Nov. 15, 2014
From Boston University Athletic Communications
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The No. 17 Boston University field hockey team gave fourth-ranked Syracuse all it could handle before coming up just short by a score of 2-1 on Saturday in the first round of the 2014 NCAA tournament at Coyne Stadium.
The Terriers, who had the ball in their attacking zone for the majority of the second half, held Syracuse to a season-low two corners while earning six for themselves.
The Orange seemingly had control of the game with a 2-0 lead in the final minutes of regulation, but the Terriers would not go down without a fight. BU pressed in the final moments and nearly pulled off a miracle finish.
Battling for possession in the circle with just under a minute to play, sophomore Amanda Cassera was awarded a penalty stroke. Syracuse goaltender Jess Jecko denied Cassera with a tough right-pad save to end what appeared to be the final BU threat.
As both teams fought for possession on the ensuing play, a second penalty stroke was awarded, this time to sophomore Hester van der Laan. Van der Laan drilled her shot past Jecko to close the gap to 2-1 and set the stage for a frantic final 30 seconds.
Both teams traded turnovers in the final moments as the Terriers gained the final possession. BU advanced the ball deep into Syracuse territory during an exciting final rush but could not get a clean shot on goal as the last seconds ticked away.
“I couldn’t be more proud of this team and how they played,” said head coach Sally Starr. “First half, we struggled a little bit. They absolutely got more shots and got more corners but second half I thought we really controlled the play. We pressed really well, created turnovers in the attacking zone, created numerous goal scoring opportunities.”
Trailing 1-0 in the first half, BU sophomore Sara Martineau appeared to tie it for BU after a save by Jecko. Alone by the left post, Martineau put the rebound past the outstretched goalie but the tally was disallowed when she was ruled to have made contact with the ball with the back of her stick. The play was one of three disallowed goals on the day for the Terriers.
In the first half, Syracuse peppered BU senior goalie Valentina Cerda Eimbcke, but she turned back all but one shot to keep the Terriers in the game. With 16:40 left in the first half and the home team ahead, 1-0, Syracuse forward Emma Russell was denied point-blank by Eimbcke. Russell’s rebound came right to Orange forward Lauren Brooks who was also stoned by Eimbcke. After the flurry of shots, coach Starr called time out to settle the Terriers.
In the second half, the Terriers carried the play, outshooting the Orange, 7-3, and had yet another goal disallowed, but BU could not cut the lead until the final minutes of play.
Cerda Eimbcke made eight saves in her final contest as a Terrier. Jecko made five saves for the Orange with all of them coming after halftime.
The Patriot League champion Terriers finish their outstanding season with a record of 13-8.