Entering its game against Northeastern, Boston College field hockey was averaging 5.66 penalty corners per game.
But things took a turn for the better on Wednesday, and the No.19 Eagles registered seven penalty corners in the first quarter alone.
At the half, BC had already tallied 11 penalty corners, good for the Eagles’ second-highest total in a full game this season. BC (6–7, 2–2 Atlantic Coast) cruised by the Huskies (2–10, 1–0 Colonial Athletic) en route to a 6–2 victory, snapping the Eagles’ three-game losing streak.
“I think [we’re] just building the confidence a little bit,” BC head coach Kelly Doton said. “We needed to come out and make sure we’re performing. … It’s important to get some momentum heading into the ACC tournament.”
By the time the buzzer sounded, BC had totaled a season-high 16 penalty corners—four more than the 12 they notched against Albany on Oct. 2.
Peyton Hale led the way for the Eagles, finishing with one goal and two assists while causing mayhem for Northeastern’s defenders.
Both of BC’s first-quarter goals came off penalty corners. Hale struck first just four minutes into the game to put the Eagles up 1–0. Hale, BC’s leading scorer, followed up an initially blocked shot by firing one past the Huskies’ goalkeeper Jonna Kennedy, who made her return to the Heights as a graduate student after spending four years as an Eagle.
The Huskies wouldn’t stay quiet, though. They responded with two consecutive goals, one from Kate Blaisdell and the other from Mak Graves. Both of Northeastern’s goals came off penalty corners as well.
Hale got another good look off a penalty corner, but her shot was deflected. Freshman Mia Garber swooped in and knocked the ball into the net to tie the game back up for BC.
“I think just the forward movement in general and as a team—you know, putting six up against an opponent—is really critical,” Doton said.
The Eagles kept their foot on the gas in the second quarter, totaling seven shots to Northeastern’s zero. With under three minutes left in the quarter, BC converted on a shot from Kendall Hanlon for her first collegiate goal.
Once again, Hanlon’s goal came off a penalty corner, giving the Eagles a 3–2 lead heading into halftime.
“When we get inside our attacking 25 we talk about outcomes,” Doton said. “Whether that’s a goal, shot, or a corner. So [BC] did a really good job making sure they found some fouls and scored some.”
The Eagles once again executed another penalty corner to perfection, with Hale setting up Garber for a diving shot, giving BC its fourth goal of the day.
Sarah Johnson sealed the win with a backhand shot, making it 5–2 in BC’s favor in the third quarter.
By the end of the game, the Huskies had only five shots on goal compared to the Eagles’ 18. BC’s offensive dominance left Northeastern hapless in its offensive corner as the Huskies didn’t see any legitimate scoring chances past the first quarter.
Eva Kluskens finished it off for BC, scoring the Eagles’ sixth goal of the game, their highest single-game total of the season. Their second most came when BC totaled five goals in a season-opening win against Providence.
BC’s 16 penalty corners were the most it’s had since 2019 when the Eagles recorded 19 against Fairfield during a triple-overtime loss. But the Eagles’ flurry of penalty corners Wednesday didn’t just happen by accident.
Doton and her coaching staff have been emphasizing this type of control to their players.
“If we get trapped down on the baseline and there’s not going to be a goal-scoring opportunity, from that, we’re trying to tell them to get a corner because that will contribute to the goal-scoring opportunity,” Doton said.