2016: 11-7-1 (3-7 Atlantic Coast Conference, 12th place)
Coach: Alison Foley (21st year, 257-135-37)
Players to watch: Gaby Carreiro (Upton, Mass.), jr., M; Lauren Berman (Canton, Mass.), redshirt sr., M; Allyson Swaby (West Hartford, Conn.) sr., D; Jenna Bike (Trumbull, Conn.), soph., F; Alexis Bryant, redshirt jr., GK
Outlook: After a disappointing ACC campaign, the Eagles will look to bounce back in 2017 by relying on leadership and youth. Berman and Swaby, BC’s two captains, played nearly 3,100 combined minutes last year and will anchor the midfield and back line, respectively. Their cause is helped mightily by younger creators such as Carreiro and Bike, who collectively chipped in four goals and 13 assists a year ago. But the biggest challenge facing Foley’s group is replacing the offensive firepower that the now-graduated McKenzie Meehan and Haley Dowd brought. The solution, perhaps, lies in a 10-member incoming class which features two transfers.
2016: 9-11-2 (8-1 Patriot League, second place), lost Patriot League final
Coach: Nancy Feldman (23rd year, 287-135-41)
Players to watch: McKenna Doyle, jr., F; Jesse Shreck, sr., M; Rachel Bloznalis (Upton, Mass.), grad., D; Alivya Wimmer, sr., D; Dorrie Varley-Barrett (Chelmsford, Mass.), jr., M
Outlook: To get a fair read on the Terriers, fans likely will have to wait until mid-September when they open their Patriot League slate. Feldman frontloads their schedule with top non-conference foes — a plan that resulted in a 0-10 run to start 2016 — so they’re battle-tested when their conference rivals roll around. It’s a strategy that has propelled BU to 13 NCAA tournament appearances since 2000, and the Terriers could again return with the central core of Doyle, Shreck, Bloznalis and Wimmer all back. One wild card in that endeavor could be Kelly Park, a sophomore forward whose three goals last year proved vital in resurrecting BU’s season.
2016: 9-2-5 (4-1-2 Ivy League, second place)
Coach: Kia McNeill (second year, 9-2-5)
Players to watch: Maclaine Lehan (Shrewsbury, Mass.), sr., D; Celia Story, jr., F; Christine Etzel (Madison, Conn.), jr., GK; Nicole Phillips, jr., D; Abby Carchio (Lakeville, Mass.), soph., F
Outlook: Given that McNeill played defense during her professional career, it’s no surprise that Brown’s bread and butter includes locking down the back line. Such a strategy meant that McNeill led the Bears to their highest finish in the league standings since 1994, posting a 0.41 goals-against average along the way. Losing midfield stalwart Carly Gould to graduation is a major blow, but the leadership of Lehan (first-team All-Ivy in 2016) and Etzel (2016 Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year) should prove vital. One challenge Brown faces is scoring: The Bears netted more than once in only two of 16 games last year.