BOSTON — Despite losing their last six games at the end of the season, the Boston University men’s lacrosse team saw what could potentially be an explosive offense. Ranking 23rd in the country overall, the Terriers return three players with 40 or more points from 2015.
There were times last year where the offense looked borderline elite. In games against Mercer and Colgate (a Patriot League rival), the Terriers were able to post an 18 spot. Against Lafayette they scored 17. They scored 10 or more goals in half of their contests.
Some of the teams the Terriers ranked ahead of offensively in points per game were playoff teams such as Maryland, Ohio State, Detroit, and Marquette. Out of teams who played 14 games, as BU did, they scored more total goals than Detroit, St. John’s, Navy, Hofstra, Robert Morris, Villanova, and Penn State. They even scored more goals than 15 game teams such as Fairfield, Bucknell, Hartford, UMass, Air Force, and Quinnipiac.
One of the reason for the sheer amount of goals for the Terriers has a lot to do with quantity, not quality. Despite their high-ranking in points per game, the club ranked 50th in shot percentage, shooting at just a .263 percent rate. Their 150 goal total came on 571 attempts.
Most of the shot percentage’s low rate can be attributed to a young roster. That roster, which boasted leading scorers as a sophomore and two freshmen, have another year of experience under their belt. The Terriers were also ranked 55th out of 68 teams in turnovers per game, turning over possessions 15.51 times per game, another stat that would be linked to a young team.
Boston University ranked 18th in assists per game at 6.64. Their leading goal scorer in 2015, then-sophomore midfielder Cal Dearth, led the team with 23 assists. The team’s top four leading scorers each had double-digit assists. If this trend continues it can only lead to more scoring.
Going into 2016, the Terriers have a chance to only move up in the scoring ranks. Top teams in the country, such as Albany, Syracuse, North Carolina, Demver, Notre Dame, and Virginia all lost leading scorers to graduation. In their own conference, just Loyola ranked ahead of them ith 168 goals in one more game played.
The Patriot League is already weakening offensively with Colgate and Lehigh losing their top goal scorers to the pro ranks. New sophomores Jack Wilson and Ryan Hilburn are expected to take the next step and have potentially 50 point seasons in 2016.
Drew Kelleher, the Terriers offensive coordinator in 2015, has moved on to become the Manhatten Jaspers head coach after his impressive work with Boston University. His work laid down the foundation for 2016, but his hiring only proved the strides that BU’s offense had made and its national impact.
Last season the Terriers’ offensive firepower led them to a national ranking in just their third varsity season. Going into a season with a weaker Patriot League, the goal is a bid into the national tournament.