The Boston University men’s lacrosse team fell 13-8 at No. 8 Loyola University Maryland Friday night in the Patriot League semifinals. Despite a resilient performance, the Terriers (8-8, 3-5 Patriot League) faltered in the second half, ending their postseason tournament run.
The two teams had faced off just two weeks prior, resulting in BU’s worst loss of the season, a 23-9 thrashing from the Greyhounds (12-3, 7-1 Patriot League).
With a trip to the Patriot League title game on the line on Friday, the Terriers got on the board quickly. Attacks freshman Chris Gray and junior James Burr each netted goals early in the first quarter.
The Greyhounds responded with 2:58 left in the frame, bringing the score to 2-1 BU.
The second quarter saw much more action from both teams, with 10 overall scores.
Burr began the scoring 41 seconds into the frame, securing his second goal of the day, and returning the Terriers’ lead to two goals.
From there, the two teams traded goals at a fairly even clip, including Burr’s third and two from Greyhounds freshman attack Kevin Lindley.
Tied at six and with the first half coming to a close, BU sophomore defender and long-stick midfielder Chase Levesque scored his first goal of the season with four seconds left to end the half with a 7-6 BU edge.
“In the first half, I thought we were really good on offense,” BU head coach Ryan Polley said.
With a strong first half in the books, Polley said he was impressed with his team’s performance on both sides of the ball.
He noted the Terriers’ strong performance at the faceoff X, where they won 18-of-25 faceoffs on the day. BU freshman midfielder and faceoff specialist Sean Christman continued his success, allowing only one Greyhounds faceoff win outside of the second quarter.
Polley added that the Terriers performed well off the ground as well, especially freshman long-stick midfielder Malcolm Glendinning and senior defender and long-stick midfielder Isaac Lipton, who collected five apiece.
“[They] did a great job on our defensive end, getting ground balls,” Polley said.
Despite strong play and a 7-6 lead, the second half spelled trouble for the Terriers.
From the beginning of the third quarter, the Greyhounds were on the attack.
Loyola went on a 6-0 run, with four goals in the third, to bring its advantage to 12-7 halfway through the fourth quarter.
Senior attack Jack Wilson would add one final goal for BU, decreasing the deficit to four goals with just over seven minutes remaining in the contest.
Unfortunately for the Terriers, Wilson’s score would be the only goal of the half for the team.
Lindley added one more goal at the 5:36 mark to bring the Greyhounds’ lead to 13-8, where the score would stay until the final whistle.
“I think either we ran out of gas a little bit or were just unable to continue score at the rate Loyola was, which was the difference in the game,” Polley said. “We had some opportunities in that third quarter that we didn’t finish.”
Polley lamented the first possession of the third, during which Gray drew a double team and the Terriers failed to complete an inside pass.
He also noted the team’s failure to capitalize on Loyola’s penalties. Down 8-7 in the third, BU had a two-man advantage, but was unable to score.
Despite the loss, multiple BU program records were broken on Friday.
With his four-goal performance, Burr became the first player in program history to score 40 goals in a single season, ending the year with 41.
Similarly, Gray, the 2018 Patriot League Rookie of the Year, became the first Terrier in program history to surpass both 70 points and 40 assists in a season, finishing his inaugural season with 31 goals and 40 assists for a total of 71 points.
“They’ve both just had phenomenal years,” Polley said. “Chris was very deserving of Rookie of the Year. He was fantastic on Tuesday night [against Bucknell University] … James just has been that great scorer for us. His great game was the main reason we were so competitive in the game.”
Although the Terriers fell short of a visit to what would have been their first-ever Patriot League title game, Polley said he was proud of his team.
“We got our first top-10 win as a program, which was pretty incredible,” Polley said. “There were just a few plays we left out there from going fully toe-to-toe with a top-five team … and [to] give ourselves a chance to win the fourth quarter. But the guys played hard, I was really proud of that. They didn’t give up, and they battled the whole time.”