Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/7/17
From Press Release
The Lehigh men’s lacrosse team grabbed three of the five Patriot League weekly awards following its 15-5 season-opening victory over NJIT, as announced by the league on Monday. Freshman Conor Gaffney (Lenape-NJ, Duke’s LC) took home two awards, Patriot League Faceoff Specialist of the Week and Rookie of the Week, while sophomore Craig Chick was named Defensive Player of the Week.
Gaffney won 19-of-22 faceoffs (86.4 percent) in his stellar performance against the Highlanders Saturday. The 86.4 percentage was the best in the nation during the opening weekend of regular-season action. He scooped 16 groundballs as well, most by a Lehigh player since Kevin Cassese became Mountain Hawks’ head coach 10 years ago. It was also the most faceoff wins for a Mountain Hawk since current Lehigh assistant coach Will Scudder won 19 on April 11, 2009 at Bucknell.
Gaffney’s 16 groundballs lead the nation. For perspective, there were only five times in the entire 2016 season when a Division I player reached 16 groundballs in a game. Gaffney’s performance helped keep the possession on Lehigh’s side for much of the game, which helped hold NJIT to just 20 shots.
Chick’s weekly award is the second of his career, also winning Rookie of the Week late last season. On Saturday, he had a career-high two goals, which tied for the team high in the game. He also added two groundballs and one caused turnover. The reigning Division I leader in caused turnovers continued to be a force on defense, helping contribute to the Mountain Hawks allowing just five goals. The defense held NJIT scoreless for the game’s first 16:45, then again for a stretch of 11:00 between the second and third quarters before finally holding them without a goal for the last 17:06.
Lehigh will hit the road for four straight away games, beginning with a trip to face Jacksonville University on Feb. 11 at 4 p.m. This will be Jacksonville’s first game of the season and the first meeting with Lehigh in program history. The Mountain Hawks won’t have another home game until Mar. 11 when they’ll host Army West Point at the Ulrich Sports Complex at 1 p.m.