New England Lacrosse Journal - April 2017 - 14
Division 1 Men
'It's been special to be a part of. It's the belief we can be successful.
It's been consistent with my time here, especially after the freshman year.'
- Boston University goalie Christian Carson-Banister
The team has improved its
win total each year, going from
two to six to eight victories last
season, and stood 9-1 through
its first 10 games in late March.
The Terriers were ranked 19th
in the last USILA rankings.
"It has a different feel to it,"
BU coach Ryan Polley said.
"We had a good start the last
three years and it feels different.
We've been in games that the
last couple years, I'm not sure
we would have won."
Through 10 games, CarsonBanister has a 7.27 goals-against
average and .619 save percentage, both of which are career
bests. In late March, he was
ranked seventh in the nation in
GAA and fifth in save percentage.
One reason for his success,
he feels, is his background in
martial arts, where he is a black
belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
"That's helped me in cage
with my flexibility," he said.
"It's such a huge part of playing
goalie, making saves you usually can't make."
Carson-Banister is a native
of Dallas, an area that only now
is starting to catch on to the
While a number of players
on the team come from the traditional hotbeds of New York
and Maryland, or the home
state of Massachusetts, Carson-Banister
was not surrounded by competitive lacrosse.
"My middle school, not many people
knew what lacrosse was. People would
ask, 'What is that?'" he said. "It was
great to play at the Jesuit Classic during spring break to play Georgetown
Prep (Maryland), Gonzaga (D.C.), St. Ignatius in California, and we played Gilman (Maryland) my senior year. It was
difficult. You play against great teams.
It comes down to the depth they have.
They have so many lines of talented
players. That was the difficulty.
"In the summer, you have to play to
be recruited," he added. "There's not
many (recruiting camps) in the South
besides T99, so you're going to Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania. The
competition was solid (in Texas), but it's
nothing like it is up east. We did go play
teams like that to acclimate to the game,
scored the game-winner in double overtime.
"(The win) gave us a lot of
confidence in the fact that we're
never out of it," Polley said.
"Guys have to step up. It's more
of a team effort. It gave us confidence that we can get stops.
Christian was key. He made one
nice save in overtime, and the
offense has been able to score
some nice goals."
Three weeks later, the team
was on the road against No. 17
Navy in a Patriot League game.
Navy went on a six-goal run
to take a 7-5 lead in the fourth
quarter. BU scored the final
three goals, however, including
the game-winner with under
two seconds left by junior Jack
Wilson, and won, 8-7.
"Our guys stayed calm and
focused and knew they could
win the game," Carson-Banister
said. "The experience we had in
the Providence game showed
in the Navy game. No one lost
their temperament, which was
amazing. The confidence to
play in tense situations is what
that gave us."
There still is a long road for
the Terriers to potentially make
their NCAA tournament debut.
They had five games remaining in the regular season, four
of which are conference games,
and also will play past national
champions Loyola and Duke.
"We try to string five great
practices together and play on Saturday," Polley said. "It's been correlated to
how well we play. Guys don't take practices off. We have 50 guys contributing
to the success of our team."
Carson-Banister is proud of what he
and his team accomplished both this
season and through his four years in
"It's been special to be a part of," he
said. "It's the belief we can be successful.
It's been consistent with my time here, especially after the freshman year. We had
to change our mindset. Instead of saying, 'We hope to keep the game close,' or,
'Wow, we're playing Duke or Navy,' to, 'We
want to beat every team we play against.'
That started sophomore year and carried
through to my senior year."
Continued from Page 13
and see what the top-level teams are and
how they played."
Carson-Banister was not heavily recruited, partially because he was his
school's second goaltender, backing up
Dan Morris, who is the starter at Maryland. At the time, Yale and Polley, an assistant coach there, showed some interest, but nothing came of it.
When looking at colleges, one school
he liked was Boston University, but he
lamented that there was no lacrosse program.
"I didn't know if I was going to be
able to play at the next level," he said.
"I was visiting some schools in the area
and driving through Boston and down
Comm. Ave. It's movie-esque. I looked at
my dad and said, 'Wow, I wish BU had a
team.' It's a beautiful area and you're in
In February 2012, BU announced
it was adding men's lacrosse and, five
14 NEW ENGLAND LACROSSE JOURNAL April 2017
BU senior Christian Carson-Banister ranked
seventh in the nation in GAA in late March.
months later, it named Polley the team's
Carson-Banister said he reached out
and Polley remembered him.
"I'm not going to sugar-coat anything," said Polley. "We thought he'd be
our third-string goalie. We brought in
three goalies to start the program, and it
became very evident very quickly Christian was going to challenge for the starting position. He's fundamentally sound.
In our first scrimmage, he played well.
He beat out the other two kids."
The 2017 season almost began with
disappointment. The team opened up
on the road at Providence and went into
the fourth quarter down 7-4. The Terriers held the Friars scoreless in the final
quarter, however, while tying the game;
sophomore Brendan Homire eventually
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