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Patriot League playoffs: Lehigh men, women fall in first round-round games

Wednesday, 22nd April 2015

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Girl's/Women's, Posted 4/22/15
From Press Releases

Bucknell jumped out to a 7-1 lead, the Lehigh men’s lacrosse team pulled within four, but couldn’t get any closer as the Mountain Hawks fell 13-8 at Bucknell in the Patriot League Quarterfinals on Tuesday evening. Junior Reid Weber (Germantown Academy) led Lehigh with a career-high five goals while senior Dan Taylor tallied a goal and two assists to finish his season with 77 points and storied career with 220, good for fourth in league history.

“I was disappointed with the way we came out, but I thought a lot of it had to do with them. Bucknell came and they showed up,” said Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese. “They carried the play for the beginning of the game and then kept it going throughout. We tried to make a run a couple times, but it just wasn’t enough. They played better than we did, so they deserved to win.”

Weber and Taylor combined for six goals and three assists while senior Kurtis Kaunas (Parkland) and sophomore Casey McAdam scored goals as well. McAdam came into the faceoff X and impressed, winning 14-of-21 to give the Mountain Hawks a chance to pull closer. He also scooped a team-high seven groundballs. Defensively, junior Casey Eidenshink had four groundballs and two caused turnovers while Weber scooped four groundballs on the attacking end as well.

Bucknell came out on fire, scoring the game’s first five goals to put the Mountain Hawks into an early hole. Weber got Lehigh on the board with 23 seconds left in the first quarter off a feed from senior Alan Henderson, pulling Lehigh within 5-1 after 15 minutes of play.

The Bison responded with the first two goals of the second quarter. After Bucknell made it 6-1, Taylor had a point-blank opportunity but Bison goalie Sam Grinberg made a big stop. That led to a Thomas Flibotte goal on the other end less than one minute later which made it 7-1 with 13:12 on the clock, forcing a Lehigh timeout.

From there, the Mountain Hawks outscored Bucknell 2-0 the rest of the quarter, both goals coming from Weber off feeds from Taylor. The first was on a delayed penalty and the second was on the extra man, helping Lehigh pull within 7-3 at the half.

The teams traded goals to begin the third quarter until the Bison scored two straight to take a 10-4 advantage with 5:21 left in the third quarter. Weber answered with his fourth of the game directly off the ensuing faceoff, corralling a loose ball after a save and finding the open net. However, Bucknell scored the final goal of the quarter to taken 11-5 advantage after 45 minutes of play.

Bucknell took a 12-5 lead early in the fourth quarter, but the Mountain Hawks responded with three of the game’s final four goals. Weber scored his fifth, from Henderson, followed by McAdam’s first-career goal on a rebound and a Kaunas tally, from Weber, which made it 13-8 with 2:35 remaining. That proved to be the final.

Final shots were 38-33 in favor of Lehigh while the Mountain Hawks held a 32-27 edge in groundballs. Freshman Adam Sawicki made two saves before being relieved by sophomore Donny Stires who made five stops. Grinberg made 13 saves for Bucknell, including nine in the second half.

Lehigh ends its season at 7-9, advancing to its fifth straight Patriot League Tournament appearance. The senior class tied last year’s class as the winningest in program history, advancing to four league tournaments and winning two championships.

“It was a tough year all around, but the way that we finished is what I’ll remember,” said Cassese. “We won five of our last seven. I will remember guys like Dan Taylor and Lukas Mikelinich holding us together through some pretty tough times. The career that a guy like Dan Taylor had is pretty impressive. I’m thankful for the seniors for leading us through this and sorry their careers ended tonight.”

BU 8, Lehigh 7

The Lehigh women’s lacrosse team fought back from a 5-2 first-half deficit to tie the score at seven, but Boston University scored the game-winning goal with 2:25 remaining to defeat the Mountain Hawks in the Patriot League Quarterfinals on Tuesday. The loss snapped Lehigh’s impressive seven-game road winning streak.

“The team continued to battle and they were resilient in their effort, staying tough and fighting back,” said Lehigh head coach Jill Redfern. “We had too many turnovers at the end of the day and we just couldn’t capitalize late in the game.”

Lehigh ends its season with a 9-8 record, advancing to the Patriot League Tournament for a second consecutive season. Senior Carli Sukonik (Harriton) led the Mountain Hawks’ offense with four goals to end her storied career with 140.

“Carli did today what she’s done so many times for us, which is put the ball in the back of the cage,” said Redfern. “We’ve relied on her throughout her career to score. We have big shoes to fill in replacing that production.”

Senior defenders Lauren Willcox (Agnes Irwin) and Michelle Abramczyk, along with sophomore Lauren Beausoleil, scored the Mountain Hawks’ other goals. Sophomore Taylor Tvedt enjoyed a strong game, making eight saves including six in the first half. Senior Kelly Scott led the defense with three caused turnovers.

Boston University scored just 33 seconds into the game then made it 2-0 at the 21:34 mark. Willcox pulled Lehigh within 2-1 at 13:43, but the Terriers responded with the next two and three of the next four goals to take a 5-2 lead with 4:16 on the clock. The Mountain Hawks answered in a big way, scoring twice in the final 39 seconds of the first half, as Abramczyk scored her second-career goal and Sukonik netted her second of the game with 14 seconds remaining to pull within 5-4 at the half.

The teams traded goals early in the second half until two straight Sukonik goals tied the score at seven with 8:15 left in the second half. The first was assisted by junior Kendall Garden off a free position opportunity then Sukonik converted a free position chance of her own to pull Lehigh even for the first time.

With less than four minutes left, Beausoleil made a great move to the front of the cage and fired a shot which was stopped by Terriers’ goalie Caroline Meegan. On the other end, Boston University took an 8-7 lead on an Ally Adams unassisted goal at 2:25.

Lehigh won the ensuing draw control and had several chances to tie the score. Boston University caused two turnovers in the final 1:44, but the scrappy Mountain Hawks got the ball back. Beausoleil helped gain possession with just over one minute remaining, which led to a free position chance from Garden that went wide with 40 seconds remaining. After a Lehigh turnover, Meegan corralled the loose ball but rolled it towards the crease. Instead of hitting the side of the net, it went in front and the Mountain Hawks got one final desperation shot off. Beausoleil redirected the ball towards the cage, but Meegan came back to make her ninth save of the game as time expired and preserve her team’s 8-7 victory.

Final shots were 24-17 in favor of Boston University while the Terriers held a 21-9 edge in groundballs and Lehigh finished with a 12-5 advantage in draw controls.

The Mountain Hawks wrapped up a strong season highlighted by a seven-game road winning streak, a road win against Rutgers in front of a nationally-televised audience and the team’s second straight postseason appearance. Lehigh’s defense was especially strong, allowing single-digit goals in 13 of 17 games.



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