Seeking the program’s first-ever home victory, the Boston University men’s lacrosse team put up a strong fight, but was ultimately outmanned by the U.S. Naval Academy Saturday, falling 13-7.
Both the Terriers (1-8, 1-4 Patriot League) and the Midshipmen (4-5, 3-3 Patriot League) played staunch defense in the opening minutes, not allowing opponents any room to shoot.
As was the case in the Terriers’ last matchup at Bucknell University, the team got on the scoreboard first thanks to a man-up goal from freshman attack Ryan Johnston at the 6:05 mark. It was Johnston’s 10th goal of the season and would extend his point streak to five games.
After the goal, with 2:52 remaining in the quarter, senior Austin Heneveld swung the ball past freshman goalkeeper Christian Carson-Banister to tie up the score.
Freshman midfielder Sam Talkow won the ensuing faceoff and dished it to redshirt freshman attack Sam Tenney who put the ball in the back of the net to give BU a 2-1 advantage. With eight seconds left in the quarter though, midfielder Gabe Voumard tied things up on a shot from the right side of the crease.
Navy received the first possession of the second quarter thanks to a faceoff violation called against Talkow. But the Midshipmen turned the ball over, giving BU the ball. The Terriers could not get an open look at net and were called for a 30-second clock violation.
On the next Navy possession, Carson-Banister faced three shots in quick succession before senior Erik Hoffstadt put one in to give Navy its first lead of the game at the 11:40 mark. BU would respond when freshman midfielder Cal Dearth capitalized on a Navy turnover, ripping a shot past goalkeeper John Connors.
Immediately after Dearth’s goal, Navy got its first man-up opportunity when freshman defender Jake Dansey was given a penalty for pushing. Navy almost pulled ahead on an attempt on goal from Voumard, but Carson-Banister made a save to keep the score tied at three.
From there, the Terriers transition midfield began to break down. Talkow, who came into the contest with the best draw control in the Patriot League, struggled in the second quarter, going 1-for-6 at the faceoff X.
Navy would go on to score four unanswered goals in the half’s last five minutes, all in transition, to end the half up 7-3.
Following the break, BU got its first man-up opportunity of the half thanks to a Navy pushing penalty. Freshman attack Clay Phillips could not convert his shot on goal however, and Navy was able to kill the chance.
But, on the next BU possession, when the Terriers were given another man-up chance, Johnston scored at the 10:23 mark to cut the Navy lead to 7-4.
In the last 10 seconds of the quarter, attack Sam Jones first scored on a diving shot off a Terrier turnover. After Talkow won the faceoff, Tenney fired a quick shot to bring the score to 9-5.
In an almost repeat of the play that ended the third, the fourth quarter started on another Tenney goal directly off of the faceoff. Tenney’s hat trick was the second of his career and third in program history.
“All week we sort of put in a new set for fast breaks coming down off the faceoff and I just got in the right spot,” Tenney said after the game. “Talkow made some great passes to me and we were lucky enough to finish the ball.”
BU coach Ryan Polley was nothing short of complimentary when talking about Talkow’s play.
“Sam shot it very well,” Polley said. “We’d been struggling to score in transition so to get a couple of transition goals was nice. They got a back-breaking goal at the end of the third quarter and we came right back and scored to make it a game so that was encouraging.”
At the 10:57 mark, Dearth scored his second goal of the contest to bring the Terriers to within two goals. That would be the closest that BU would get though, as Navy ended the game with three unanswered goals to secure the win.
“I think we’re proud of the team effort as a whole,” Tenney said despite the loss. “We worked hard from start to finish and we just have to come out and get the win next time.”
Carson-Banister, who made 12 saves throughout the contest, had similar sentiments.
“We really battled hard to the end, we never gave up,” Carson-Banister said. “We just need to work on our execution and learn about the little things, because the little things are what are gonna win us games moving forward.”
Speaking about his defense, Carson-Banister had nothing but praise for his unit.
“[The defense’s] effort was great,” Carson-Banisrter said. “We played great 6-on-6. We held them to stall warnings, which is our goal… We had a couple of slip-ups, but our effort as a whole was fantastic.”