Men’s Lacrosse: Giant-slayer BU takes down top-ranked Army

By Alexa Podalsky

Midway through the third quarter during Boston University men’s lacrosse’s most critical game of the season, senior attacker James Corcoran fell to the ground on Friday night at Nickerson Field after sustaining a major injury. Paramedics rushed onto the field and slowly carried him into the ambulance. 

“It was tough to watch that happen,” graduate student attacker and Corcoran’s roommate Louis Perfetto said. “We didn’t want to let him down.”

The Terriers (6-2, 3-1 PL) went on to score two consecutive goals immediately after and four more in the fourth period to pull ahead of No. 1 Army (7-1, 3-1 PL) and win 14-9. 

The win over the top-ranked Black Knights, handing them their first loss of the season, was the first win over the No. 1 team in program history, a massive first for a program in just its tenth year of existence.

“I’m just so proud of them,” coach Ryan Polley said. “We’re gonna enjoy it tonight, tomorrow, and then we gotta get back to work.”

Boston took possession early in the game which set them up to lead the entire game. Graduate student Miles Lipton opened the scoring and set the energetic BU sideline into motion. 

Army continued to fight back, but struggled to get past a strong Terrier defense led by junior goalkeeper Will Barnes who was named Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week on Monday. Senior Dane DeGoler was one of three defenders to make defensive saves that left coach Ryan Polley feeling “proud.” 

“It’s the best defensive game we played against the best offense we’ve faced,” Polley said. 

Meanwhile, BU had few troubles getting through Army’s line to make it toward the goal. Besides senior attacker Tommy Bourque and junior Brenden Kelly completing hat tricks, players deep in the line up added to the scoreboard. 

Earlier in the season, the Terriers struggled to come out of the half with the same power they possessed in the first, but that wasn’t the case tonight. 

On top of the aggressive play on the field, everything changed when Corcoran’s injury stopped the game and left the stands filled with the team’s friends and family silent. 

“We just wanted to make sure we played with the competitive edge that he always plays with,” Kelly said. “In my mind, I was like ‘we got this one for Corc”. 

For the rest of the game, Army struggled to minimize the five goal deficit the Terriers created. 

Army brought the game within two goals, but BU quickly took advantage of offensive turnovers to steal the ball. As the seconds counted down, DeGoler chucked the ball into the air, certifying Boston’s victory.

Polley said after the game that Corcoran appears to be doing “okay,” and Perfetto noted that after the game Corcoran’s first question was if they won. 

“[Corcoran’s injury] was a rallying call to play our best lacrosse this season, play for James a little bit,” Polley said.

And play their best lacrosse of the season they did.

The Terriers will move on to play No. 4 Duke University on Wednesday, March 27 at 3 p.m. The game will be available to stream on ESPN+.