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Field Hockey Up for Busy Weekend

Back-to-back games will be a test for the Terriers

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Sophomore midfielder Haley Robinson’s single goal so far this season came in the 2-1 loss to BC on September 7.

Coming off a 2-0 win over the University of Massachusetts at Amherst on Wednesday, the BU field hockey team is heading into a weekend of back-to-back games against a pair of tough competitors.

On Saturday the Terriers will visit Northeastern University (2-3 overall), before traveling to Hanover, N.H., the next day to take on Dartmouth College, which is 2-2 overall heading into Sunday’s contest.

“We have very talented team,” says coach Sally Starr. “We want to learn our lessons early on and take it one game at a time.”

The Terriers (4-2 overall) got off to a solid start with a trio of early-season victories, against Quinnipiac University, Providence College, and Miami University (Ohio). BU’s rousing 8-1 win over Quinnipiac was highlighted by a hat trick and two assists by tricaptain Sarah Shute (SHA’08). Tricaptain Pam Spuehler (CAS’08) scored two goals and notched two assists, while Hayley Hamada (CAS’08), Hayly Ross (CAS’09), and Gabby Hajjar (CGS’08) added a goal apiece.

“We’re working on everything from scoring to defense,” says Shute. “We’re breaking it all down, working on fundamentals, and putting it together to play as a unit.”

Against Providence BU broke a 1-1 tie when Hajjar scored the game-winning goal after collecting a pass from Spuehler. The 20th-ranked Terriers traveled to Michigan for two games, picking up a 1-0 win against Miami on September 1 when Suus Dekker (CGS’08) scored for BU early in the second half. For the first time since 1993, the Terriers were off to a 3-0 start.

But their luck ran out the next day when they fell 3-0 to Michigan State University. MSU scored early in the game, then added two insurance goals late in the contest. “I really felt that Michigan State was a very good team,” says Starr. “We played well in the first half, but didn’t sustain it in the second.”

The Terriers were looking to improve against crosstown rival BC on September 7, but suffered a disappointing 2-1 loss. BU scored late in the first half when Spuehler assisted Haley Robinson (CGS’08) to hold onto the lead until BC scored goals with just 3:06 and 1:35 left in the game.

“We played a great game against BC — we just didn’t win,” says Shute. “You can learn a lot from losing, and we’re just trying to learn from it.”

The Terriers took last year’s America East championship and hope to make a run for the playoffs again this year. They got off to a slow start last season, losing four of their first five games before posting a five-game win streak and finishing the regular season with an 11-6 record.

In the America East semifinals, BU found the boards once in the first half and held onto the advantage for a 1-0 win over Vermont. Matched up against Maine in the finals, the Terriers snapped a 1-1 tie in the second half with three goals in quick succession to claim a 4-1 victory and the championship. But the first round of the NCAA tournament saw 20th-ranked BU fall to 7th-ranked Connecticut as the Huskies jumped out to a 3-0 lead and held on for the win.

“We are finding out that we are versatile,” says Starr. “We can play different people in different positions — we’re adaptable. That will make us tough down the road.”

Saturday’s game against Northeastern will be at 1 p.m. at Sweeny Field, at Huntington Avenue and Ruggles Street, across from the Museum of Fine Arts.

Abby Jordan can be reached at ajordan@bu.edu.