Traveling to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Saturday afternoon, the Boston University men’s lacrosse team failed to pull off an upset against No.14 Lehigh University.
With the game knotted at five after halftime, the Mountain Hawks (7-3, 5-0 Patriot League) outscored the Terriers (7-4, 2-2 Patriot League) 5-0 in the third quarter to pull away to a 10-8 win.
BU coach Ryan Polley said he was disappointed his team did not play well in general, particularly during the 15 minutes of the third quarter.
“We struggle to play really well for 60 minutes,” Polley said.
Lehigh fought to be the more dominant team at the start of the game, but BU scored two goals in just 18 seconds to tie the game at two goals apiece at the end of the first quarter. The first of the two goals came from senior attack James Burr off of an assist from sophomore attack Chris Gray.
Freshman attack Jake Cates gave the Terriers the lead just over a minute into the second quarter with his 10th goal of the season. The Mountain Hawks responded by rattling off three straight goals to take a 5-3 lead.
But BU would not go quietly into halftime.
Senior attack Michael Laviano drew two defenders and found Burr for a score to cut the deficit to one. Then, with just 1:26 remaining in the half, Gray slung a shot into the back of the net to tie the game and give BU momentum heading into the locker room.
The dynamic of the game changed in the third quarter. BU could not get offensive production, and Lehigh scored five goals. The final two goals came in the final minute of the quarter, and all momentum was back on the Mountain Hawks’ side.
BU knew they were going to need a big comeback in the fourth quarter to have any chance of pulling off the upset, and they got to work quickly.
Gray fed Burr for a quick goal less than a minute in to cut the Lehigh lead to 10-6. Gray then scored two quick goals of his own. The Mountain Hawks led 10-8 with 10:25 left in the game.
The Terriers were unable to muster any more goals for the rest of the quarter and lost by the final score of 10-8. Lehigh goalkeeper James Spence made clutch saves down the stretch to preserve the win for his team.
Polley said he was proud of how his team responded but knows they had opportunities to come back while down two goals and with a lot of lacrosse left to play.
“We had chances, and we just couldn’t get it to one,” Polley said.
BU struggled throughout the day in the faceoff department, going 8-14 in the crease. This led to many instances in which the Terriers were unable to get into any sort of offensive flow.
BU will be back in action next Saturday when they head to West Point to take on Army.
“We have Loyola and obviously Army next week, so I’m really excited for this stretch,” Polley said.
Despite his side falling to 2-2 in league play, Polley expressed an optimistic outlook for the Terriers.
“I still feel really good about this team,” Polley said.