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2019 Men’s College Lacrosse Year In Review: #25 Boston University Terriers

Led by two outstanding offensive studs, the Terriers reached the Patriot League semifinals for the third straight season.

Rich Gagnon

With the 2019 college lacrosse season complete, it’s time to look back at how all 73 teams did during the season, along with an early look at each squad for 2020.

Note: These are not end of season rankings.

Here’s our last five Year In Review posts we’ve done:

To see all of our posts, check out the 2019 Year In Review section on the site.

Let’s continue our 2019 Year In Review!

#25 Boston University Terriers

Conference: Patriot League
2019 Record: 11-6 (5-3 in Patriot League)
Postseason: Lost to Lehigh in Patriot League semifinals
Head coach: Ryan Polley (6th Season)

Statistical Leaders

Goals: James Burr (56)
Assists: Chris Gray (62)
Points: Chris Gray (111)
Faceoffs: Sean Christman (191-of-331; 57.7%)
Ground balls: Sean Christman (120)
Caused turnovers: Reece Eddy (34)
Goals against average: Joe McSorley (10.08 GAA)
Save percentage: Joe McSorley (54.9%)

Personnel Losses

Key seniors departing: A James Burr (56 Gs, 16 As, 22 GBs, 4 CTs), M Brendan Homire (20 Gs, 20 As, 33 GBs, 11 CTs), D Quintin Germain (15 CTs, 21 GBs), SSDM Thomas Schmidt (7 CTs, 12 GBs, 1 A), M Michael Laviano (3 Gs, 7 As, 7 GBs), LSM/SSDM Drew Lukacs (3 CTs, 5 GBs)
Senior scoring departing: 123 of 359 points (34.3%)
Senior starts lost: 51 of 170 (30%)

Season Summary

One of the newer programs this decade, Boston University has built themselves as a very good top 30 team in the country in the last handful of seasons. 2019 was no exception, especially with one of the best players in the entire country, Chris Gray. In fact, BU was one of only four teams to boast a top-20 offense and a top-20 defense in 2019, joining UMass, Syracuse, and national champion Virginia.

As they have since 2016, BU began the season against Providence. And for the third consecutive year, the Terriers pulled out a one-goal win and the first that did not need overtime. BU scored three goals in the fourth quarter while goalie Joe McSorley had an unbelievable 24 save performance. But the Terriers defense gave up 10 goals in the first half against Ohio State the following week.

Boston University then went on a four-game winning streak with victories over Dartmouth, Sacred Heart, Bryant, and Vermont before starting Patriot League play against Colgate. Despite trailing 3-0 early in the game, the Raiders went on a 6-0 run and held on to win by two goals and held the Terriers scoreless for the final 24:16 of the game. BU would alternate between a loss and a win for their next six matchups. The following week against Bucknell, BU scored eight of the game’s final nine goals for their first conference win. Then came Harvard, who came back from a six-goal fourth quarter deficit to win in overtime last season. This time around, BU led by five late in the third quarter before the Crimson came back to take a one-goal lead. Gray tied the game with a second left in regulation to force overtime for another season, but Harvard took the game in the extra session for the second consecutive year.

After beating Lafayette, the Terriers faced a pivotal three-game stretch involving Lehigh, Army West Point, and Loyola. First up were the Mountain Hawks which was even for the first half at five all. Each team went on a run in the following quarter, with Lehigh’s five-goal third quarter run outlasting BU’s three-goal fourth quarter run. Then came Army West Point who doubled up the Terriers to lead 8-4 at halftime. But Boston University went on runs of six goals and four goals in the second half en route to a big two-goal victory over the Black Knights. And against Loyola, BU broke a nine all tie in the second half and outscored the Greyhounds 9-2 in the second half for a huge upset win. Quintin Germain was huge in the win, allowing only one assist to Pat Spencer.

The Terriers did make the Patriot League Tournament and finished the regular season with a win against Holy Cross and a loss to Navy. BU dominated Bucknell in the conference quarterfinals for a rematch with Lehigh, who have been a thorn in BU’s side, at Loyola. Behind a 4-0 run in the third quarter and holding the Terriers scoreless for the final 7:26 of regulation, the Mountain Hawks escaped with a one-goal victory. Michael Laviano’s shot with 1:15 left hit the post and was the closest attempt to tying the game up.

While Gray and James Burr were BU’s two big stars on offense, freshman Timmy Ley was the third attackman that started all 17 games at the position. He recorded 34 goals and six assists in his rookie campaign. Senior Brendan Homire and freshman Jake Cates also started all 17 games at midfield. Cates’ highlight of the season was a four goal and two assist afternoon in a win over Army. The third starter varied throughout the season between Matt Hilburn, Laviano, Jared Nugent, and Jack Collins, who had eight starts and the most out of that group. Jett Dziama was also a key depth midfielder.

Germain anchored a close defensive unit that included first-year starters Nicholas Ellerton and freshman Will Carson. But the long stick midfielder duo of Chase Levesque and Reece Eddy was outstanding as each had over 30 caused turnovers and at least 65 ground balls. Levesque also brought some offense on transition with seven goals and two assists. Drew Lukacs also saw time with a pole as well as with a short stick. Michael Doxie, Thomas Schmidt, Blake Phillips, Josh Williamson, and Andrew Volk were also short stick defensive midfielders. With McSorley dominating in goal for the second straight season, Sean Christman took the bulk of the faceoff draws and went 57.7%. Sophomore Kevin Snyder went 54-of-114 (47.4%) as the backup FOGO.

Looking Ahead

BU loses 34.3% of their scoring from last season with the seniors departing. But so is Chris Gray who decided to transfer to North Carolina. Add his 111 points and the Terriers lose about 65.2% of their scoring. Gray alone was 31%.

With Gray, Burr, and even Homire gone, Ley is the lone returner on attack. BU will get former Towson attackman Phil Wies, who should be an immediate starter for the Terriers. Collins and Hilburn should get playing time as well, but it would not be a surprise if one of them could move down to attack.

The defensive side of the ball should remain the same outside of Germain. Nick Mohler and Matthew Mineo started in very few games last season and look to be potential options at close defense. BU’s road back the Patriot League Tournament will be a little more difficult than previously with their big changes on offense, but could be somewhat easier if players take the next steps forward. And as they always do, they’ll start their season with their annual Bike to the Beach event on August 31 as part of their community outreach. The team is looking to raise $35,000 to fight autism and appreciate any and all donations.

Poll

How many wins will Boston University get in 2020?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    0-6
    (9 votes)
  • 44%
    7-8
    (25 votes)
  • 25%
    9-10
    (14 votes)
  • 14%
    11+
    (8 votes)
56 votes total Vote Now