Lacrosse, NCAA, Sports

BU men’s lacrosse clinches spot in playoffs with win over Colgate

The Boston University men’s lacrosse team took home a 14-10 victory against Colgate University Saturday at Kerr Stadium in Hamilton, New York. The Terriers’ win completed a regular-season sweep over the Raiders and punched the Terriers’ ticket to the playoffs. 

In BU’s first match-up with the Raiders this season March 20 it took an impressive comeback for the Terriers to pull ahead. That was not the case this week. 

thomas niedringhaus skirts an ohio state defender
Sophomore attacker Thomas Niedringhaus in a Feb. 8, 2020 game against The Ohio State University. Boston University men’s lacrosse defeated Colgate University 14-10 Saturday. LIBBY MCCLELLAND/ DFP FILE

The visitors controlled the game from the opening faceoff. After giving the Raiders the first goal on a man-down penalty kill, the Terriers put up three unanswered goals. At the end of the first quarter and the start of the second, the Raiders were able to notch two more goals, bringing the game even again at 3-3. 

After that, the Terriers exploded offensively. In the remaining 13 minutes of the half, the Terriers put up seven straight unanswered goals. With top goal scorer junior attackman Timmy Ley out of the lineup, the entire offense contributed to the run, with second-quarter goals coming from six different players. 

“This game was the game that we needed to just absolutely cement our position in [the playoffs],” head coach Ryan Polley said in a post-game interview. “We didn’t want to wait for Army to play Colgate again. We wanted to just make sure no matter … that we’re in the playoffs.”

In the third quarter, the visitors continued to extend the lead. After letting the first goal of the half go to the Raiders, the Terriers put in three goals to stretch the lead to 13-4. Two of those third-quarter goals came from sophomore attackman Louis Perfetto, who finished the game with four goals and two assists. Sophomore attackman Vince D’Alto managed to tack up two goals and three assists of his own, and he now leads the team in total points with 38.

The defense was equally impressive on the other side of the field. Defensemen graduate student Nicholas Ellerton and sophomore Patrick Morrison combined for nine groundball recoveries, and junior goalkeeper Matt Garber had 13 saves in the game. In transition, the Terriers completed 21 of 22 clear attempts.

For Polley, the win reflected an entire team effort — a positive sign going into the final stretch of regular season play.

“That’s how you beat really good teams, when they can’t concentrate on just one player and take one guy out,” Polley said. “We got to continue to get better, but if we continue to be really balanced offensively and do really well in clearing the ball at a really high rate again, those are really exciting things.”

Colgate managed a sizable comeback in the fourth quarter. The Terriers had four penalties in the final 15 minutes, one of which was a stick violation that had them down for three minutes. In the fourth, The Raiders put up six goals compared to the Terriers’ one. The continuous man-down positioning made it difficult for the Terriers to offensively control the pace of play.

After the game, Polley was critical of the team’s nine penalties — four of the Raiders’ goals came during man-up opportunities.

“We want to be physical in a way that’s within the rules,” Polley said. “We have to understand when a game is being called tight and the refs aren’t allowing us to be as physical as we want to be, then we got to make the adjustment. Unfortunately, we didn’t make the adjustment and we continued to get flagged.”

Still, the Terriers were able to hold on to the lead in the middle stretch of the game, and in the final minutes the team was able control the ball and run out the clock.

The men will round out the regular season with games against Army West Point and the College of the Holy Cross. Army, who the Terriers will play at West Point, New York Saturday, is seeded first in the Patriot League North. In the last matchup, the Terriers couldn’t quite manage to complete a late-game comeback, which stalled at 10-12 at the final whistle. 

“Army’s a really good team and they do what Army does,” Polley said. “Right now, we’re just really excited with how we handled the adversity of this week … We’ll enjoy this victory, and it was well-deserved, and then we’ll move on to Army starting Monday or Tuesday next week.”

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