Lacrosse, NCAA, Sports

Men’s lacrosse suffers first conference loss to the Navy Midshipmen

Hot off a seven-game win streak, the Terriers looked to stay undefeated in conference play and atop of standings Friday night against the United States Naval Academy, but fell short in a 8-10 loss.

Men's Lacrosse
Senior attacker Thomas Niedringhaus in a Feb. 8, 2020 game against Ohio State University. BU lost 10-8 against Navy last Friday. LIBBY MCCLELLAND/DFP FILE

The Midshipmen’s (5-6, 1-2 Patriot League) victory over BU (7-2, 4-1 PL) brought them one game closer to a .500 record and helped them remain in contention within the competitive division.

Graduate attack Timmy Ley opened the scoring for the Terriers, scoring his 26th goal of the season a minute and a half into the first quarter. Navy’s offense was quick to respond, with junior midfielder Max Hewitt scoring a pair of goals to give the Midshipmen the lead.

After a few early goals from both sides, the contest was scoreless for the remainder of the first quarter.

Navy was able to jump in front at the start of the second quarter thanks to a tally from freshman midfielder Paul Garza, and they led for the remainder of the half.

“I thought [Navy] played with a bit more energy than us tonight and that was disappointing, but we never gave up,” BU head coach Ryan Polley said. “We continued to fight.”

The Midshipmen held an explosive Terrier offense in check from the start and forced BU to commit 11 turnovers in the first half alone. BU had a scoring drought that lasted more than 20 minutes across the first two quarters that was ultimately snapped by a shot through traffic by senior attack Thomas Niedringhaus.

The Terrier offense had been dominant in the week leading up to Friday’s game, with senior attack Louis Perfetto earning the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week honor after tallying seven goals in the team’s last two games.

Navy continued their offensive showcase in the second half with junior attack Tommy Hovivian and Hewitt leading the way. The Midshipmen also controlled the possession game, holding the edge in faceoffs as well as ground balls against the Terriers.

While the Terrier offense struggled to capitalize on opportunities and committed a costly number of turnovers, graduate student goalkeeper Matt Garber put on an outstanding performance to keep his team within striking distance.

“He was a big reason that the game was as close as it was,” Polley said. Garber is the defending Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year and posted a career high 18 saves.

BU played from behind for the entirety of the game after their early goal, trying to keep pace with the Navy offense.

“Everytime we got the [goal deficit] to one, they made a play to stretch it to two,” Polley said.

Ley led the scoring for the Terriers with a hat trick, followed by Niedringhaus and Perfetto who scored two goals each.

Despite a late boost in momentum from the Terriers, Navy’s offense proved to be too much for BU with a trio of Midshipmen netting hat tricks, including Hewitt, Hovivian and sophomore attack Henry Tolker. The victory gave Navy their first win over a ranked opponent this season.

In BU’s final stretch of the regular season, three of the Terriers’ four remaining games are against conference opponents. 

“Those three critical games are gonna make or break our season,” Polley said. “We gotta get back to just playing BU lacrosse.”

The Terriers will travel to New Haven, Connecticut to face Yale University Tuesday at 4 p.m.

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