By: Marisa Ingemi
After the Patriot League schedule, the Boston University men’s lacrosse slate of games peters off quite a bit. Despite having to face a perennial ACC powerhouse later on in the season, BU has a chance to take advantage of a weaker out-of-conference schedule (other than Duke) and improve on its 2016 wins total.
vs Providence February 6th
The Terriers will open against Providence for the third straight season. The Friars are projected to finish low in the Big East standings, and Lacrosse Magazine has them slated for fifth place out of six teams. Where Providence is stronger is at defense, with Big East first teamer Jarrod Neumann its best defender, freshman goalie Tate Boyce is an unknown but can be a secret weapon for the Friars in net.
vs UMass-Lowell February 13th
The Riverhawks head into their second season and will be the Terriers second opponent of 2016. Lowell is where BU was at last year as a young program and should take at least a step forward from a 1-13 record during the 2015 season. With just one senior, the Riverhawks lack experience and play in a tougher conference. The ‘Hawks are led by a trio of Canadian rising sophomores in Jon Phillips, Sean Tyrrell, and Cory Highfield. Improved seasons from them could see UMass Lowell with more than a lone win in 2016.
@ High Point February 16th
The Terriers first road game of the season will be in North Carolina at High Point. The Panthers were a surprise team last season and even had some of their players drafted into the pros. High Point gained two transfers this season with Maryland midfielder Keegan O’Connor and Syracuse defenseman Jimmy Wyrick who will be inserted into the Panthers lineup. In just its second season, High Point went 10-7 last season, with quality wins over Delaware and Air Force. This might end up one of the tougher games on the Terrier schedule.
vs Hartford February 20th
BU will play Hartford for the first time in program history. Projected to be in the bottom three teams of America East, Hartford is a rebuilding program. Leading scorer Kevin O’Shea is gone and that leaves the Hawks with a hole they will struggle to fill. Rising sophomores Griffin Feiner and Justin Huggins will have to attempt to step up and fill his role, but the Hawks might be looking at another anemic 2016.
@ Canisius March 5th
For the second straight season the Terriers will take on the Golden Griffins. Canisius is coming off of a horrid 2015 where it posted a 3-12 record. Last season they fell to the Terriers at Nickerson Field in their opening game, 13-9. Tim Edwards is gone, which fills a hole the Griffins cannot afford. They will need a strong season out of Billy Jaccobi and Jeff Edwards to make up for his production.
@ Harvard March 22nd
Harvard is another annual opponent of the Terriers. The Crimson are banged up going into 2016, but the first attack unit had a strong pre-season and could be a dark horse this season. Namely, Dwight Dwyer is a standout to have an improved year on that unit. Defense is the weakness for the Crimson, and by the time March comes around a few players may return, but a lack of depth will be their downfall.
vs Duke May 8th
For the third straight season, the Terriers will face-off with the Duke Blue Devils following the Patriot League playoffs. This is the most high profile contest on the BU schedule, and will attract the national spotlight as one of the last regular season contests. Duke is a national championship contender in the toughest division in lacrosse. Deemed Class and Myles Jones are Tewaaraton candidates, and the Devils want to bounce back from last season’s early playoff exit. Sophomore Justin Guterding is also looking to become one of the top players in the nation after 52 goals in his rookie season. By the time this game is played, anything could have happened in the 2016 college lacrosse season, but for now, this looks like Boston University’s toughest game of the season.