By Marisa Ingemi
BU News Service
The 2016 season for the Boston University men’s lacrosse team got off to a good start on Saturday as the Terriers took down the Providence College Friars, 9-5. Freshmen played a big part in the victory, with James Burr scoring twice and defenseman Quintin Germain notching his first career start.
“I thought Quintin was excellent,” said Terriers head coach Ryan Polley. “His matchup was huge for us, he was good on six-on-six and made the right reads and right decisions. I was really pleased. He was well coached in high school. I thought he was excellent.”
It wasn’t the cleanest game for the Terriers, who allowed three fourth-quarter goals to allow Providence to, at one point, make it a three-goal game. The Terriers were able to hold on, with a late goal from freshman Drew Lukacs to make it a four-goal lead again, as the Friars struggled to generate offense.
With just 19 shots, the Friars offense, which was 60th in the nation last season, was stagnant for most of the game. Dominick Castilo, Quintin Germain and Greg Wozniak all had strong games for the Terriers defensively. Wozniak was especially a major player in clearing for BU while the team as a whole struggled with it. He created several offensive opportunities, while Calisto effectively defended Providence’s leading scorer, Mazzone.
The defense was aggressive all game, not allowing many shooting lanes for the Friars and also causing turnovers. Providence turned the ball over 27 times, but the Terriers also had its share of turnovers, with 24 in total themselves. BU caused 17 of the turnovers from the Friars while Providence caused just nine. Jarrod Neumann, the Big East pre-season defensive player of the year, had a big involvement in a Friars defense that created some sloppy play for BU late in the game, but it wasn’t enough.
“If we want to be a team that competes in a tough conference, we can’t have those statistics and expect to win,” Polley said.
Terrier attack man Ryan Hilburn, who was one of the leading goal scorers from last season, was injured in the contest on a play that was called a penalty against Providence, and he did not return to the game. Hilburn’s status is unclear, but he stood on the sideline away from the team for most of the second half.
Ryan Johnston replaced Hilburn initially, and Johnston scored on his lone touch of the game. Hayden Ruiz and Pat Myers became more involved in the offense in the second half.
“Ryan [Johnston] was awesome,” said Polley. “We talk about doing your job, it’s like the Patriots. Ryan came in and I think Burr made the feed, we kind of switched up our man-up alignment. Ryan got the ball and finished and it was a huge goal for us. I was really proud of Ryan to come off the bench.”
The victory for the Terriers can be attested to a strong defensive effort, solid and composed play from the freshmen, and the ability for the team to spread the ball around with seven different goal scorers. The Terriers are back in action next Saturday when they host UMass Lowell at Nickerson Field at 1 p.m.