After opening the season with two wins, the Boston University men’s lacrosse team beat the University of Massachusetts Amherst 16-7 at Nickerson Field Saturday afternoon.
The bout was the first-ever meeting between the Terriers (3-0) and Minutemen (1-2).
“I thought they were a lot like us as a pretty complete team both offensively and defensively,” BU head coach Ryan Polley said postgame. “What stood out was what a great team they were.”
BU and UMass entered the game as two of the best riding and clearing teams in the NCAA early in the season, but the Terriers had the edge in both categories in the matchup, going 19 for 23 in clears and holding the Minutemen to 16 clears on 22 attempts. BU’s aggressive defense led to 11 caused turnovers compared to UMass’ three.
BU senior goalkeeper Matt Garber played a stellar game, making 10 saves on 17 shots. Junior attack Vince D’Alto scored his third consecutive hat-trick of the season to continue his 18 game point streak, while junior attack Louis Perfetto stretched his own point streak to 20 games with two assists.
Senior midfielder Jake Cates put up two tallies for his third multi-goal game since returning from a season-ending injury sustained last year and senior attack Timmy Ley had a standout performance as well, collecting three helpers and leading BU with four goals to extend his season-spanning goal streak to 25 games.
“He played with a ton of poise,” Polley said of Ley. “Today he was the best player on the field and just made some great decisions.”
UMass sophomore midfielder Grant Breyo led the Minutemen with three goals and six shots on goal, and sophomore faceoff specialist Caleb Hammett matched BU junior faceoff specialist Conor Calderone with a .500 success rate at the X.
BU senior attack Matt Hilburn put the Terriers on the board first, scoring his first goal of the season in the fourth minute of the game. Hilburn’s marker opened a three-goal run — Cates notched a goal of his own just over a minute later and Ley found the net just 37 seconds after that, scoring on a behind-the-back, over-the-shoulder shot for his first of the game.
“Those highlight-reel goals are super important,” Polley said. “They give the guys energy and … certainly got the bench [going].”
UMass’ Breyo responded with a goal to put the Minutemen within two, but BU finished the quarter up 4-1 thanks to a tally from D’Alto with 5:14 left in the first.
The Terriers were first on the scoresheet again to start the high-scoring second quarter. The Minutemen collected the next two goals, with their first coming on an extra-man opportunity off of a BU penalty to freshman defenseman Trey Brown. Then, the Terriers responded with five unanswered goals to extend their lead to 9-3 at the end of the half.
UMass scored just four more times before the final buzzer, while BU tacked on seven to pad its lead. Polley shouted out to the Terriers’ reserves, who came out to play in the fourth quarter.
“We keep saying that we’re winning these games with 54 guys, and we really are,” Polley said. [The reserves] played at a high level too, so I was proud of that.”
Freshman faceoff specialist Benjamin Ferrara went two for two at the X, and freshman goalkeeper Will Barnes made his collegiate debut with two saves on two shots in the final minute of the game.
The Terriers will look to continue their season-opening hot streak when they travel to Colgate University in their conference opener next Saturday at 12 p.m.