There will be 19 new faces when the Boston University men’s lacrosse team takes the field for its second season come springtime. The Terriers welcomed their new class of recruits Monday, comprised of 16 freshman and three transfers from schools around the country.
BU (2-12, 2-6 Patriot League) struggled with its youth and inexperience last season but certainly showed promise game after game, giving the program a lot to look forward to. With this bolstering of the roster, the Terriers’ future looks even brighter.
“We certainly think this class will add talent and depth to our program,” said BU coach Ryan Polley in a release. “I’m most excited about this class’ overall athleticism and its versatility.”
Of the 19 total recruits in a midfield-heavy class, nine represent New York and Pennsylvania, with four and five native to each, respectively. The new group also features three Massachusetts locals in freshman goalkeeper Tommy Connelly and freshmen midfielders Henry Narlee and Jack Wheeler.
Three transfer students will bring their combined 19 games of experience at both the Division I and II level to the Terriers as well, with sophomore midfielder Jack Beall (Dominican University), sophomore long stick midfielder Kevin Rogers (University of Hartford) and sophomore midfielder Allen Winkoff (Ohio State University) rounding out the roster.
Two US Lacrosse All-Americans and a US Lacrosse Academic All-American are quite the cause for interest as well.
Freshman midfielder Ryan Babiak out of Glastonbury, Conn., is one of the former. The New Englander captained his high school’s team three out of his four years and received first-team all-state and first-team all-conference honors in his senior season. Babiak’s reputation as a “do-it-all midfielder,” according to Polley, will be a tremendous asset for the Terriers this season.
“Ryan was a workhorse for his high school team and performed at such a high level that he garnered All-America accolades,” Polley said in a statement. “He was Glastonbury’s most talented offensive player but also played wing on faceoffs, was involved heavily in the clearing game and played some defensive midfield … He’s a tremendous athlete and a gifted lacrosse player.”
The Terriers’ second US Lacrosse All-American, freshman midfielder Hayden Ruiz, is one of just two new BU recruits from the West Coast. Ruiz hails from Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., and spent his high school career playing for Santa Margarita Catholic’s varsity team. Named the 2014 Trinity League Offensive MVP, the ambidextrous sharpshooter can play either midfield or attack.
“We’re going to start him at midfield,” Polley said. “He is … an excellent shooter and ball handler. We’re expecting big things from Hayden, and we think he will compete for time as one of our top six midfielders.”
Freshman attack Jack Wilson of Manlius, N.Y., brings an impressive resume to the Terriers, coming off a season in which he was named to the US Lacrosse Academic All-America team and helped lead his squad to its first state title game in 21 years on the heels of a school-record-setting 67-goal season. BU’s 7.21 goals per game, second worst in the Patriot League last season, will certainly benefit from the help of Wilson’s offense.
“Jack is an old-school attackman who is pretty balanced in his game,” Polley said. “The thing we like about Jack is that he was at his best at the biggest times. He scored six goals in the state semifinal, including the game-winner in overtime, and we think Jack can come in and give us a ball-handling presence at attack.”
The roster has hit the 50-man plateau, but Polley’s comments seem to echo the sentiment that he expects everyone to compete as best they can for a spot in the starting lineup when they put their jerseys on for the team’s first practice.