Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/14/15
From Press Release
Lehigh and Furman went back and forth for most of the game as the Paladins scored four straight fourth-quarter goals to take an 11-10 lead, but the Mountain Hawks responded with the final four tallies for a 14-11 win on Saturday in Greenville, S.C. Senior Dan Taylor led the Lehigh offense with nine points (five goals, four assists) to tie a career high while defensively, junior Casey Eidenshink (la Salle) posted a career-high six groundballs and senior Lukas Mikelinich had three caused turnovers.
“I’m proud of the effort, particularly after we went down by a goal in the fourth quarter,” said Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese. “I’m proud of the commitment that we showed and proud of the poise we showed on the offensive end in the fourth quarter. We didn’t touch the ball on offense until there were seven minutes left in the fourth. The field was tilted in their direction. When we finally got the ball, we were down by one after being up by three going into the break. I thought we showed some good poise, we battled and we were able to make some plays on the offensive end and on the defensive end towards the end of the quarter.”
Along with Taylor, junior Reid Weber (Germantown Academy) tied a career high with five points, finishing with three goals (for his fifth-career hat trick) and two assists. Senior Kurtis Kaunas (Parkland) and junior Billy Oppenheimer (Germantown Academy) each scored twice while sophomores Matt Raposo and Mike Sammarro posted their first goals of the season.
Sophomore Casey McAdam was strong at the faceoff X, winning 13-of-24 draws with three groundballs. Senior Alan Henderson also scooped three groundballs. Furman was led by Kenny Meinsen, who had six goals and seven assists.
Lehigh got off to a fast start, scoring the game’s first two goals including a Weber tally just 38 seconds into the game. Raposo scored his first goal of the season just over two minutes later for the 2-0 advantage.
Furman responded with the next three goals to take a late first-quarter lead, but the Mountain Hawks scored the next two, from Sammarro and Oppenheimer, to make it 4-3 early in the second quarter.
Tied at four, Taylor took over, having a hand in the Mountain Hawks’ next seven goals. He began by dishing assists to Weber and Kaunas, then scoring goals at 2:57 and 0:12 of the second quarter to make it 8-5 Lehigh at the half.
The Paladins scored the first two goals of the third quarter, but Eidenshink made a big defensive play as Furman was looking to tie, forcing a turnover and scooping the groundball which led to a Taylor transition goal with 5:10 left in the third quarter.
“I thought Casey (Eidenshink) was an animal today,” said Cassese. “He was doing a lot, but was also playing within our system. We brought him up to the faceoff wing a lot and he made his presence felt there. I thought he played a tremendous game today.”
Taylor added his fourth goal of the game with just four seconds remaining, a highlight-reed goal off a feed from Weber that made it 10-7 after three quarters of play.
The Paladins scored two goals in the first 38 seconds of the fourth quarter and carried that momentum to two more goals and an 11-10 lead. Taylor responded with a goal, off a Henderson feed, at 6:50 to even the score at 11. Oppenheimer gave the Mountain Hawks a 12-11 advantage just 1:42 later.
“That was a huge play, really fundamentally-sound dodge and shot by Billy,” said Cassese. “It was great for him. He’s been working hard and he delivered in a big spot for us today. I’m proud of his effort.”
Then, after a long possession, Kaunas gave the Mountain Hawks insurance and a two-goal lead with 1:47 on the clock. Weber added a man-up goal with 23 seconds remaining for the 14-11 final.
The Paladins finished with a 39-38 edge in shots while the Mountain Hawks had a 24-18 advantage in groundballs. There were just 21 combined turnovers in the game (11 for Furman and 10 for Lehigh). Senior Matt Poillon made nine saves in goal, across Furman’s Reilly McDermott who made 12.
The Mountain Hawks will open Patriot League play next Saturday (Feb. 21) when they host Boston University at 1 p.m.
“We’re better this week than we were last week and we hope to be better next week than we were this year,” said Cassese. “We’ll have to be because Boston University has the potential to be the best team we’ve played so far.”