LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Bucknell men's lacrosse team outscored Boston University, 9-0, in the second half to emerge a 16-9 victor on Saturday at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium.
The Bison (5-2, 3-1 Patriot League) held the Terriers (4-4, 0-3 Patriot League) without a goal for the final 41 minutes of a critical Patriot League contest between the teams selected fourth and fifth in the preseason poll. They trailed by as many as four and were down, 9-7, at halftime.
Will Sands was sensational for the Bison, recording 10 points on three goals and seven assists. He finished one point shy of tying Bucknell's school record, last matched in 2012. He factored into seven of the Bison's second-half goals, netting two and assisting on five.
Connor O'Hara and Tommy Sopko were also critical to Bucknell's offensive success, each potting four goals. O'Hara matched his career high while Sopko, who registered his first career hat trick last week at Holy Cross, set a new career-best total.
Tom Smith had a strong game, recording four points on equal totals of goals and assists. In the final 10 minutes of the third quarter, he assisted on the Sands strike that tied the game at nine apiece; then, he netted the next two goals to give Bucknell an 11-9 advantage.
During the second half, the Bison limited the Terriers to eight shots, only three of which were directed on net. Bucknell consistently won defensive battles, collecting 16 ground balls to Boston University's six. The Bison also forced 12 turnovers; Lukas Munoz, who posted three of his game-high four caused turnovers during the final 30 minutes, led the way.
Munoz was one of four Bison who caused multiple turnovers as Benny Borgognone, Matt Gilray and Hunter Newman each forced the Terriers to cough up the ball twice over the course of the game. Munoz also recorded a team-best five ground balls while O'Hara, Borgognone and Jarett Witzal added four apiece.
In net, Christian Klipstein made seven saves. One of his most impressive came with 4:48 on the clock in the second quarter; in transition, Isaac Lipton found James Burr alone at the side of the net, but Klipstein came across the crease to deny his point-blank bid.
After Sopko got Bucknell on the board 16 seconds into the game, Boston University strung together a 3-0 run. The teams ultimately combined for 11 goals in a frenetic opening quarter, with the Terriers building a 7-4 advantage.
Chris Gray completed his hat trick 25 seconds into the second quarter to give Boston University its largest lead of the game, an 8-4 edge. From that point on, the Bison began to click offensively and defensively, scoring 12 of the next 13 goals. Boston University's final strike came at the 12:01 mark of the second quarter.
The Terriers were led offensively by Gray (3g-4a), Jack Wilson (3g) and Burr (2g-1a). Gray, a freshman standout, recorded six of his points (2g-4a) during the first quarter. Joe McSorley made 10 saves while Lipton and Michael Chiaramonte each posted four ground balls.
Overall, the Bison held advantages in shots (39-24) and ground balls (26-19). The Terriers won the face-off battle, taking 17 of 29.
Sands matched his career high in points, set during the 2016 Patriot League quarterfinals against Holy Cross. In that game, he also finished with three goals and seven assists, setting a tourney record in the process.
Bucknell will look to carry the momentum from its come-from-behind victory into its tilt at Penn on Tuesday, March 20. The Bison then travel to Patriot League preseason favorite Loyola for a game on Saturday, March 24.