By James Duffy, news correspondent
The Northeastern University (NU) field hockey team (3-9) lost to Drexel University 4-3 on Friday, unable to secure a win in its first Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) game. The team then battled hard against Boston University (BU) on Sunday but fell just short, losing 3-2.
NU was forced to try to fight back from two-goal deficits in both games but was unable to complete the comeback in either one.
Both of the losses came at Dedham Field, bringing the Huskies’ home record to 1-4.
On Friday, NU found itself in an early hole as Drexel opened up the scoring just 20 seconds into the game. Junior midfielder Natalie Stewart evened the score later in the first half, notching her team-leading fifth goal of the season.
In the second half, Drexel retook the lead and expanded on it, bringing the score to 3-1.
While Stewart’s goal in the first half was an individual effort, the scoring for NU in the second half came from solid teamwork. NU was able to cut the deficit in half on a chance from a penalty corner that ended with senior back Kate Carlson whipping one into the back of the net.
Shortly after, Drexel expanded its lead back to two, but the Huskies had some life left in them. On another penalty corner, sophomore midfielder Kristin Abreu sent the ball to senior forward Vanessa Pryor, who fired a shot off a Drexel defender and into the net. The goal was Pryor’s third in as many games.
Carlson and Pryor led the team against Drexel, each posting three shots and a goal. Junior goalkeeper Becky Garner stopped five shots for NU.
Facing a strong BU team on Sunday, the Huskies battled hard but lost in overtime to the No. 17 Terriers.
Again, NU found itself fighting from behind after letting up goals to junior forward Taylor Blood and senior midfielder Sofi Laureto of BU.
The Huskies went on to score two goals in a 6-minute span late in the second half, forcing the game into overtime.
Freshman forward Laura MacLachlan, who came in as a substitute, scored the first goal of the game for NU, which was also the first of her collegiate career. Shortly after, Abreu tied the score at two on a penalty shot. The score stayed knotted until the end of regulation.
In overtime, the Huskies were outshot 4-0, and the game came to an end when BU senior back Rachel Coll beat Garner early in the extra period.
Garner made six saves, and the team pushed a highly ranked BU team to its limit, nearly stealing a win.
Head Coach Cheryl Murtagh found positives from the weekend despite the losses.
“The way the team played, the goals they’ve scored, all good things,” she said. “They’ve been stepping up.”
The Huskies have now tallied 11 goals in their last four contests, compared to just seven in their first eight games.
Murtagh cited the move of Natalie Stewart up to forward and the improved performance of the defense as the major reasons for the team’s increase in offensive production.
Looking ahead, Murtagh said that putting forth another strong set of games will give the team a “good chance to get into the [CAA] tournament.”
The Huskies look to get their first conference win next weekend. The team will travel to Virginia to match up with the College of William & Mary on Friday and James Madison University on Sunday.
Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics