Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/20/16
From Press Release
The Lehigh men’s lacrosse scored the game’s first four goals, host Furman responded with the next four, but the Mountain Hawks answered with another 6-0 run to put the game away, on their way to a 15-7 win on Saturday.
Senior Reid Weber (Germantown Academy) led Lehigh with six points to tie a career high while freshman Tristan Rai tallied five more points behind four goals and one assist. Sophomore Adam Sawicki was sensational in goal, making a career-high 15 saves. With the win, the Mountain Hawks improve to 2-1 on the season, heading into next Saturday’s Patriot League opener vs. Holy Cross.
“We felt like last week, we got caught on our heels in the first half against Duke then really shifted momentum in the second half,” said Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese. “A big emphasis this week was trying to roll the momentum into a fast start today. We talked about that and were able to execute, which was great to see; we were ready to play and brought the fight to them in the first quarter.”
Weber finished the day with four goals and two assists for his 13th career hat trick while Rai recorded his third hat trick in as many collegiate games. The four goals came on seven shots as he now owns 13 goals on 17 shots this season.
“I said to the guys at the break between the first and second quarters that any team coached by Richie Meade is going to fight back… and they did,” said Cassese. “We had a huge goal at the end of the second quarter to stop their run and I thought we had special leadership by Reid Weber and Tripp Telesco, really stepping up and taking the team on their shoulders and settling them down by some of the plays they made, and by their voices.”
Senior Billy Oppenheimer (Germantown Academy) scored twice for the Mountain Hawks while senior Alex Eaton posted four points (one goal, career-high three assists) and junior Matt Raposo had three points (one goal, two assists). Senior Ray Mastroianni, junior Cody Triolo and freshman Eddie Bouhall all scored a goal as well.
Defensively, freshman Craig Chick recorded two groundballs and two caused turnovers while junior Jason Kozel scooped three groundballs.
“Jason Kozel and Tripp did a great job leading the defense today and making timely plays,” said Cassese. “I thought Adam stepped up and played spectacularly as well. That’s more like the Adam Sawicki we’ve come to know this year. I’m happy he played a great game today.”
The Mountain Hawks began the game on fire, scoring the first six goals, beginning with a quick three-goal spurt in a one-minute span. Oppenheimer began the scoring with 12:18 remaining in the first quarter on the extra man, then Bouhall and Rai followed at the 11:39 and 11:23 marks. Bouhall’s goal was the first point of his career.
Triolo scored his first goal of the season at 4:45 to give Lehigh a 4-0 advantage before Weber and Eaton rounded out the first-quarter scoring.
The Paladins quickly got back into the game with four goals in the span of 3:48 in the second quarter. The fourth was scored with 5:45 on the clock to pull within 6-4. However, Rai scored his second goal of the game with 3:31 remaining in the first to give Lehigh a 7-4 halftime advantage.
The momentum carried over into the second half as Weber scored his second of the day at the 12:59 mark, then Oppenheimer, Weber, Rai and Mastroianni followed in successful to give Lehigh a 12-4 advantage midway through the third quarter. Rai’s goal was a highlight-reel tally, snatching a groundball off a Furman save and in one motion, firing a shot past Paladins’ goaltender Reilly McDermott.
Furman scored an extra man goal in the final minute of the third. However, just nine seconds into the fourth quarter, Rai scored his fourth goal of the game, man down, to give Lehigh a 13-5 lead as the Mountain Hawks went on to the 15-7 victory.
Final shots were 32-30 in favor of Lehigh while Furman held a 25-22 edge in groundballs. Sawicki’s 15 saves came across McDermott, who had five. The Mountain Hawks struggled from the faceoff X, winning 8-of-25.
Lehigh now turns its attention to Patriot League play as the Mountain Hawks host Holy Cross next Saturday (Feb. 27) at 12 p.m.
“This is what we’ve been training for,” said Cassese. “The first three nonleague games have featured a lot of ways to test ourselves and prepare us for the Patriot League season. We know it’s going to be a gauntlet. It starts next Saturday vs. Holy Cross.”