In a snowy regular season home debut, the Boston University men’s lacrosse team lost to Canisius College at Nickerson Field on Saturday, 9-3.
The Terriers (0-2) have dropped their first two regular season contests as a varsity program, falling to Mercer University on Feb. 8 by a score of 17-6, and Saturday’s matchup against the Golden Griffins (1-0).
Despite the losses, BU coach Ryan Polley said overall, he is pleased with what he’s seen so far from his squad. With a team as shiny, new and young as this one, it is understandable that there are bumps in the road to getting all parts working together seamlessly.
Polley noted that there has been improvement from last week’s game to this Saturday’s, which is what he said he wanted to see more than anything.
He said his biggest concern so far is the team’s offense. Through two games, the Terriers have scored just nine goals to their opponents’ 26, which translates to a -17 goal margin.
“We had to shoot the ball better,” Polley said of Saturday’s game. “We had 39 shots, and we had 3 goals, and we had 40 shots against [Mercer] and we had 6 goals. A good shooting team is probably 30 percent or above, and right now we’re just not shooting well enough.”
If shooting 30 percent is the ideal, then BU is underachieving. The Terriers have nine goals on 79 attempts, which puts them at an 11.4 percent success rate.
Freshman attack Pat Myers leads the team in points with four so far on two goals and two assists and freshman midfielder Cal Dearth is the only other two-goal scorer on the team. Contributions have come from all throughout the lineup, though, and will assumedly do so for the remainder of the season.
“We just [have to] get back to working on our offense and shooting and figuring out how to get to some goals,” Polley said.
For Polley, the most impressive facet of BU’s play so far is the development and progression of the defense and goaltending, both things that have been pretty solid to this point.
Against the Griffins, the Terriers held Canisius without a goal for about nine and a half minutes into the opening quarter before surrendering their first and second of the game to attack Vince Gravino, within 30 seconds of one another.
In the game versus Mercer, BU kept its opponent off the board for the first seven minutes of the game and then held them for another five before allowing the Bears to net their second goal.
“Our defense did a great job,” Polley said. “We had a couple turnovers that led to fast breaks, and that kind of broke our back a little bit so overall I was very pleased with [them] and how we played settled defense. I thought we much improved from last week.”
On the back end, in terms of goalkeeping, the Terriers have a promising fixture in freshman goalkeeper Christian Carson-Bannister. The Dallas native gave up nine goals and saved 14 shots in the contest against the Griffins this weekend and was an enormous part of the reason the game stayed so tight throughout the first three quarters. His performance Saturday was a visible improvement to the 15 goals he gave up against Mercer. Carson-Bannister only made five saves in that contest.
“Christian did a great job,” Polley said. “He was great. He rebounded very well. Even though a lot of the goals against Mercer weren’t necessarily his fault, goalie’s confidence is a big thing, and we’ve been working on his confidence and trying to pump him up, and he’s been playing the way he’s been playing all season so, like I said, he kind of kept us in the game. I think he had 14 saves, which is fantastic, and really gave us an opportunity to be in that game for three quarters.”
The program and team are still in their early stages, and Polley and his players know there is work to be done, but for the Terriers, this new chapter in the school’s history is nothing short of exciting.
“It’s just exciting to play, and it’s exciting to be home,” Polley said.