We’re back again with the Alphabetical 2014 NCAA D1 Previews! Like last year, we’ll go through all of the D1 men’s teams for 2014 (there are 67 this year!) and we are now moving on to the Boston University Terriers, located in Boston, MA. It’s not Austin, Tom Green.
BU enters its first year as a D1 lacrosse team under the direction of Ryan Polley. Polley was the Defensive Coordinator at Yale for four years prior to taking the job at BU, and he was with Yale for six seasons in total. Before that, Polley was the Head Coach at D2 Merrimack where he was twice named New England coach of the year. He also led the start up Andover HS girls team for two years, and in 2003 the team went undefeated in regular season play.
Polley was a great player at Merrimack before he started coaching, and Yale’s stingy defense proves he has a really solid lacrosse mind on both ends of the field. He’ll need a sharp mind to mold the relatively large first year roster into a program with winning potential. BU is carrying 42 players on their roster this year, and an astounding 35 of them are freshman or red shirt freshman. This team is a very young one, with little D1 experience. Only 4 of the players on the team have spent time on a D1 roster in some way.
BU will play in the competitive Patriot League, and will face OOC opponents in Mercer, Providence, Vermont, Harvard, and Duke. It’s not a tough schedule by some teams’ standards, but for BU it should prove to be a very good challenge.
Of course Boston University does have some bright spots. A large freshman class will result in some gem players, and down the road it will be nice to have some experienced sophomores and juniors. But for now, the burden will rest squarely on the shoulders of a team of first year players, and that can be a lot of weight to carry.
BU’s attackmen come from relatively strong programs, and there is a good mix of size and speed. Eight defenders on the team are 6 foot or taller, but some of the smaller guys might be the best players. The team has 4 goalies on the roster, and if one of the three freshman can shine, BU could be okay for a couple seasons in that department. BU’s midfield is where things get interesting. This group will not blow you away with their size, but I think there is some potential there. You have 3 D1 transfers in the midfield corps, and some good high school programs represented. The group is definitely undersized on paper, but I’m curious to see how they fare.
Overall, I expect BU to have a really rough first year in D1. Certain D1 teams (High Point comes to mind) were competitive right away, but I don’t think BU is on the same track. They seem more like Michigan to me, in that they basically created a new team in one year. And you can remember how Michigan’s first season went. It’s a tough transition to D1 and without 2-3 years to prep, competing right away can be almost impossible. BU has some young talent, and could improve quickly in the years to come, but 2014 is going to be a trial by fire.
For more NCAA D1 Lacrosse coverage, check out Alphabetical 2013 NCAA D1 Preview: Air Force, Albany, Army, Bellarmine, and Binghamton.