ORONO – When Boston University senior midfielder Thalia Steenssens received the ball at midfield in the first overtime period of the Terriers field hockey game against the University of Maine, she heard teammate Amalia Preece calling for the ball.
She then put a long pass right on the wide open Preece’s stick, and Preece converted in a one-on-one with UMaine freshman goalie Jayde Temby to give the Terriers a 3-2 victory at the off-UMaine field hockey complex on Friday.
“Martu Coulo made a tackle, and I stopped the ball. I saw [Preece] yelling for it and I immediately smashed it up front, hoping [she would get it],” said Steenssens.
There wasn’t a Black Bear in the vicinity.
Teams remove four players in overtime and play seven versus seven.
“In a one-on-one with the goalie, the key is moving the goalie,” said sophomore forward Preece. “So, you go to one side, and then try to run around her [to the other side] because they are slower in the goalie pads. You try to beat them with your speed.”
Preece went left at first, then sprinted across to her right before sliding the ball past the outstretched left leg of Temby.
BU is now 1-1 and will play 0-1 Ohio University on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Orono.
UMaine, 1-2, will play Ohio University on Sunday at noon.
BU’s Payton Anderson opened the scoring on Friday 17:12 into the game off a penalty corner.
Steenssens inserted the ball to Megan Wetzel, who stopped it and set it up for Anderson, who blistered a low shot past the right hand side of UMaine goalie Mallory Drayer.
That was the only goal of the first half.
UMaine’s best chance came off the stick of Saylor Kuefler, who found herself alone in front of BU goalie Kate Thomason.
But Thomason held her ground and made a right pad stop.
Mallory Mackesy tied it for UMaine in the third quarter off a penalty corner.
Kristjana Walker inserted it to Poppy Lambert at the top of the circle. Instead of shooting, Lambert slid it to Mackesy who fired it past Thomason for her third goal of the season.
Freshman forward Kuefler gave UMaine a 2-1 lead just 1:48 later with her first career goal as she scored from a tight angle to the left of Thomason, who got a piece of the shot but couldn’t stop it.
But BU answered off a corner just 2:25 later when Alex Purcell scored off a rebound.
An initial shot by Anderson was blocked by a Black Bear but the rebound spilled over to freshman back Purcell to the right of Temby, and she ripped it past the goalie.
UMaine had a five-minute one-player advantage late in the fourth quarter but couldn’t capitalize.
Thomason finished with six saves on 11 UMaine shot attempts while Temby was credited with one save and Drayer didn’t have any in the first half.
BU had eight shot attempts.
“I knew it was going to be such a hard-fought game today,” said BU coach Sally Starr, a 2014 inductee into the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Hall of Fame. “I have so much respect for Josette (UMaine head coach Josette Babineau) and her program.
“I watched their games against BC (Boston College) and PC (Providence College) last weekend. I knew they would be competing for every ball. So we had to come out and play structurally disciplined and we had to be ready to compete,” Starr added. “I’m really proud of our girls.”
“They were the better team in the first half,” said Babineau. “We were down 1-0 at halftime and I felt like we were a little bit defeated. But the mentality changed at halftime, and I thought we had a really good second half, and they were a little bit flatter.
“Got ourselves in the lead. But overtime is challenging. You think you can execute your skill but you really can’t because you are so fatigued. One big hit gets through the team. That’s the way it is in overtime,” she added.
But she was upbeat, saying BU is a good team, and her team had “real difficulty” with BU in an exhibition game a year ago.
“They outmatched us quite a bit but the matchup was a lot closer today,” Babineau said.