By: Marisa Ingemi
Photo by Jim Pierce
The Boston University Men’s Lacrosse team will open its season tomorrow afternoon as they face the Providence College Friars. The Terriers will open the season at Nickerson Field looking to replicate the strong start from last season, but hoping to avoid the 0-6 conclusion to it.
“These are all dress rehearsals for the real thing.” said head coach Ryan Polley about the 4-0 pre season record of the Terriers. “Guys are trying to get their jobs in practice, based on 45 practices in all. The guys did a good job and we’re always tinkering with the lineup to be the best team that we can.”
Providence defeated the Terriers last season, 7-4, in what was the lowest scoring game of the season for BU. The Terriers have never defeated the Friars, going 0-2 over the past two seasons.
Where They Rank
The Terriers received votes in the pre season poll from coaches while Providence did not. The Friars, who finished 5-9 last season, are projected to come in fifth in the Big East. The game was tied 4-4 in the fourth quarter before the Providence offense took off. BU was ranked sixth in the Patriot League pre season poll.
Players to Watch
Sam Talkow: Talkow, who was fifth in the nation in faceoff percentage last season, has won 75% of his faceoffs against Providence in the past two seasons where the Terriers have faced them. As one of the best faceoff men in the country, he is key for BU to retain possession throughout the game.
Hayden Ruiz: BU head coach Ryan Polley said this week that he wants to see Ruiz take the next step to become a key scorer for the Terriers. Last season Ruiz put up 16 points and should get more involved in the offense this season.
Will Mazzone: Mazzone is one of four of the top six point scorers to return to the Providence lineup in 2016. He led the Friars last season with 24 points. Providence is one of the youngest teams in the country and were an inconsistent team in 2015. Mazzone is a player they will have to rely on to be effective.
The freshmen might have a big role in this game for the Terriers. James Burr had a stellar pre season and Tristan Ruh got involved in the offense early.
“Everything is amplified a little bit, going a bit faster.” said Polley. “We just want guys to do the things they have done over their careers and not overthink it.
“Every team is different. We’ll play some freshmen tomorrow and through the season. The newcomers have worked hard to fit in and play at a high level.”
Tate Boyce will be the likely starter in net for the Friars, a sophomore who was ranked seventh of all incoming freshman by Inside Lacrosse. Providence’s weakness last season was not in net, but on offense where they were 60th in the nation, so with inexperience between the pipes, it might create another obstacle for the Friars.
“I know we’ll be excited, we’ll be ready to play. I hope we play up to our ability and play a big game and not worry about wins and losses, those will take care of themselves.”
Game time is tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. from Nickerson Field and can be seen live on the Patriot League Network.