Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/14/16
From Press Releases
The Lehigh men’s lacrosse team outscored No. 3 Duke 9-4 over the final 33 minutes of the game, but the Mountain Hawks fell just short in a 13-11 defeat on Sunday afternoon.
Lehigh scored with 1:30, 45 seconds and 24 seconds remaining, but the Blue Devils won the ensuing faceoff to end any hopes of a comeback. Freshman Tristan Rai led the offense with four goals on the afternoon while senior Casey Eidenshink (La Salle) spearhead a defensive effort that helped force 19 Duke turnovers. Individually, Eidenshink finished the game with a team-high five groundballs and three caused turnovers.
“It was a tale of two halves,” said Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese. “In the first half, the athleticism and overall ability of Duke really overwhelmed us and I thought some of our young people were playing like a deer in the headlights a little bit. That was a negative in the first half. A positive in the second half was how the young players settled down and how our upperclassmen stepped up to help them settle down. I was very impressed with the effort in the second half and particularly in the fourth quarter to continue fighting until the bitter end.”
The game was a homecoming for Cassese, who was an All-American player and also assistant coach at Duke.
“A difference maker for Duke was their faceoff play, Kyle Rowe (18-of-27 faceoffs) and their goaltender Danny Fowler (14 saves), who played very well,” said Cassese.
Rai now owns a team-leading nine goals through two collegiate games, converting nine of his 10 shots and all nine of his shots on goal. Four seniors recorded multi-point efforts as Reid Weber (Germantown Academy) tallied his 12th career hat trick with three goals, Alex Eaton scored twice, Billy Oppenheimer (Germantown Academy) had a goal and two assists and Ray Mastroianni dished a pair of assists. Junior Matt Raposo added a goal and assist. Mastroianni’s two points set a new career high while Oppenheimer’s three points tied a career high.
Senior Tripp Telesco tallied three groundballs and two caused turnovers. Lehigh’s starting close defensemen of Eidenshink, Tripp Telesco and junior Jason Kozel combined for 11 groundballs and six caused turnovers. The Mountain Hawk defense held Tewaaraton Award Finalist Myles Jones to just one point (a goal) on the afternoon.
Also for Lehigh, Matt Ernst (Episcopal Academy) won 5 of 13 face-offs and Ian Strain (Episcopal Academy) had two groundballs while Andrew Pettit (Tower Hill) had one groundballs.
For Duke, defenseman Greg Pelton (Malvern Prep) had a goal and two groundballs while defenseman Jamie Ikeda (Conestoga) added two grounballs and one caused turnover.
“I thought our seniors stepped up,” said Cassese. “In particular, on the defensive end, Tripp and Casey played really well. We had two freshmen on the defensive side of the ball step up in Craig Chick and Eddie Bouhall. We had a great spark today from Billy Oppenheimer and Ray Mastroianni. I thought those guys did a tremendous job and Tristan Rai continues to not play like a freshman.”
Duke opened the scoring just 27 seconds into the game on an extra man opportunity, but the Mountain Hawks pulled even with 11:10 on the first-quarter clock as Rai scored his sixth goal of the season off a nifty feed from Raposo.
A transition goal from long pole Greg Pelton gave the Blue Devils a 2-1 lead, sparking a 5-0 run. Duke led 5-1 after one quarter of play, reaching 6-1 early in the second quarter. Weber scored his first of the game at the 12:04 mark of the second to pull Lehigh within 6-2, but Duke responded with the next three goals to take its largest lead of the game at 9-2 with exactly three minutes on the second-quarter clock.
Lehigh wouldn’t go away, slowly chipping into Duke’s lead. It began when Eaton scored an unassisted goal at 1:32 of the second quarter to pull his squad within 9-3 at the half.
The Mountain Hawks came out of the locker room on fire as sophomore Matt Ernst took his first faceoff of the afternoon and won the draw, which led to a Rai goal off a great feed from Mastroianni, pulling the Mountain Hawks within 9-4 just 15 seconds into the third.
Oppenheimer followed just over three minutes later, but the Blue Devils answered with two in a row to retake a six-goal, 11-5 advantage late in the third quarter.
Again, Lehigh wouldn’t go away quietly, scoring the next three goals as Raposo converted a centering pass from Oppenheimer, Weber scored a man-up goal just 19 seconds into the fourth quarter and Eaton scored his second goal of the afternoon to pull the Mountain Hawks within 11-8 with 10:41 still remaining in the third.
Duke responded with two straight goals to regain control, but Lehigh had one last-ditch effort. Rai began the run at the 1:30 mark while Weber scored an unassisted tally on a delayed penalty 45 seconds later. On the ensuing extra man, Rai scored his fourth of the game to pull Lehigh within 13-11 with 24 seconds remaining. However, the Blue Devils won the ensuing faceoff to wrap up the victory.
Final shots were 44-36 in favor of Lehigh while Duke held a 33-30 edge in groundballs. The Blue Devils won 18-of-27 faceoffs on the afternoon. Sophomore Adam Sawicki made eight saves in goal (seven over the final three quarters), across Duke’s Danny Fowler, who made 14 including six in the fourth quarter. The Mountain Hawks were 1-of-7 on extra man opportunities compared to Duke’s 1-of-5.
Lehigh SCORING: GOALS: Rai, Tristan 4; Weber, Reid 3; Eaton, Alex 2; Oppenheimer, Billy 1; Raposo, Matt 1.
ASSISTS: Mastroianni, Ray 2; Oppenheimer, Billy 2; Raposo, Matt 1.
Duke University SCORING: GOALS: Case Matheis 3; Justin Guterding 2; Chad Cohan 2; Jack Bruckner 1; Deemer Class 1; Myles Jones 1; Kyle Rowe 1; Greg Pelton 1; Brad Smith 1.
ASSISTS: Jack Bruckner 2; Deemer Class 1; Justin Guterding 1
Michigan 10, Colgate 9
Stefan Bergman (La Salle) had three groundballs and two caused turnovers to lead the Michigan defense.
Peter Donato (Radnor) had two goals and an assist for Colgate while Eric Foote (Hill School) added a goal and an assist.
Bucknell 11, Bryant 10
Tommy O’Connor (Malvern Prep) had a goal and two assists for the Bison (2-0) while Shane Morrell (Episcopal Academy) led Bryant with a goal, an assist and four groundballs.