The Boston University men’s lacrosse team started out strong, but could not find the offense it needed in the second half and fell to Patriot League foe Bucknell University Saturday in Lewisburg, Pa., by a score of 7-3.
BU (1-7, 1-3 Patriot League) came into the contest looking for its second consecutive win after posting a 12-7 victory over Lafayette College in Pennsylvania one week earlier. The Bison (5-4, 3-2 Patriot League) entered the match off of a 13-8 victory over Brown University on Wednesday.
Six Bison seniors, including leading goal scorer attack Todd Heritage, were sidelined for the contest due to a possible involvement in a hazing incident.
BU got on the board early when freshman midfielder Sam Talkow won the opening faceoff. On the Terrier possession, freshman attack Craig Zebrowski, put a home a shot to give BU a 1-0 advantage just 62 seconds into the contest. Just less than two minutes later, the Bison would strike back on a long chance from midfielder Ryan Joseph.
Four minutes later, Bucknell pulled ahead on a goal from attack Thomas Flibotte, his 13th of the season. Talkow won the ensuing faceoff, quickly drove the ball up the field and fired a shot past Bison goalkeeper Sam Grinberg to tie things up at 2-2 with 8:49 remaining in the quarter.
The game remained knotted up until sophomore midfielder Sammy Davis scored his fifth goal of the year to give BU the edge at the 13:21mark in the second quarter.
Davis’ goal would be the last that the Terrier offense could convert, as Bucknell would score five unanswered goals to end the game.
During a BU timeout with 5:13 left in the second quarter and Bucknell up 4-3, Talkow was called for an illegal stick. Officials determined that the pocket of Talkow’s stick was too deep and he was given a three-minute, non-releasable penalty. Bucknell took full advantage of the man-up opportunity, notching two goals to end the half up 6-3.
“That was a really big play in the game,” said BU coach Ryan Polley about the penalty. “… It went from a 4-3 to a 6-3 game and it killed a lot of our momentum. We have to address that with our entire team and make sure it never happens again. It’s on me and our staff and the players to make sure that our equipment is legal. “
The third quarter of action was a quiet one for both sides and neither team could find the back of the net. BU had a man-up opportunity when freshman Tommy O’Connor was called for slashing with 1:33 left in the quarter. Freshman attack Justin Diamond lost control of the ball at the top of the crease and the Terrier offense could not convert on the chance.
During the final frame of action, the Terrier offense, competing in its second consecutive game without freshman attack Pat Myers, attempted to claw its way back into the game, but the Bison defense held strong. BU outshot the Bison 14-7 in the quarter, but none could find their way past Grinberg, who made five saves in the fourth quarter alone.
After the game, Polley commented on BU’s inability to finish chances on the attack.
“We had opportunities to win the game and we were unable to finish our chances offensively,” Polley said. “That’s something that we have to work on is being a little more efficient on the offensive end.”
As the clock wound down, Polley sent in freshman goalkeeper Tyler Zickel to replace his classmate, Christian Carson-Banister. With Zickel moving up to give the Terriers more of an offensive presence, he left the frame of the goal, allowing attack David Dickson to score on the open net with 1:21 remaining in the contest. Dickson’s goal effectively ended the Terriers’ comeback hopes and BU would go on to lose the game 7-3.
Despite the loss, the match had several positives for the Terriers. Talkow went a perfect 12-for-12 from on faceoffs and grabbed seven ground balls, the defense went 14-of-17 on clear attempts and Carson-Banister made nine saves to keep the game close.
“Obviously Sam Talkow was a bright spot for us,” Polley said. “He played very well and our goalie Christian played well again.”
Bucknell came out with an aggressive offense, but Polley said in the loss that the defense did a good job of keeping the score close.
“Bucknell is known for their ‘10-man ride.’ It’s a special ride where the goalie comes out of the cage and they try and turn you over and I thought we handled that very well. … The defense played great.
“We did have an unfortunate stick penalty, which gave them three minutes of a man-up situation in which they got two goals. Outside of the empty-net goal and the two man-up goals, [the defense] really did a tremendous job to hold a very good offense.”