The Boston University Terriers will travel to Buffalo, New York tomorrow afternoon to face the Canisius Golden Griffins in BU’s second road contest of the season. The Terriers, ranked 20th in the nation, are coming off of a win against Navy, who were ranked 16th, in one of the biggest victories in the history of the program.
“Our goal at the end of the season is not to be ranked,” said BU head coach Ryan Polley. “Our goal is to make the Patriot League tournament and give ourselves the chance to make the tournament. It’s nice recognition, but that’s not the goal”
The Terriers, 4-1, defeated Navy 10-9 in double overtime a week after they had lost to Hartford at home. BU is finally healthy after Cal Dearth made his return last week, and Ryan Hillburn, who has missed the past four games, will be a game time decision.
Freshman attack James Bur, junior defender Greg Wozniak, and junior goaltender Christian Carson-Banister are all coming off of Patriot League weekly awards following the victory.
Last season the Terriers defeated the Griffins 13-9 in BU’s first ever win at Nickerson Field. Jack Wilson and Hillburn each had four points, while Cal Dearth, Adam Schaal, Sam Tenney, and Sam Talkow all had two goals each.
An adjustment BU made last week was moving Schaal to playing attack, specifically at the X, and moving attackman Pat Myers to midfield in his place.
“We just thought we needed a little more athleticism and speed on attack,” Polley said. “Pat did a really good job for us there, he’s going to continue to contribute for us. With how athletic and aggressive Navy was, we thought to move the ball a little faster.”
One major adjustment in the second half of the Navy game was the team valuing the ball more and not making careless decisions on offense.
“Right now I think it’s a little bit of a mental thing, a lack of focus and poise,” Polley said of the team’s previous struggles with turnovers. “We just talk about it. The second half [against Navy], that’s right where we want to be. If we can be a 12, 13, 15 turnover a game team, that’s a really good thing.”
Canisius is yet to play this season, and this game will be their home opener. Led by Randy Mearns, who won a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2014 World Lacrosse Championships, Canisius is looking to bounce back form a 3-12 season.
Mearns, who also played professionally in the National Lacrosse League with the Buffalo Bandits and Rochester Knighthawks, saw his Golden Griffins finish second to last in the MAAC standings last season. Tim Edwards, who led the team with 30 points last season, has graduated. New seniors Billy Jacobbi and Vince Gravino will be leaned on heavily, along with sophomore Jeff Edwards, the younger brother of Tim.
Goaltender Alex Govenetto has graduated as well, leaving Jeff Wilson to take over between the pipes.
The last time the Terriers were on the road they defeated an up-and-coming High Point team 13-10. Canisius is a young team still finding itself, but should come out fired up tomorrow afternoon.
“We really don’t know that much about them,” sad Polley. “We faced them last year, but they’re a brand new team. There’s certainly a challenge there. We have experience, we’ve played five games, we’ve been able to make adjustments and change personnel around. This will be their first game, they’re going to be very excitement and we’ll have to reach their energy level.”