Lacrosse, Sports

Men’s lacrosse clinches playoff berth with win over Loyola Maryland

The Boston University men’s lacrosse team defeated Loyola University Maryland 16-9 on their home turf of Nickerson Field on April 15. 

(Left to right) Senior attack Vince D’Alto and graduate attack Matt Hilburn celebrating during the game against Loyola University Maryland. The Terriers beat the Greyhounds 16-9 on April 15. ELIZA NUESTRO/DFP STAFF

“I’m really proud of my guys,” head coach Ryan Polley said. “We had a tough week last week … we had to do some soul-searching last week and then put our best week together and I felt we did that.” 

The Terriers (8-3, 5-1 Patriot League) won the opening faceoff and wasted no time launching their attack against the Greyhounds’ (6-5, 3-3 PL) defense. Less than a minute into the game, graduate student attack Matt Hilburn found the back of the net to open up the scoring.

About a minute later, senior attack Vince D’Alto scored his 33rd goal of the season off an assist from graduate student attack Timmy Ley.

Loyola’s senior midfielder Adam Poitras later capitalized on a Terrier turnover and put the Greyhounds on the board. However, the Terriers quickly regained momentum and finished the quarter with a 6-2 lead. 

Polley said senior midfielder Conor Calderone’s faceoff efficiency was vital to BU’s hot start. Calderone went 6-8 in faceoffs in the first to help the Terriers secure a four-point lead.

The second quarter was more competitive, with both teams scoring three goals each. Poitras led the Greyhounds’ attack with two goals in the quarter, giving him a hat-trick before the halftime break.

The Terriers dominated the ground ball game in the first half, collecting 24 ground balls compared to the Greyhounds’ 13. Polley credits the squad’s ability to collect ground balls as a major contribution to their halftime lead. 

“We were getting beat up on the wings in the 50-50 ground balls,” Polley said. “It was great to see them respond the way that they did to have that big advantage at halftime.” 

The game was fast-paced, with both teams displaying precise passes, lightning-fast dodges and powerful shots. 

However, the Terriers seized control of the game in the third quarter with dominant play on both sides of the field. BU finished the quarter with a 5-1 scoring advantage over the Greyhounds and entered the final period with a 14-6 lead.

The Terriers kept up their tenacious intensity in the fourth quarter to secure the win and a spot in the Patriot League playoffs.

D’Alto and Ley led the Terriers’ strong offensive performance. D’Alto scored a game-high four goals while Ley recorded a game-high six points (two goals, four assists).

However, Polley was more impressed with the diversity of players on the stat sheet. A total of nine different players found the back of the net en route to a team victory.

“We don’t have one guy scoring seven or eight goals,” Polley said. “We shared the ball and most of our goals were assisted.” 

While the score indicates offensive success, the Terriers were also successful in executing proper fundamentals, a fact supported by BU’s dominance in the box score. The Terriers caused 20 turnovers, picked up 40 ground balls and were successful in 19-23 clears.

“We talked about being strong up the middle, we talked about that as the hallmark of BU,” Polley said. “I was really pleased with our faceoff unit, and the way we killed the ball on the defensive end.” 

The Terriers will face off against Lehigh University on Saturday at Nickerson Field in the program’s annual Lax-A-Palooza celebration. The Terriers, who currently occupy the No. 2 seed in the Patriot League, can secure a top-three seed with a win over Lehigh. 

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