by Jake Scearbo ’17
Lacrosse is not a game where the defense stops the offense completely, but a game in which a team must weather the shots. The only way to have a great defense is to have a goalie that can bail out his or her defenders when needed. Tate Boyce ’19, the Providence College Men’s Lacrosse Team’s starting goalie, is a brick wall in the cage that has churned the Friars to a seven and three record thus far.
Boyce, after his strong play in an overtime victory over Drexel, was named to the Big East honor roll. Boyce only allowed eight goals in that overtime game and recorded 14 saves. In the very next game against St. Johns to open up Big East conference play, the Friars rolled to a 15-6 victory. Boyce only played three quarters but allowed three goals in his shortened action and was credited with seven saves. Now that the Friars are entering conference play, Boyce will need to step up his game even more against the stronger competition.
The Friars are ranked third in all of Division I college lacrosse in scoring defense, only allowing a stingy 7.1 goals per game. Boyce is a huge reason for that statistic. His personal goals allowed per game are actually lower than the team average at 6.60 and his save percentage is at just over 60 percent. While these numbers may not seem impressive compared to a major sport like hockey, they are incredibly impressive when it comes to lacrosse goalkeeping. Boyce’s save percentage is the sixth best in the nation out of 66 qualifying goalies. His average goals allowed per game is even better—second best in the nation. Small schools like Providence rarely breed goalie talents like Boyce.
A native of Matthews, North Carolina, Boyce came a long way to make his mark on a rising athletic program. Hockey and basketball normally get the glory at PC, but this sophomore is here to leave his legacy on PC athletics. Being in the Big East conference subjects Boyce to some of the best competition in Division I lacrosse. The Friars have upcoming games against Brown, Denver, and Villanova, all of whom are established programs. Victories against these opponents will go a long way in growing the PC lacrosse program. Brown and Denver both rank in the top 10 in scoring offense, so Boyce will need to be on his game to secure victories over those vaunted offenses.
Lacrosse needs to garner more respect on campus because of how much skill is required to play at a high level. Boyce has shown again and again this season why he is one of the best and most talented goalies in all of college lacrosse. Big East honor roll will not be the last award this athlete receives in his college career, as he is only a sophomore and will keep improving. Keep an eye out for number 20 between the pipes because Boyce is exciting to watch, and is one of the reasons for a successful 2017 season. The Friars play this Saturday at home against Georgetown for their next Big East tilt.