LEWISBURG, Pa. – Boston University stunned the No. 10 Bucknell men's lacrosse team, 12-11, in the Patriot League Tournament quarterfinals on a rainy Tuesday night at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium.
With nine points on five goals and four assists, Patriot League Rookie of the Year Chris Gray led the sixth-seeded Terriers (8-7, 3-5 Patriot League) past the third-seeded Bison (11-4, 7-1 Patriot League). Four of Gray's points, two goals and two assists, came during a 6-0 Boston University run that turned a late 11-6 deficit into a stunning 12-11 upset, its first over a top-10 team in program history.
Gray found Brendan Homire with 6:56 remaining in regulation to give the Terriers their first lead of the contest. After Homire's go-ahead goal, Bucknell drew two man advantages but failed to capitalize on either. During the first, Isaac Lipton forced a turnover before the Bison could get a shot on net; during the second, Joe McSorley turned aside a Sean O'Brien bullet to maintain Boston University's one-goal edge.
With 49 seconds left to play, Lukas Munoz forced a turnover to give Bucknell a chance to net the equalizer. McSorley ultimately denied Tom Smith, who led the Bison with five points (4g-1a), and Chase Levesque came up with the ground ball in a scrum to allow the Terriers to run out the clock.
Boston University's defense held Bucknell's high-powered offense scoreless for the final 21:04 of the contest. McSorley made four of his 12 saves during that stretch.
At halftime, the Bison held a 7-4 lead, bolstered by three Smith strikes. With 11:56 on the clock in the third quarter, Smith extended Bucknell's lead to 8-4 with his fourth goal of the game. While the Terriers struck twice in quick succession to make it an 8-6 game, the Bison built their largest lead of the game, an 11-6 advantage, behind a 3-0 run.
From that point on, Boston University took control of the game. The Terriers closed the third quarter on a 3-0 run, with one of their goals coming with just two seconds left on the clock. Then, they held Bucknell off the board in the fourth quarter and found the back of the net at the 13:37, 10:41 and 6:56 marks to complete their comeback.
Smith's five points matched his career high, set with five goals on April 13 against Lafayette. In Bucknell's past three games, he posted 14 (12g-2a) of his 26 points (21g-5a). Entering the 2018 campaign, he owned just seven (3g-4a) points.
Tommy Sopko also recorded a hat trick for while O'Brien netted a pair of goals to push his season total to 42, the fifth-highest total in school history. Connor O'Hara (1g-2a) and Will Sands (2a) also had multi-point outings. Sands extended his school record in single-season assists to 55, seven more than the previous standard. His career total now stands at 141, also a school record.
Beyond Gray, three Terriers had multi-point outings. Gray also caused a game-best two turnovers while Sean Christman paced Boston University with five ground balls. Quintin Germain played a key role in limiting Sands, who entered the game averaging 5.21 points per game, to just two assists.
Bucknell held advantages in shots (38-25) and face-offs (14-for-26). Boston University led in ground balls (33-27) and went 2-for-2 on the man advantage while holding the Bison a scoreless 0-for-4.
Bucknell's winning streak was snapped at six. Entering the game, the Bison had won eight of their past nine tilts, with their lone loss coming at then No. 15/16 Penn. They were last downed by an unranked team on March 3, a 13-8 loss to Navy at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium. The Midshipmen have since risen to No. 11 in the Inside Lacrosse Maverik Media Listing and to No. 13 in the USILA Coaches' Poll.
With the loss, Bucknell was eliminated from the Patriot League Tournament in the quarterfinals. The Bison, who earned a share of the Patriot League regular-season title but ended up with the third seed due to the goal differential between the three co-champions, reached the double digits in victories for the sixth time in Frank Fedorjaka's tenure as head coach. They also went an impressive 5-1 against nationally ranked opponents, which included road upsets of then No. 3 Yale (9-8 OT) and then No. 6 Loyola (12-11). Now, they will wait to see if they earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.