Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/26/16
From Press Release
Having earned a sixth straight Patriot League Tournament berth, the fifth-seeded Lehigh men’s lacrosse team travels to fourth seed Army West Point today for the quarterfinals. Opening faceoff is set for 4 p.m. in Michie Stadium. Lehigh will face the Black Knights in the Patriot League Tournament for the third time in the last five years.
The Mountain Hawks are struggling entering the postseason, having lost four straight games and six of their last seven contests. Several games have been extremely close, however, including one-goal losses to Loyola and Cornell. Most recently, Lehigh dropped its regular season finale at Bucknell last Friday, 15-7.
The Bison jumped out to a 6-1 lead on Friday early in the second quarter, but the Mountain Hawks bounced back to score four of the next six goals, allowing just two goals over a 28-minute stretch. A man-up goal from freshman Tristan Rai pulled Lehigh within 8-5 with 8:30 still remaining in the third quarter. Just 31 seconds later, junior Ian Strain (Episcopal Academy) had a great look at the cage, but Bucknell goaltender Christian Klipstein made an impressive save to keep Lehigh’s deficit at three. Bucknell ended the third quarter with two goals in the final minute to take a 10-5 lead after 45 minutes of play, and the Mountain Hawks could never recover.
Rai led the Lehigh offense with three points behind a goal and two assists. Senior Alex Eaton added two goals while Strain, senior Ray Mastroianni and freshmen Andrew Pettit and Zach Drake (La Salle) scored the Mountain Hawks’ other goals. Drake’s goal came in his first collegiate game.
Lehigh struggled at the faceoff dot, winning just 2-of-26 faceoffs. Unlike in its game against Cornell, the Mountain Hawks struggled to cause turnovers, causing just six of Bucknell’s nine turnovers on the evening. Freshman close defenseman Eddie Bouhall had a strong game, posting a groundball and two caused turnovers in just his third-career start. Pettit recorded a career-high four groundballs along with a nifty caused turnover when he snatched the ball away from Klipstein in-close. Strain scored the game’s first goal and added two groundballs and a caused turnover.
Three Mountain Hawks, all seniors, were recognized on Monday with All-Patriot League honors as Reid Weber (Germantown Academy) and Tripp Telesco were named first team All-League while Billy Oppenheimer (Germantown Academy) earned second team laurels. The honor marked the first-career honors of Weber and Oppenheimer while Telesco earned it for a second time (also as a sophomore).
Lehigh will look to continue its success against Army West Point in the Patriot League Tournament. Most recently, the Mountain Hawks and Black Knights squared off in the 2014 semifinals. In that game, Weber scored with just 3.7 seconds remaining to give Lehigh a thrilling 12-11 win. The Mountain Hawks have lost three of their last four in West Point.
Army West Point enters the Patriot League Tournament with an 8-5 record, including 5-3 in league play. The Black Knights began the season 7-2, but have lost three of their last four games. In their most recent games, Army West Point dropped an overtime heartbreaker to Navy before falling at Loyola on Friday, 12-6. Cole Johnson leads the team in scoring with 62 points with 31 goals and 31 assists.
Conor Glancy (Malvern Prep) has six goals and four assists as a reserve attackman.
Army West Point has won two straight against Lehigh to take a 23-7 lead in the all-time series. Prior to the Black Knights’ two-game streak, Lehigh had won four of the previous five meetings. Tuesday will mark the third time in five seasons Lehigh and Army square off in the Patriot League Tournament. The Mountain Hawks beat the Black Knights in the 2014 Patriot League Semifinals at Loyola, 12-11 as Weber scored with just 3.7 seconds remaining to send his squad to the championship game. Lehigh also earned a 13-7 win over the Black Knights in the 2012 semifinals at Colgate. Six of Lehigh’s seven all-time wins against the Black Knights have come in the last 13 meetings. Army won the first-ever meeting in 1922 by a 4-1 final before the sides reconvened in 1990, a 15-11 Army victory. Lehigh’s first win was in 1999, 13-9.
If the Mountain Hawks win, they would advance to the Patriot League Semifinals on Friday evening at Navy. Lehigh would face either No. 1 Navy or No. 2 Loyola, depending on the results of the No. 6 Holy Cross at No. 3 Bucknell quarterfinal game.
Like Lehigh men’s lacrosse on Facebook, follow on Twitter and Instagram for continued updates on the Mountain Hawks.