Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/5/13
The Pennsylvania men’s lacrosse team used a stout defensive effort and even better goalkeeping Tuesday night to upend Lehigh, 6-4, at the Ulrich Sports Complex.
Penn (3-1) was outshot in the game by 19th-ranked Lehigh (3-3), 32-27, but junior goalkeeper Brian Feeney had 17 saves to backstop the 18th-ranked Quakers. It was a career high for the junior, and redemption after his first rough outing of the season last Saturday at Denver (6 saves, 15 goals allowed).
Defensively, Matt McMahon had five groundballs and a caused turnover, Anthony Santomo had four caused turnovers and two groundballs and Maxx Meyer added two groundballs and two caused turnovers.
In a game that was a chess match throughout, Will Laco got Penn on the board with 3:13 left in the first quarter to open the scoring, taking a feed from Tim Schwalje and rifling a shot over Lehigh goalkeeper Griffin Farha’s right shoulder. Just 1:07 later, Penn doubled its lead when Ryan Parietti dodged a defender on the left side and beat Farha over the same shoulder at the near post.
Lehigh (3-3) drew even in the second quarter. Dante Fantoni got the Mountain Hawks on the board with 11:18 left, finishing a feed from Kyle Stiefel, and then three minutes later Brian Hess netted the equalizer.
However, Penn got an important goal from sophomore Joe McCallion (Haverford School) in the final minute of the half. He dodged a pair of defenders and pushed a shot past Farha’s right leg to give the Quakers a lead they would never relinquish.
Penn had the only goal of the third quarter, Nick Doktor scoring unassisted with 6:13 left.
Lehigh made it a one-goal game with 13:03 left in the final quarter, Cody Ferraro taking a feed from Fantoni and bouncing a shot past Feeney. However, nearly five minutes later Schwalje made it a two-goal game again with an unassisted goal.
Mark Leonhard made it 6-3 with just 3:04 left, taking a feed from Isaac Bock and firing home a lefty shot as he slipped on the wet turf.
Stiefel scored an extra-man goal with 29 seconds to close out the scoring for Lehigh. David DiMaria had the assist, his only point on the night thanks to a blanket defensive job by senior Anthony Santomo. (DiMaria came into the game with 29 points in Lehigh’s first five contests).
“We took some poor shots, especially early on that made us lose some confidence,” said Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese. “If you told me we would’ve held them to six goals, I thought we would win the game, but unfortunately our offense let us down a little bit in the end. While we played together and supported each other on the defensive end, we didn’t do that on the offensive end and that’s why we scored four goal.”
Mike Noone (La Salle) was a monster on defense for Lehigh with six caused turnovers and five groundballs. Freshman Tripp Telesco posted three groundballs and a caused turnover while junior Ty Souders (Emmaus) had two groundballs and a caused turnover as well.
“I think that’s a product of our system – all our guys playing the way they should play and Mike [Noone] just being in the right spots,” said Cassese. “He’s a great talent and we know what we’re going to get with him. We just need a total team effort to get some wins.”
Penn returns to action with another regional rival, Villanova, on Saturday as part of the Whitman’s Sampler Independence Classic at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. The Quakers and Wildcats will face off at approximately 2:30 p.m. as the middle game of the tripleheader; Syracuse and St. John’s will start the day at noon, and Penn State-Lehigh will close things out at approximately 5 p.m. All three games will be televised live on ESPN3.com.
Lehigh held the final edge in shots (32-27) and groundballs (28-25). The Mountain Hawks won 8-of-14 faceoffs as senior Ryan Snyder (Reading native, Dukes LC) was 5-for-8 and junior Ryan Buttenbaum (Conestoga) 3-for-6.
Lehigh will head to PPL Park for the Whitman’s Sampler Independence Classic against #12/13 Penn State on Saturday at 5 p.m.