Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/27/13
From Press Release
The #14/16 Lehigh men’s lacrosse team went on an 8-0 run spanning nearly 26 minutes in the second and third quarters to reach the Patriot League Championship Game for the second straight year as the Mountain Hawks defeated Colgate 15-7 in a semifinal Friday night at the Ulrich Sports Complex.
The Mountain Hawks built a 10-goal lead late in the third quarter and coasted to their 11th win of the season.
Top seed Lehigh will now face second-seeded Bucknell for the Patriot League Championship Sunday at 3 p.m. The Bison defeated #3 seed Army 12-9 in Friday’s first semifinal.
“Colgate was a little slower to slide than they were the last time around and they took us off our rhythm a little bit in the first quarter, made us a little bit more individually oriented on offense as opposed to playing as a team,” said Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese about the team’s slower start. “That took us off our game plan a little bit, but I thought we stepped up, got some big goals and our defense really stood tall.”
Senior David DiMaria led a balanced Lehigh attack with three goals and three assists, his second straight six-point game. In all, five players tallied multiple goals for the Mountain Hawks, including senior captain Brian Hess who set a career high with four points on two goals and two assists. Lehigh (11-4) has now won 11 straight games over Patriot League opponents over the last two seasons.
The contest was scoreless through the first six minutes before DiMaria dished to sophomore Patrick Corbett for his 19th goal of the season. Late in the first quarter, it was Corbett doing the dishing as he found senior Alex Drake in front of the crease for his seventh of the year. Brendon McCann responded 11 seconds later for Colgate, but it would be the last goal scored by the Raiders until a man up tally by Ryan Walsh with 5:19 left in the third.
Lehigh’s 8-0 run began with four goals in the second quarter. Sophomore Kurtis Kaunas (Parkland) and junior Matt Smith (Conestoga) scored in the first half of the quarter to give the Mountain Hawks a 4-1 lead, before DiMaria scored twice in the final 3:22 from point blank range, including a stuff with eight seconds left before halftime that gave Lehigh a 6-1 lead at the break.
The Mountain Hawks won just two of nine face-offs in the first half, so Cassese called on junior Ryan Buttenbaum (Conestoga), who responded by going 11-for-19 at the X.
“Ryan Buttenbaum is the best kept secret in the Patriot League when it comes to facing off,” said Cassese. “We have 1A and 1B in the faceoff game and when one of them has a poor matchup one night or they’re a little bit off, the other one steps up. Tonight was no different.”
Lehigh opened the third quarter with three quick goals, from Drake, Hess and senior Dante Fantoni forcing a Raider timeout. Corbett’s second of the night capped the run with an unassisted goal at the 8:42 mark of the third.
Following Walsh’s tally for Colgate, Lehigh added two more as DiMaria fed a cutting Kyle Stiefel at 3:17 and then Hess scored his second at 1:46 to give the Mountain Hawks their largest lead at 12-2.
The lead afforded Cassese an opportunity to rest some of his starters for much of the fourth quarter. Fantoni opened the period with his second of the night, while DiMaria completed his hat trick on a feed from Hess with 10:35 to play. Sophomore Klay Heston got in on the act in the final minute on a feed from Buttenbaum.
McCann led Colgate with three goals and an assist while Walsh had two goals and scooped up seven groundballs. Raiders star Peter Baum was held without a goal by Lehigh freshman Tripp Telesco.
Colgate finished with a 40-35 advantage in shots, while Lehigh won the groundball battle 35-32. The Raiders finished with a 14-12 edge in faceoff wins and were 2-for-5 on the man up.
Buttenbaum led Lehigh with seven ground balls, while seniors Baxter Lanius and Mike Noone combined for nine ground balls and five caused turnovers.
Sophomore Matt Poillon allowed five goals and made eight saves in 49:25 of action before giving way to senior Griffin Farha, who allowed two goals and stopped five shots.
Conor Murphy took the loss for Colgate allowing 10 goals and making seven saves in 36:18.
Lehigh and Bucknell will meet for the Patriot League title Sunday at 3 p.m. from the Ulrich Sports Complex. The Mountain Hawks will be looking to win their second straight tournament title, while Bucknell will be looking to win its second title in three years. The winner earns the league’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. The game will be televised live on CBS Sports Network.
“We know what we’re going to get on Sunday and we’re going to need a full team effort,” said Cassese. “We need our defense to play well, our offense to play well and we need to play well between the lines. We’ll have to do that for a full 60 minutes and maybe some extra.”