The college lacrosse fall ball season is nearly underway.
On October 17th, the Boston University men’s lacrosse team will play their annual Alumni game, and will follow up with a game against the McGill Redmen of the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association, the collegiate field lacrosse league in Ontario, on October 18th.
The Terriers will head into the 2016 NCAA season in an interesting position. They finished second-to-last in the Patriot League last season ahead of only the 4-10 Lafayette Leopards. The Terriers lost their last six games of the season, but until that point, they were 6-2. They defeated Patriot League opponents Colgate, Lafayette, and Colgate over the course of their season.
With that said, they might have a better 2016 season given that the rest of the conference lost some major players. Lehigh lost Dan Taylor and Patrick Corbett, two of their catalysts on the attack, as well as their goaltender Matt Poillon to professional ranks. Loyola will suffer the losses of Nikko Pontrello and Pat Frazier. Colgate’s attackman Ryan Walsh has moved on to play with the New York Lizards.
Heading into the 2016 season though, Syracuse.com ranked Loyola, Navy, and Colgate in the top 20. Interestingly enough, Inside Lacrosse had Boston University ranked at 16th going into the 2016 season. They were the only publication to project a ranking for the Terriers. They rank Navy as the only other Patriot League team in the top 20.
Looking at Boston University’s roster, there is something that could turn the Terriers into a ranked powerhouse: their offense. Cal Dearth and Jack Wilson both helped BU average 10.71 goals per game last season, good for 23rd in the nation, and Dearth was an First Team All-Patriot League player with his 42 points, the most ever in a single season for a Terrier.
On top of an offensive presence, Boston U’s face-off game is projected to look pretty scary. Face-off man Sam Talkow made the Second Team in the Patriot League after being ranked fifth in the NCAA in face-off percentage at .569, and he heads into his junior season projected as one of the top face-off men in the country.
Projections aside, McGill will be a good pre-season test to see what the Terriers have. At 4-0 so far this season, the Redmen lead the east division of the CUFLA and are the only undefeated team in the league other than the 2-0 Bishop’s University.
Having an opportunity to play a team sharp in the middle of their season, not to mention loaded with Canadian indoor lacrosse talent, gives Terriers a chance to learn what they have going into 2016.