By Marisa Ingemi
BU News Service
The Boston University men’s lacrosse team will look to better itself to 4-0 on Saturday afternoon when they host the Hartford Hawks. It will be Hartford’s first game of the season, while BU is coming off of a victory over the High Point Panthers on the road Tuesday.
Led by a season high 18 save performance from goaltender Christian Carson-Bannister, BU’s victory gave it the best start in the history of the program. Despite being banged up, BU has found ways to get secondary scorers involved.
Cal Dearth and Ryan Hillburn both missed the game on Tuesday, not making the trip.
“They’ll be back this season,” said head coach Ryan Polley said. “They’re both working through they’re injuries, and they’ll be back”
Faceoff man Sam Talkow has been forced in and out of contests as he has dealt with several physical draws thus far this season. Talkow also has two goals this season, despite sitting out parts of the past two games.
“I think he’s so talented and a little undersized so teams are going to try to be physical with him.” said Polley. “It’s certainly a concern of ours, and we’re going to have to get Elliott more reps to make sure Sam lasts this season”
Freshman James Burr will be relied on once again, holding onto a team leading 10 points and nine goals.
“Burr has been outstanding for us as our leading scorer,” Polley said about the play of the freshman attacker. “And [Brendan] Homire has been our initiator on the midfield with Cal out and has made some great decisions. He’s very unselfish with the ball, was happy to see him get his first goal. He does more for us, he helps with faceoffs, with the clearing game, so he’s been great.”
The team has certainly switched its formations around often with the injuries, but the team is still yet to pick up a loss A lot of that can be attested to the team’s defense, which gave up more than five goals for the first time this season on Tuesday against High Point. However, they were able to keep Major League Lacrosse drafted attacker Matt Thistle scoreless.
“I think we’ve been real strong at the D-middie position so we haven’t had to slide that much. Calisto has been terrific down low and neutralizing other team’s top attackmen”
This game was also big for the Terriers to close out. After nearly allowing Providence to come back in game one and struggling early against UMass Lowell, BU was able to sustain a lead throughout against High Point and close out the victory in the fourth quarter.
“We talk about being composed, and making good decisions and finishing games the same way we begin the game. Our defense has been great getting stops, and even when they [High Point] scored to get it [the lead] to three, Sam Talkow won the next faceoff and that really closed the game. Guys are making plays at the right time and we’re real proud of it”
The opponent this week is the Hartford Hawks, a team yet to play so far in 2016. After being banged up for most of 2015, Hartford returns two of its three leading scorers as freshmen, something that Polley said he could see familiarity with between them and BU a few years ago.
“I think Hartford’s really good,” said Polley. “Last year they had a bunch of injuries, three, four, five guys had season ending injuries and they were still able to go 7-8. They played Stony Brook to a one goal game their last game, they have some great young players. They remind me of us our first year when they have so many freshmen making big plays but also freshman mistakes that may cost them a one goal game. I totally expect them to come out real fired up to play their first game, and I think they have a lot of talent.”
“It’s a huge challenge for us.”