. Duke (Newton, Mass.)

Oct. 24 at Northeastern (Boston, Mass.)

Oct. 29 vs. Wake Forest (Newton, Mass.)

The Eagles will close out their regular season at home, taking on Wake Forest, who BC fell to twice during the disjointed 2020–21 season—once in the fall and once in the spring. Still, BC has a long history with the Demon Deacons. The Eagles snapped a 686-day ACC losing streak in 2018 with an overtime win over Wake Forest. Though BC has since found much more consistent success, this game will be a good telltale heading into the ACC Tournament.

Featured Image by Kaitlin Meeks / Heights Senior Staff

July 22, 2021