BOSTON, Mass. – Bucknell and Boston University are making a habit of playing thrilling contests in the Patriot League Field Hockey Tournament, meeting in the postseason in three consecutive seasons. The latest installment came Friday afternoon at New Balance Field, where the top-seeded and 14th-ranked Terriers won 2-1 on a goal by Hester van der Laan with 36 seconds remaining in overtime.
The Terriers improved to 13-5 overall and will advance to the championship game, where they will play the winner of second-seeded American and third-seeded Holy Cross. The Bison close the season at 9-9 after qualifying for the conference tournament for the ninth consecutive year.
It was all Boston early on as it tallied 12 shots and seven corners in the first half, but the Bucknell defense stood strong. The Bison allowed just the one goal, a score by Allie Doggett in the 27th minute, to keep themselves in the game.
Bucknell showed signs of solving the tough Boston team late in the opening half, picking up two corners and firing three shots in the final five minutes, but Cammy Jensen saved all three to give the Terriers a 1-0 lead at the break.
The Bison looked much better in the second half, and ratcheted up the defensive pressure as the half progressed. It paid off with 10:43 left in regulation when freshman Allie Christopher tied the game with her first career goal. Sophomore Katie Mannino notched her first career assist on the play.
Christopher’s game-tying goal was set up by a nice defensive play by Bucknell. The Bison stole the ball in Boston territory and broke for the goal. The ball was unpossessed a few feet in front of sophomore Nicole Rupnik, who made a nice hustle play to get to it and smack it off a Terriers’ defender inside the circle for a penalty corner. The Bison didn’t score on that corner attempt, but were able to keep the ball in the opposing team’s territory and eventually came through with the equalizer.
Bucknell and Boston went to double overtime in the same round and on the same field in the 2015 Patriot League Tournament, and it looked as if the teams would be going to overtime for a second straight year. But van der Laan, the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, prevented that with a shot from the top of the circle shortly after a penalty corner.
With just 36 seconds to play at the time of the restart, Bucknell managed to get a great look, but Jensen stopped a shot by senior Estelle Palandjian to clinch the win for Boston.
Jensen finished with five saves for the Terriers, while junior Emily Finn made eight for the Bison.