The Boston University men’s lacrosse team picked up a 14-9 win at home Tuesday afternoon against Bryant College. The Terriers (4-1, 0-0 Patriot League) had seven different goal scorers who contributed to the defeat of the Bulldogs (2-2, 0-0 Northeast Conference) on a frigid afternoon at Nickerson Field.
Terrier head coach Ryan Polley said he was very pleased with the variety of goal scorers.
“The guys just really like to share the ball,” Polley said. “Most of goals have been assisted this season, but sometimes you have to run around somebody to make a play and take a shot. For the most part we’re a really unselfish team.”
The Terriers used that unselfish play to their advantage against the Bulldogs. Eleven of the 14 goals were assisted, and five of those assists came from sophomore attack Chris Gray, who surpassed 100 points as a Terrier in just 22 career games. That’s the second fastest ever that a Patriot League player has reached that milestone.
“[Chris] has been fabulous. We’re so blessed to have him,” Polley said. “He just makes everyone around him better, and we’re going to go as Chris goes.”
The Terriers trailed 2-1 in the early stages of the game after the Bulldogs got out to a quick start. BU was able to fight back and go on a 5-0 run that extended into the second quarter, and they never looked back from that point on.
Freshman attackman Timmy Ley had two of those important goals. He finished the game with three goals along with senior attack and leading goal scorer James Burr, who also had a hat trick on the day.
The aggressive play from BU forced Bryant into a lot of turnovers that led to some transition opportunities for the Terriers. The Bulldogs finished with 27 turnovers, 16 of those coming in the second half.
“I thought we rode them really well,” Polley said. “I was pleased with how hard-nosed we were on the ground balls.”
Things got interesting near the end of the first half when Bryant was able to pull within three. The Bulldogs scored two goals in the final two minutes before halftime to keep themselves in the game.
One of those goals came from Bryant attack Marc O’Rourke, who came into this contest with seven goals. O’Rourke was a player the Terriers knew they had to keep their eye on.
“We think he [O’Rourke] is an exceptional player,” Polley said. “I thought we did a nice job shutting him off on man-up because he is a prolific scorer.”
BU started to pull away in the second half with efficient offense and tough defense. The Terriers built their lead up to 12-6 near the end of the third quarter. Junior goalkeeper Joe McSorley only allowed four goals in the second half.
“I thought he made the plays we needed him to make,” Polley said. “He made some big saves in the late third quarter, early fourth quarter, as we were getting the game a little out of reach for Bryant.”
The Terriers pushed their lead to 14-7 more than halfway through the fourth quarter to seal the victory. Junior midfielder Reece Eddy tacked on the 14th Terrier goal, his first of the season.
The Terriers will be back in action Saturday at home against the University of Vermont (3-1, 0-0 America East).
Polley said he is hoping that the team can clean up on the defensive end as the season moves along.
“We’re going to have to get better there as we get into the Patriot League,” Polley said.