Women’s soccer kicks off conference play with victory over Navy

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Junior forward Jenna Fisher scored the only goal of the match in the 60th minute of play. PHOTO BY ANN SINGER/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

The Boston University women’s soccer team, looking to move past a three-game winless streak, had an impressive showing against the United States Naval Academy Saturday afternoon at Nickerson Field, besting the Midshipmen, 1-0, in its first tilt against a Patriot League opponent.

The Terriers (5-3-1, 1-0 Patriot League), playing in a rematch of the 2013 Patriot League championship game against the Midshipmen (3-3-3, 0-1 Patriot League), made their presence felt in multiple areas, besting their opponent in shots (12), shots on goal (seven) and corner kicks (seven).

“Regardless of the final outcome, I think we dictated more of the tempo of the game,” said BU coach Nancy Feldman. “That’s how you get the end result. Whether we got [it] today or not, that’s the direction we have to move forward with this season. I thought we did that better today.”

On the pitch, both the Midshipmen and the Terriers showed why their teams were competing in the 2013 conference title game, as each squad had prime scoring chances, but excellent efforts put forward by senior goalkeeper Alyssa Parisi and Navy goalkeeper Dayton Wetherby — as well as some help from the posts — kept both teams from scoring.

BU dominated the first 10 minutes of the game, playing at the Midshipmen’s end of the field for most of the opening minutes. Senior midfielder Jamie Turchi did her best to generate scoring for the Terriers, accounting for a header shot that bounced off the post in the seventh minute.

The Midshipmen had their chances as well as in the first 45 minutes, as forward Caprice Kelty had two consecutive shots just seconds after each other that ricocheted off the crossbar in the 22nd and 23rd minutes. Entering halftime, the score remained locked at 0-0, with each team recording four shots.

The Terriers took over control of the game in the second half of the match, with the Terriers creating multiple opportunities in Navy’s side of the field. While the Midshipmen were held to just two shots, one of which was on goal, the Terriers refused to let up on the attack.

Wetherby was put to the test, recording saves on five of the six shots on goal she faced, including a magnificent reaction save in the 79th minute, robbing senior forward Taylor Krebs of a goal. The only score came from junior forward Jenna Fisher who headed in the cross from junior defender Lauren MacLellan in the 60th minute.

“Jenna Fisher is just the kind of kid you want to build your team attitude around,” Feldman said. “Look at Jenna and play with that same focus. You only see games. That’s how she is every day in practice. That’s the culture of how to be a winning athlete.”

While Fisher had a few chances in the second half, sophomore midfielder Alexandra Cooper led the offense down the field on many of the Terriers chances in the second half, adding one shot on goal in the game.

“Alex Cooper had probably the best game of her career today,” Feldman said. “She’s making the most of her opportunity when she gets in…She’s technical, she’s crafty, she’s quick…She’s more stable, and she’s more in control.”

While the Terriers had a rough start to the 2014 season, Feldman acknowledged that she was pleased with how her team was able to respond against its first conference foe this year.

“We continued to win first balls,” Feldman said. “I thought we did a better job at winning second balls and not get caught ball watching so much. That helps you get control of it a little bit…It’s not a way to score 10 goals, but it’s a way to consistently put yourself in a position to play soccer games.”

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