The Boston University men’s lacrosse team came away with a big win after they went to Fairfield, Connecticut, Tuesday afternoon to take on Sacred Heart University. After a widespread attack that featured goals from nine different players, the Terriers (3-1, 0-0 Patriot League) defeated the Pioneers (1-2, 0-0 Northeast Conference) by a score of 16-11.
“Coaches always preach six hands, which means you don’t really care who scores the goal,” head coach Ryan Polley said of the Terriers’ offense. “The fact that the defense can’t just focus on one player as a scorer makes us very dangerous.”
The Terriers’ squad stayed strong as sophomore attack Chris Gray kept up his consistent play in the early going of this season. Coming off his second Patriot League player of the week honors, Gray had five goals today to go along with four assists, adding to his Patriot League-leading totals in assists and No. 5 league rank in goals per game.
“Chris was outstanding today, just continues to get his teammates involved and draws so much attention from the other team’s defense,” Polley said. “He’s a great scorer, he makes some great individual plays to score, but also, he’s so unselfish and has incredible vision.”
The first 10 minutes of the game saw the Terriers and Pioneers tied at three, but senior attack James Burr scored a goal, which began a run of nine straight goals for BU to take a huge 12-3 lead with four minutes left in the half. The goal by the Massachusetts native was an important one as it was the 111th of his career, the most in BU history.
“I’m really happy for James, he’s been a four-year contributor at a really high level, he means so much to our team, and he’s been a staple of our program in the beginning stages of it,” Polley said. “He continues to work hard and demand a lot of himself and his teammates.”
The Terriers’ 12th goal was made by freshman attack Matt Hilburn on an assist from freshman midfielder Jett Dziama, marking the first goal of Hilburn’s BU career. The Terriers held a 12-4 lead going into half after a last second goal from SHU attack Jaden Walcot.
“Matt’s been a really great practice player for us … when the opportunity came to take a shot, he made the most of it,” Polley said. “The way he approaches the game is so composed for a freshman.”
The Terriers never gave up the lead in the second half as Burr quickly scored another goal to open the third, followed by his third just two minutes later. After a goal by freshman attack Timmy Ley with just over eight minutes left in the period, BU held a 10-point lead.
The Pioneers managed to score three goals at the end of the third and into the fourth, cutting the Terrier lead to seven before Gray scored his fifth of the game. SHU went on another three-goal run during the fourth, but only managed to get the deficit down to five before the end of the game.
“I think we were really composed down the stretch,” Polley said about the Terrier’s mindset at the end of the game. “Credit to Sacred Heart and their coaches and their team for not giving up and making that run, but I’m proud of my guys that we were composed and handled that pressure. We never gave them a chance to fully get back in the game.”
The Terriers are home next Tuesday for a matchup against the Bryant University Bulldogs.
Polley said he is hoping that the team can play a well-composed game the whole time.
“We’re still looking for that 60-minute game, we’ve played great in the first halves of the past two games building those huge leads,” Polley said. “In order to be a great team, we need to finish and play well in the second half, so we’re going to focus on playing a full 60 minutes.”