In a back-and-forth battle, Boston College field hockey edged Harvard in a shoot-out on Sunday afternoon in Newton. The Eagles managed to push their all-time winning streak against Harvard to 13 after a 1-1 tie through two overtime periods was finally broken with a 2-1 shoot-out victory. No. 8 BC is now 9-5 on the season.
Penalty corners controlled the ebb and flow of the game. Of the Eagles’ five corners, two early opportunities resulted in the first goal of the game and Harvard’s first conceded goal in its last four contests. Crimson junior goalkeeper Libby Manela successfully padded aside the first attempt, but guessed wrong on the second shot off of Carly Kauffman’s stick, breaking the scoreless tie with 17 minutes remaining in the first half. The goal was the junior midfielder’s second of the year, giving BC a critical early lead.
Yet, just minutes later, Harvard quickly countered with a streaking attack down the right flank of the field, sending a shot flying towards the net before being deflected away at the last second by BC sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Dwyer. The dazzling save was just one of eight on the day for Dwyer, but the following shot off a penalty corner finally found the back of the net, evening the game at 1-1. The Crimson goal was freshman Hannah Pearce’s sixth of the year, igniting a wave of momentum for Harvard that carried through the remainder of the half.
The next 55 minutes of play—through the second half and two overtime periods—passed with no scoring. Filled with scrums at the net and hard fouls, players were flying all over the wet, slippery field.
BC Head Coach Kelly Doton noted, the “determination from this team today was tremendous. It was an exhausting game for them and they really fought extremely hard all the way through the shoot-out.”
As the clock waned in the second period of overtime, the players looked exhausted and had trouble completing runs for through balls. However, one key opportunity emerged for Harvard. After a foul in the box, a penalty stroke was awarded to the Crimson, but Dwyer held her ground once again, sending the game into a shootout.
In the shootout, goals from freshmen Caroline McGovern and Jamie Natale were enough to push the Eagles to a victory. Denying chance after chance, Dwyer allowed just a single shoot-out goal. The goalkeeper has now started every game this season for the Eagles, conceding an average of just 1.71 goals per game. The impressive performance was an integral part of BC’s ninth win of the year.
The Eagles will look to continue their winning ways this Friday night on Newton when they take on Northeastern. All seniors will be honored prior to the game in the final official home contest of the season.