The Boston University men’s lacrosse team showed signs of great improvement over spring break. In two conference games, the team fell in a hard-fought contest to No. 19 Colgate University and earned its first win in program history with a victory on the road at Lafayette College.
BU (1-6, 1-2 Patriot League) began the break by playing host to Colgate (6-1, 2-1 Patriot League) at Nickerson Field March 8. The Terriers put up a strong fight throughout, but were eventually bested by the Raiders, falling 7-5.
“I thought we played a great game,” said BU coach Ryan Polley. “Colgate’s in the top 20, 2-1 in the conference, and a really good team and our guys competed for four quarters and they did a really good job … Offensively, [Colgate is] a real tough team to score on so we created some good chances overall to be able to get five goals.”
All five of the Terrier goals came from freshman attack Ryan Johnston, who converted each of his shots on net. For his efforts, Johnston was named Patriot League Rookie of the Week on March 10.
“He did a great job last Saturday just kind of getting his hands free and playing within our offense, and he shot it just terrifically,” Polley said of Johnston. “He made some really good tough shots, just high level … and placed the ball right where he wanted it.”
Colgate opened the scoring just a minute-and-a-half into the contest as attack Brendon McCann fired home his first of two goals. The Terriers responded about two minutes later when Johnston notched his first of the game with 11:19 to play in first quarter.
The Raiders regained the lead a few minutes later, but Johnston pulled his team even again on man-up chance.
Neither team scored again until the third quarter until Johnston broke the drought with an unassisted shot to give the Terriers their first lead of the day with 9:01 to go in the frame.
The advantage did not last all that long, though, as Colgate went on to net three unanswered goals over the remainder of the third and the beginning of the fourth, extending the Raider lead to two.
Johnston was able to pull BU within one goal after scoring with 9:57 to play in the game, but the Raiders were quick to respond and potted another pair of goals to stretch the score to 7-4.
Johnston scored his fifth and final goal with 2:17 left on the clock, but it was too little, too late, and the Terriers were left with yet another close loss.
Just a week later during this past Saturday’s game, BU bounced back from the defeat and recorded its first win of the season, defeating Lafayette (1-5, 1-3 Patriot League), 12-7, in Easton, Pa.
With freshman attack Pat Myers — the team’s scoring leader — out due to injury, Polley made some changes to the lineup, assigning redshirt freshman attack Sam Tenney to a starter position and moving freshman midfielder Cal Dearth up to the first line as well. Freshman attack Adam Schaal would have to step into a bigger role too, replacing Myers as the team’s primary ball handler throughout the game.
The trio accepted the challenge of filling the offensive void Myers left behind, registering a total of 14 points among them. Schaal and Dearth each recorded five points on two goals and three assists, while Tenney tallied four goals on six shots. The game served as the first time this season that the Terriers were able to get over the 10-goal marker.
BU started the game with a five unanswered goals in a run that lasted the entire duration of the first quarter and a couple of minutes into the second until Lafayette netted its lone goal of the half. The Terriers tacked on another score before the second frame expired to re-extend the lead to five.
Despite three goals in one minute by the Leopards to open the third, the Terriers held their ground, continuing to produce offensively and keeping Lafayette at bay. With 2:56 left to play in the game, the Leopards pulled within two, but BU was not done. Three goals within the final2:42 of the tilt put the Terriers back on top by five, and they rode the lead out to the final buzzer.
“It means a lot to everybody,” Polley said of the win. “We’ve been very close, and we’ve done a very good job outside of our first game of being very competitive in all of our games and today we just kind of put it all together and made plays when we needed to.”