In a hard-fought contest against a formidable ranked opponent, the Boston University men’s lacrosse team dropped its third decision of the year, its first in Patriot League play, to No. 14 Lehigh University by a score of 10-7.
The Terriers (0-3, 0-1 Patriot League) faced the Mountain Hawks (4-0, 1-0 Patriot League) Saturday afternoon at Nickerson Field.
BU came out strong in the early minutes of play as freshman attack Pat Myers recorded his third goal of the season about a minute-and-a-half after the opening draw to get the Terriers on the board first. Myers would finish the day with a team-high three points on one goal and a pair of assists.
“[Coming out aggressive] was absolutely part of the game plan,” said BU coach Ryan Polley. “We wanted to play with a lot of energy and we’re trying to build ourselves into a team that can be competitive against one of the best teams, and they’re ranked — two-time defending champion — ranked [14th] in the country, and we did a great job to compete.”
Just 14 seconds later, the Mountain Hawks tied the game up at one with 13:11 to go in the first quarter on a fast break off the draw. They would tack on another goal just under a minute later when attack Patrick Corbett fired a shot past freshman goalkeeper Christian Carson-Banister for his eighth of the season.
Freshman attack Adam Schaal got the Terriers back in it with a goal of his own a minute later, tying the score at two apiece. BU retook the lead with 5:10 remaining in the first when freshman midfielder Craig Zebrowski netted his first collegiate goal on an assist from his classmate, attack Clay Phillips.
Carson-Banister followed with a stellar save, one of his 16 in the contest, through an immense amount of traffic in front of his net to keep his squad ahead with about 2:30 left in the quarter. As the horn sounded to end the first, BU was able to hang tight to its lead and keep Lehigh at bay.
Just 26 seconds after the whistle blew to start the second quarter, Schaal potted his second of the game on an impressive unassisted effort to extend the lead to two. However, that was the end of BU scoring for the remainder of the half, as the Terriers then let the Mountain Hawks run away with the score and put six unanswered tallies past Carson-Banister.
With the first half in the books, BU was being outscored 8-4 and outshot 23-11. Lehigh also had the edge in groundballs and draw controls, scooping up 20 to the Terriers’ 13 and winning eight of 14 draws.
A relatively quiet third quarter saw the teams exchange possessions and chances up and down the field. With 7:59 remaining, the Terriers got their first chance with the man advantage. A shot from redshirt freshman attack Sam Tenney had Lehigh goalkeeper Matt Poillon beat but rang off the crossbar and bounced away.
The Mountain Hawks got the next score with 5:26 left in the third, lengthening their run to seven unanswered goals. BU had another chance with a man up about 15 seconds later when defender Lukas Mikelinich slashed one of the Terriers. Twenty seconds into the advantage, another shot from Tenney flew past Poillon and pulled BU within four.
With 3:29 left in the third quarter, midfielder Alan Henderson shot low on Carson-Banister and restored Lehigh’s five-goal lead, 10-5.
In the fourth quarter, sophomore midfield Sammy Davis whipped a rocket past Poillon that shortened the gap to four again. Five seconds later, the Terriers added another tally to the board as freshman midfield Sam Talkow, the team’s go-to for faceoffs, netted his first goal of his collegiate career to bring the score to 10-7. Talkow also finished the contest winning 10 of his 17 draws.
Despite pressing hard for the rest of the game, BU was ultimately unable to completely eliminate the deficit and finished down by three goals to its conference opponent. The Terriers were outshot by three at the end of the tilt, but they managed to best the Mountain Hawks in ground balls 25-24 and had the advantage in draw controls 12-9.
“We scored seven goals against a good team — a great goalie — and we had more opportunities, too,” Polley said. “I was just really proud of how we battled. We played for four quarters … we battled for four quarters, and we talked about playing tough and battling and they did that and I was really proud of the guys.”