By Andy MacDougall, News Staff
Any player will tell you, there’s a little extra motivation when it comes to rivalry games. When campuses are separated by less than five miles, the battle for regional supremacy can only heighten the emotions on the field.
That emotion spilled over onto the pitch Sunday afternoon as Northeastern took on crosstown-rival Boston University. Though the team had some great looks throughout the course of the game, Northeastern fell short in its annual meeting with BU, as the Terriers downed the Huskies, 2-0, at Solomon Field on Sunday afternoon.
Entering Sunday’s contest, the Huskies had an all-time record of 25-18-0 against the Terriers, but were looking to avenge a 4-3 double overtime loss to Boston University last fall.
“Against BU our overall hockey was good, but there was something missing in our team – the fight and will to win,” senior co-captain Lindsay Bennett said. “[This Tuesday] we got together as a team and dug deep to try and find that missing piece that got us over Drexel.”
Both teams played a relatively even match through the first half of action. Boston University held a slight advantage in shots through the first 35 minutes; taking 11 shots to Northeastern’s eight. The Terriers took three first half penalty corners, but freshman goaltender Becky Garner and the Husky defense stood tall.
However, BU’s final shot of the frame would end up being the difference as Rachel Coll connected with Nell Burdis for her third goal of the season and a 1-0 Terrier lead with 90 seconds left in the half.
The Huskies fought for the equalizer throughout the second half. Northeastern’s best chance came off a shot by midfielder Natalie Stewart that fell to the stick of fellow freshman Emmy Zweserijn. Zweserijn attempted to rifle the ball into the cage, but her bid caught the outside of the net.
The Terriers padded their lead with 21:13 left in regulation as Ysi Schieb fed Coll off a corner, and Coll rifled it past Garner.
Garner ended up with six saves on the afternoon, including four in the final frame. Her counterpart, Valentina Cerda for BU, collected five saves on the afternoon.
The back-to-back wins by the Terriers are BU’s first over the Huskies since 2006 and 2007. The Terriers took a 1-0 decision in 2006 before besting Northeastern again with a 3-2 victory in 2007.
Northeastern now sits at 5-9 on the season, but holds a respectable 1-1 record in conference play thanks to its 1-0 victory over the No. 19 Dragons of Drexel University on Oct. 11. Because of its .500 record in conference play, Northeastern sits in the middle of the conference pack heading into a crucial stretch of league games.
Four of the next five contests will be against Colonial Athletic Association opponents. Three of those four come on the road, which means Northeastern will have to play some of its best hockey in enemy territory.
The lone non-conference game left on Northeastern’s schedule is senior night at Solomon Field as the Huskies host Harvard University on Wednesday, Oct. 30.
For the first time this season, Northeastern will log some serious miles as they set up for a pair of conference games this upcoming weekend. The Huskies fly down to Maryland to play Towson University Friday at 6 p.m. before racing home to prepare for the University of Delaware, whom they host at Solomon Field at 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
“This week we discussed how to win the next five important conference games,” Bennett said. “We’re not thinking about Sunday, just Towson on Friday.”
“We’re all ready to go, especially after that practice,” she said. “We all believe we can win, and it helps that we’ve already beat Drexel, one of the top teams in our conference.”