By: Liam O’Brien
They weren’t supposed to be in this position, but Boston University men’s lacrosse is Patriot League semifinal bound.
The Terriers rallied from an 11-6 deficit in the second half to beat No. 10 Bucknell, 12-11, on Tuesday night in the conference quarterfinals to set themselves up for a rematch with No. 8 Loyola on Friday night in Baltimore.
The win was by far the best of the season for BU, who was displaced by the same Bison, 16-9, on St. Patrick’s Day. Freshman phenom Chris Gray cemented his worthiness for the Patriot League Rookie of the Year Award by scoring five goals and plugging his teammates for four assists.
Gray and his fellow Terriers ran amok on the Bucknell defense in the last 20 minutes of the contest. Gray pumped in two goals, junior Brendan Homire scored twice – including the go-ahead score with 6:56 left – and senior Hayden Ruiz kept his college career alive with a goal and two assists in the third quarter.
BU will need to channel this aggressive style against the Greyhounds, winners of five straight. The Terriers made the same voyage to Baltimore less than two weeks ago and were pumped, 23-9, by a Loyola team comparable to the group that won the National Championship in 2013.
Pat Spencer, who leads the Patriot League with 76 points, compiled nine of them with a hat trick and six assists in the game. Aidan Olmstead, 10th in the conference with 16 assists, contributed four goals and two dimes. Jack Drapeau, whose 2.54 goals per game is third in the league and 24th in the country, tacked on two goals for good measure.
The key for the Terriers in this game will be their ability to contain the Greyhounds’ boisterous offensive. BU left sophomore goalie Joe McSorley naked in net throughout the first meeting between the two teams. McSorley managed to make 10 saves, but those only went so far as he was forced to face 29 Loyola shots.
If the Terriers can hold the Greyhounds below 12 goals, they could seal their first trip to the Patriot League finals.