The Boston University men’s lacrosse team defeated Bucknell University 14-8 Tuesday night at Nickerson Field in the Patriot League quarterfinals.
“I just thought we were ready to go,” BU (11-5, 5-3 PL) head coach Ryan Polley said after the game. “I thought our energy from bench to our starters was outstanding.”
The Terriers jumped out to a quick lead to begin the game and never looked back. Freshman attack Timmy Ley got the scoring going just 45 seconds into the game off an assist from senior attack James Burr. Ley went on to find the back of the net two more times to finish the game with a hat trick.
The majority of the scoring came from the two players who have carried BU’s team all season long — senior attack James Burr and sophomore attack Chris Gray. Together, the duo scored nine of the Terriers’ 14 goals on the night to continue their dominant play.
Gray finished the game with five goals along with four assists. His point total for the season rose to 108, which stands as the top mark in the country. Gray’s five goals also tied the Patriot League tournament record for most goals in a single game by an individual.
“If [Gray] isn’t a top five player in the country, I don’t know who is,” Polley said.
Burr clocked in four goals and an assist on the night. Burr scored three straight goals in three minutes to open the second half and extend BU’s lead to 10-1, allowing the Terriers to run away with the game.
Polley said he was impressed to see Burr go on this three-goal run.
“It made it really tough for Bucknell to come back,” Polley said. “That’s a pretty big deficit, even though there was almost a full half to go.”
On the other side of the ball, BU’s defense and goaltending got the job done. Bucknell (6-9, 4-4 PL) turned the ball over 26 times on the day and was unable to get their offense into a flow in the first half. The Terrier defense hounded passing lanes and never made things easy for the Bison.
Junior goalkeeper Joe McSorley continued his solid play, allowing BU to build their lead and eventually pull away. He made 15 saves and only allowed one goal in the first half. McSorley made save after save from shots at point-blank range, which fired up the Terriers and got them into halftime with a comfortable 7-1 lead.
Bucknell went on a 4-0 run in the final quarter to cut the deficit to 13-8, but by then it was too little, too late. Burr put another one in the back of the net with 2:19 left, and the celebration had begun on the BU bench.
The Terriers now face a tough task, as they will travel to take on Lehigh University (8-7, 5-3 PL) Friday night in the semifinals of the Patriot League tournament. The game will be played in Baltimore, Maryland — the home of the top-seeded Loyola University Maryland.
“We’re going to have our work cut out for us,” Gray said after Tuesday’s game.
Lehigh and BU faced off once this season back in March, in what ended a 10-8 victory for the Mountain Hawks. The score was 5-5 at halftime, but Lehigh outscored BU 5-0 in the third quarter and withstood a late Terrier run to squeeze out a win.
“I expect it to be a dog fight,” Polley said. “It’s important that we rest.”