by: Andreas Soslio and Nick Telesmanic
The Boston University men’s lacrosse team prevailed 18-11 against No. 2-ranked Loyola University Maryland in dominant fashion Saturday afternoon. The Terriers improved their home record to 6-1, conference record to 4-2 and an overall record to 9-4.
“That was one of the best BU lacrosse games we ever had,” BU head coach Ryan Polley said.
Senior attack James Burr broke the BU men’s lacrosse program’s all-time points record with a monstrous nine-point performance, upping his total career points to 175.
Junior goalkeeper Joe McSorley made strong saves throughout Saturday’s game that helped give the Terriers the win. With just under five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Loyola attack Pat Spencer dove across the crease only to find nothing but McSorley.
BU would then finish the game without Loyola pressuring any further.
The Terriers came out the gate with both a physical and mentally strong mindset that immediately challenged the Greyhounds. Sophomore faceoff specialist Sean Christman created a number of fast break opportunities as well as possessions in the first quarter.
The Terriers finished the opening frame on top 5-3 while generating 20 shots. However, Loyola goalkeeper Jacob Stover made a number of crucial stops that kept the Greyhounds in the game.
Prior to this game, the Greyhounds had dominated their opponents in the Patriot League, as they entered Nickerson Field 5-0 in conference play. In addition, the Greyhounds have never fallen behind in the first quarter, outscoring their five conference opponents 28-5.
The Greyhounds would eventually tie the game up by halftime, going on a late second quarter run. Freshman attack Jake Cates displayed a strong individual effort with seconds remaining in the half to knot up the game at nine by halftime.
“We knew they were going to go on runs, but the goal we got at the end of the half was really important, and that gave us confidence,” Polley said
The Greyhounds were shut out in the third quarter as McSorley and BU’s defensive unit completely shut off Spencer and the Loyola offense.
Loyola struggled to make the most of their possessions throughout the period. Ultimately, BU’s defensive unit further propelled the Terriers’ momentum — which eventually led to a two-goal lead.
Loyola would then see an array of other opportunities to close the two-goal deficit with a man-up opportunity. However, McSorley would make a big save that led to a bounce-shot goal on the other end for senior attack Michael Laviano.
From there, the Terriers would continue to cause havoc for the Greyhounds as they caused a vital turnover on Spencer, which led to a goal for freshman attack Timmy Ley. Eventually, Burr would find the back of the Greyhound’s net once again — giving the Terriers a five-goal lead.
“We really wanted to keep our foot on the gas pedal after the third quarter, and I think we did a great job,” Polley said. “We continued our transition and stayed in the 10-man ride, which was key.”
The fourth quarter began with McSorley making a routine save. The Terriers had the opportunity to expand their lead to six in a man-up situation, but Loyola’s Stover made an exceptional save to give the Greyhounds some life.
Loyola attack Kevin Lindley stopped the Greyhound’s drought by scoring in a man-up opportunity, which closed the gap to four goals.
However, Burr would answer within seconds off a fast break from Christman, which shut down any momentum Loyola had regained.
The Terriers’ 10-man ride proved to be an arduous barrier for the Greyhounds through the fourth quarter, as BU constantly regained possession. Lindley went on to strike back one in an attempt to generate momentum for the Greyhound side.
Ley and sophomore attack Chris Gray would put a dagger to the Greyhound’s loss late in the quarter, getting a goal each and bringing the final score to 18-11. McSorley finished the game with a couple of strong saves, further frustrating Loyola’s offense.
The Terriers will next face the College of the Holy Cross this Saturday for another Patriot League game at home.
“I’m really happy for the guys, and this is a huge win, but we got to get back to business on Monday,” Polley said. “We have a really good team, Holy Cross, coming here. If we don’t keep our foot on the pedal, they’ll take it to us.”