BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Senior Timmy Ley scored with five seconds remaining in regulation to lift the No. 16/15 Boston University men’s lacrosse team to a 9-8 victory at Lehigh on Saturday and clinch the program’s first-ever Patriot League regular-season title.
Lehigh (7-5, 5-2 PL) tied the score with 1:04 to play, but junior Conor Calderone won the ensuing faceoff and the Terriers called timeout to set up the final possession. BU (10-3, 7-0 PL) ran the clock down to the final eight seconds, before senior Matt Hilburn ran to X and dished the ball inside the Ley. Hilburn’s co-captain caught the ball and then fired a spinning backhander past James Spence for his third goal of the game.
So fitting that our two captains connected to give us our first-ever Patriot League regular-season title. They’ve been outstanding leaders all year. pic.twitter.com/BZrrqHpDqy
— BU Men’s Lacrosse (@TerrierMLAX) April 23, 2022
Calderone was outstanding all game at the X against Lehigh’s Mike Sisselberger, the reigning PL Faceoff Specialist of the Year who entered Saturday with the second-best faceoff percentage in the country (.669). Calderone went 13-for-21 against Sisselberger, including an 8-for-10 performance in the second quarter.
Junior Louis Perfetto led the Terriers with four points on one goal and three assists. His second-quarter goal was the 100th point of his incredible BU career. Perfetto is the eighth Terrier in program history to reach the 100-point milestone.
Juniors Vince D’Alto and Thomas Niedringhaus each tallied two goals, with D’Alto adding an assist for a three-point afternoon. Senior Matt Baugher found the back of the net and sophomore Tommy Bourque added an assist.
Junior Roy Meyer had another monster day on the defensive end for BU. The LSM-turned-close defender recorded four caused turnovers and collected five ground balls, both of which were team highs. Meyer also secured his third assist of the season after he forced a giveaway during a Lehigh clear and set up D’Alto’s opening goal.
Senior goalkeeper Matt Garber was terrific on Saturday. He made 10 saves, including seven in the second half. Several of his stops came from point-blank range.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Meyer turned defense into offense to get the Terriers on the board first. He picked off an outlet pass during a Lehigh clear and then ran into the box before passing to D’Alto for the goal.
- Lehigh answered with a pair of markers to take a 2-1 lead into the second stanza.
- The Terriers retook the lead with two goals in a 43-second span off the sticks of D’Alto and Baugher.
- Lehigh scored at 11:54 to tie the game again, but Ley and Niedringhaus both scored in a span of 34 seconds to make it a 5-3 game.
- The Mountain Hawks got within one at 8:25 of the quarter.
- Perfetto recorded his 100th career point just 26 seconds after that Lehigh goal. After a Terrier faceoff win, Bourque subbed onto the field and quickly saw a wide-open Perfetto at the left post. Perfetto caught the pass and made no mistake in scoring his 21st goal of the season.
- Ley’s second of the day pushed the Terrier lead to 7-4 with 5:36 left in the half, but the Mountain Hawks got a goal back to create a 7-5 halftime score.
- The two goalkeepers combined for eight saves in the third quarter, with Lehigh finally breaking through to cut the BU lead to 7-6 with 15 seconds to play in the frame.
- Niedringhaus’ second of the day with 10:36 remaining in regulation made it 8-6.
- Lehigh cut the BU lead to one with 2:26 to play before evening the score with 1:04 to go, but Calderone won the next faceoff and set the stage for Ley’s heroics.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Ley pushed his NCAA-best goal scoring streak to 35 games.
- D’Alto extended his point streak to 28 games and his goal scoring streak to 26 games.
- Meyer, who entered the day as the NCAA leader in caused turnovers per game, now has 40 total caused turnovers this season.
- Calderone and the Terrier faceoff unit held Sisselberger to the lowest faceoff win percentage (.381) of his impressive collegiate career.
- Junior Walker Ker collected a career-best three ground balls to help BU win the ground ball battle, 34-30.
- The Terrier ride forced Lehigh into five failed clears.
- BU’s man-down unit went 3-for-3 against Lehigh’s man-up offense.
- The Terriers held Lehigh to just 28 shots, marking just the second time this season that the Mountain Hawks were held below 30 shots.
- This was the Terriers’ first win at Lehigh; after last weekend’s win at Loyola, BU has now defeated every Patriot League opponent both home and away.
- BU will celebrate its Class of 2022 prior to hosting No. 6/5 Army West Point on Friday, April 29, at Nickerson Field.
- Opening faceoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.