The No. 16/18 Boston University men's lacrosse team will begin a crucial two-game road trip on Saturday when the Terriers travel to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to face Lehigh. Game time is set for 3:15 p.m.
BU (9-1, 3-1 PL) is off to its best start in program history and can help bolster its chance for a spot in the Patriot League playoffs with a win on Saturday against a Lehigh team (4-4, 2-3 PL) that has edged the Terriers by a goal in each of the last two seasons, including an 8-7 contest last year at Nickerson Field.
Life on the road has been kind to the Terriers this season, as they are 5-0 when playing away from Nickerson. That record includes conference wins at Navy (8-7) and at Colgate (18-7). BU has been stingy in those road victories, allowing a mere 6.8 goals per game across those five triumphs.
Freshman John MacLean was named Patriot League Rookie of the Week on Monday following his two hat tricks that propelled BU to a pair of wins last week. He matched a career high with four points (3g, 1a) on March 21 in a 13-8 win over Harvard before scoring another three goals against Lafayette this past Saturday. A native of Medfield, Mass., MacLean has notched 12 goals and six assists for 18 points this season, which ranks third among Patriot League rookies.
Junior Joe Stucky also had a stupendous week for the Terriers en route to that pair of wins. He won a career-high 18 of the 25 faceoffs he took in the win over the Crimson before going 14-of-23 with a career-high 11 ground balls to lead BU past Lafayette, 15-7. Stucky finished the week 32-of-48 (66.7%) and gathered 17 ground balls. In his first season as the Terriers' primary faceoff man, Stucky has won 52.7 percent of his faceoffs (109-for-207). With his 100-win season, the Terriers have boasted someone who has won over 100 faceoffs in each of their first four seasons as a Division I program.
Lehigh is 4-4 overall and 2-3 in conference play following a 14-9 defeat at Navy last weekend. Saturday will be just the third home game for Lehigh this season; the Mountain Hawks are 2-1 when playing in Bethlehem. Andrew Pettit leads the Mountain Hawks in goals (24) and points (31) while Tristan Rai and Matt Raposo have served as the team's top distributors with 15 and 13 assists, respectively. Opponents that hold Lehigh to fewer than 10 goals are unbeaten against the Mountain Hawks.
Conor Gaffney is the team's top faceoff man, winning 59.2 percent of his draws. Goaltender Chris Kiernan has started all eight games for Lehigh, posting a 9.55 goals-against average and a .496 save percentage.
Following Saturday's contest, the Terriers will trek to league leader Army West Point on April 8.