The Boston University men’s lacrosse team traveled to Allston Tuesday evening to take on No. 17 Harvard University. The Terriers played and competed for the full 60 minutes, but fell 14-9.
With the anniversary of the last year’s Boston Marathon bombings approaching, both teams sported yellow and blue One Fund socks to honor the victims of the tragedy.
“Obviously it’s a big deal for the city of Boston and we were very proud to wear the socks in support of the marathon victims,” said BU coach Ryan Polley. “It was just a special time for both local Boston universities to wear them and show support.”
Freshman goalkeeper Christian Carson-Banister was unavailable due to injury, so the Terriers (1-10, 1-5 Patriot League) turned to his classmate and fellow keeper Tyler Zickel to take the Dallas native’s place against the Crimson (7-4). Zickel performed admirably, making nine saves against a high-powered Crimson offense.
“Tyler did a nice job for us,” Polley said of his goalkeeper. “Harvard is averaging 12 or 13 goals a game so obviously they’re a prolific offense and great shooters, and they shot it well, so he got in the game a little bit in the second quarter, had a couple big saves to get him going, and I thought he did a nice job.”
Polley maintained that Carson-Banister’s injury is not serious, and he expects him to be back in the lineup for Saturday’s tilt against No. 1/3 Loyola University-Maryland in Baltimore.
This season, the Crimson’s offense has been extremely productive, ranking 14th in the nation with an average 12.10 goals per game. As such, their 14 goals against BU did not come as much of a surprise, but the Harvard offense was not the only side producing.
The Terriers started off the game strong, winning the opening faceoff and getting shots off within the first minute of the game. They retained possession and were able to get on the board first with a goal from freshman attack Ryan Johnston just over a minute into the opening quarter.
However, the lead did not last long. The Crimson scored their first of the game about a minute later and would then score three more unanswered goals before BU responded with a goal from redshirt freshman attack Sam Tenney to make it 4-2 with 10:33 remaining in the second quarter. After that though, Harvard would go on to outscore BU 3-1 in the quarter to head into the break up 8-3.
BU battled in the second half, going back-and-forth with the heavily favored Crimson, but could not keep up with Harvard’s overpowering offense, as a 12-5 advantage with 14:25 left in the game proved too much to overcome.
The Terriers had two players with hat tricks in Tenney and Johnston, while freshman midfielder Cal Dearth added two goals of his own. Sophomore midfielder Sammy Davis also had a goal in the contest. Freshman attack Adam Schaal continued his stellar rookie campaign, contributing two assists.
“That was positive,” Polley said about the offensive production. “I thought the offense moved the ball pretty well and we shot it pretty well from the outside.”
BU continued its dominance on the man-advantage, as the Terriers converted on 4-of-9 chances with the extra man. Tenney and Johnston each scored of their three goals man-up. BU is now 19-for-43 on the advantage and owns a .442 conversion percentage.
The Terriers’ offensive success was slightly muted by the number of times they turned the ball over, a problem that has plagued them all year. BU committed 26 turnovers to Harvard’s 17.
“We just turned the ball over 26 times and Harvard’s just too good offensively and too good of a team to just give them that many extra opportunities,” Polley said. “We talk about it every game, but for whatever reason we’re unable to turn it over at a lower clip so we’ll keep working at it and try to get better.
“We have to fix it. It’s just too many extra opportunities for these teams, and they’re too good. We played hard, we played ‘til the end, but until we reduce our turnovers, we’re gonna have a really hard time winning a game.”