Sports, Fall, Field Hockey

Eagles Shut Out in Loss to Saint Joseph’s

Boston College and St. Joseph’s field hockey each went into their Sunday matinee matchup with hopes of redemption. The two squads suffered similar, disappointing fates in their respective Friday afternoon tilts. The Eagles, despite holding a 2–0 advantage through the 36th minute against visiting No. 4 Louisville, fell to the Cardinals in overtime. St. Joseph’s dropped a close contest against UMass after the Minutewomen scored with less than one minute left in overtime.

The No. 11 Hawks (11–4) took down No. 12 BC (9–5) in decisive fashion with a 2–0 shutout, dashing the Eagles’ bid for a redemptive victory. 

St. Joseph’s came out of the gates flying and never let up. The Hawks earned the first penalty corner of the game and began testing BC goaltender Jonna Kennedy early on, forcing her to make two saves through the first quarter. 

BC’s offensive chances were limited during the first frame, but strong play by midfielder Fusine Govaert was in full display against the Hawks’ potent offense. Govaert made a number of nifty moves through the midfield, weaving in and out through St. Joseph’s defenders and maintaining possession for the Eagles. 

Despite Govaert’s strong individual efforts, the Eagles struggled to piece together cohesive ball movement all game. Off-target passes and frustrating miscommunications plagued BC through the match, and the Eagles struggled to gain offensive momentum as a result. 

BC escaped the first quarter without allowing the Hawks to get on the board, but the home team’s luck ran out in the second frame. Manon van Weezel put St. Joseph’s ahead when she capitalized on a loose rebound after a diving save by Kennedy. 

In addition to Govaert and Kennedy, graduate student Jaime Natale was a bright spot for the Eagles through the first half. The speedy midfielder put on a ball control clinic through the middle of the field, and she fought through Hawks defenders in order to give and receive passes from her teammates. 

In a halftime interview with ACC Network, BC head coach Kelly Doton emphasized the strength of the Eagles’ opponent and the way her squad needed to respond in the second half. 

“St. Joe’s has had a couple breakaways that we’re getting lucky to get out of, so there’s a lot of things we’ve got to change right now,” Doton said.

But the Eagles could not turn the tide in their favor. The third quarter passed with little fanfare, but BC was once again at the mercy of the Hawks’ crisp passing and cohesive offensive pressure. Kennedy’s strong play held St. Joseph’s scoreless in the frame and kept the Eagles’ hopes for a victory alive. 

Less than one minute into the fourth quarter, defender Juliette Hijdra looked up the field and surveyed her options. She attempted a pass to Sky Caron, but Hawks forward Katelyn Cocco deftly intercepted the ball, deked past Caron and Hijdra, and reverse chipped the ball past Kennedy. 

Rather than deflate the Eagles, this surprising miscue by Hijdra seemed to galvanize BC through the remainder of the fourth quarter. The final frame was the Eagles’ best period of the game, and they earned all of their three total shots on goal during the last 15 minutes of play. 

Though BC gained back some momentum in the fourth quarter, the Eagles’ struggles to connect passes continued. A number of offensive chances were squandered when balls sent into the circle continued to sail past the Hawks’ net untouched by a BC attacker.  

BC was awarded one final bid for a score when they earned back-to-back corners in the final two minutes of play, but the Eagles didn’t fire a shot off on either corner. The visiting Hawks walked away with a shutout win, and BC is left searching for answers after posting an 0–2 weekend homestand. 

Featured Image by Giulia Antonacci / For The Heights

October 17, 2021