In its second game of a four-game road trip, the Boston University men’s lacrosse team had no answer for Providence College in the second half of its game Wednesday afternoon in Providence, Rhode Island, losing 7-4.
The Terriers (2-2, 0-1 Patriot League) were able to build a 3-1 lead heading into halftime, but the Friars (2-1) took 18 shots in the second half and converted on six of them. The Friars took the lead for good when freshman Nick Preston scored with 12:22 remaining in the final quarter to make the score 5-4.
Freshman attacker Jack Wilson led the way offensively for the Terriers, as he had a goal for BU and took seven shots throughout the contest. Freshmen midfielders Hayden Ruiz and Greg Farris, along with sophomore attack Ryan Johnston, also scored for the Terriers.
“It was a typical mid-week game. It was a little sloppy,” said BU coach Ryan Polley. “I thought at the end of the day, Providence made more plays than us. They grinded out the win, and they were tougher on ground balls. They made more plays in the second half. I give them a lot of credit.”
The Terriers went into the game after suffering a tough 10-9 loss to No. 20 Lehigh University Saturday, in which BU came back from a four-goal deficit only to give up a goal in the game’s waning minutes.
BU started off strong Wednesday, thanks to an unassisted goal by Farris, his third of the year, with 2:23 remaining in the first quarter. Farris’ strike would be the only goal of the quarter, as the Friars put up just four shots in the frame.
Things picked up in the second quarter, when Providence was able to tie it up 57 seconds into the quarter on a goal by attack Will Mazzone, assisted by senior Greg FitzMaurice. However, the Terriers were able to respond with just under 11 minutes to go when Ruiz put one past the Friars goalie on an assist from Wilson.
Moments later, after a penalty was called on Providence for tripping, Johnston was able to score on the man advantage with 10:12 left in the quarter, assisted by freshman attack Ryan Hilburn.
After the third quarter, where Providence won the quarter 2-0, things fell apart for the Terriers. Mazzone scored again for the Friars 48 seconds into the quarter, giving Providence its first lead of the game. Wilson was able to score for the Terriers with 13:38 left in the game to tie it back up, but Providence scored three more goals in the last 13 minutes to end the game.
Polley said the Terriers’ poor shot selection in the final quarter was a key factor in the loss.
“I thought our face-off play was excellent and that our goalie had a great game, but offensively, we didn’t make enough plays,” Polley said. “We didn’t shoot very well. There were places where we didn’t want to shoot the ball, but we got the ball and just continued to shoot there.
“Our offense has to get better and make better decisions,” he continued. “Twenty-one turnovers certainly didn’t help the cause. We forced a lot of things, and our shot selection wasn’t the greatest. We just have to play a more efficient game offensively.”
Polley also said a low-scoring game such as this is uncommon for his squad.
“What we’ve been doing up until this game is grinding hard and moving the ball and being unselfish. Today, we saw some things that we haven’t really seen that much of, like guys having to deal with double teams, forcing the crease and having trouble with handling balls,” he said. “It’s a little uncharacteristic of our play, but I told the guys after the game that we’ve got to play more of our best and not revert back to old habits and have a clear mind to make good plays. We got to get better at that.”