UVM Overcomes BU for Key League Win

Vermont goalkeeper Holly Colberg made a save on Boston University’s Meredith Long in the final round of the penalty stroke-off as the Catamount field hockey team kept its America East playoff hopes alive with a 2-1 win over the Terriers at Archie Post Field Friday.

Vermont had not beaten Boston University since 1982.

“We stuck to our game plan today and we played disciplined hockey for 100 minutes,” Vermont coach Nicki Houghton said. “Today, we showed what we are capable of.”

Vermont has not made the conference playoffs in field hockey since 1990.

The Catamounts took a quick 1-0 lead just 1:26 into the game when Kristen MacDonald redirected a shot by fellow senior Shawn Carney. Boston University, 10-7 overall and 1-2 in America East play, tied the game 5:23 into the second half when Dalinda Banuelos scored off a penalty corner, with Whitney Peabody getting the assist.

The teams played scoreless the rest of regulation time and through two 15-minute overtime periods to force the penalty stroke-off, in which each team picks five players to take a shot against the opposing goalie.

Vermont’s Molly Sheehan and MacDonald scored on UVM’s first two tries, and the Cats held on to a 2-1 advantage with BU’s Meredith Long facing Colberg on the final shot.

If Long scored, the two teams would have gone to a second round of strokes. But Colberg made her second save of the round and the Catamounts had the victory, one of the biggest in the history of the program.

On Sunday afternoon, Maine’s Karly Bundy scored the game only goal midway through the first half and the Black Bears held on for a 1-0 win.

The loss drops Vermont to 6-12 overall and 2-3 in conference play. The Catamounts can still make the four-team post-season tournament if Northeastern, the top team in the league, can beat Boston University next Saturday. That would leave both Vermont and BU with 2-3 league records, but Vermont would get the edge because of its 2-1 overtime win over the Terriers Friday.

Maine, 14-2 overall and 3-1 in the league, got the only goal it would need off a penalty corner when Bundy scored on a shot from in front of the cage.

Rebecca Ouellet assisted on the goal, which came 17:31 into the first half. Vermont put the pressure on in the second half, but couldn’t get the tying goal.

The best chance for the Catamounts might have been with 4:15 remaining in the game, when both Whitney Gage and Emily Fitzgerald had chances from inside the circle. Fitzgerald’s blast was stopped at the last second by Ouellet, saving a sure goal.