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Pettit (Tower Hill-DE), Rai lead @LehighLacrosse; @LafayetteMLAX bows

Sunday, 12th February 2017

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 2/12/17
From Press Release

The Lehigh men’s lacrosse team outscored Jacksonville 9-3 in the span of 37:27 bridging the first through fourth quarters, helping propel the Mountain Hawks to a 13-12 win over the Dolphins on Saturday afternoon. With the win, Lehigh improves to 2-0 for the first time since 2014.

Tristan Rai had three goals and an assist and sophomore Andrew Pettit (Tower Hill-DE) had a career-high three goals while classmate Chris Kiernan was stellar in goal, making 12 saves, including stopping 7-of-10 during the Mountain Hawks’ 9-3 run.

Matt Raposo had a goal and career-high tying four assists.

“I’ll give Pettit a lot of credit. It was a good team effort, but Pettit hadn’t practiced all week,” said Cassese. “He was out due to illness and practice got snowed out on Thursday. He ran around a little bit in our pregame last night. We were concerned about his ability to play in 80-degree heat, but he showed up, showed a lot of heart and ended up with some bigtime plays, not only scoring goals, but also with big groundballs and some tough, tough plays down the stretch.”

Sophomore Craig Chick helped pace the defensive effort with six groundballs and two caused turnovers. Freshman Conor Gaffney (Lenape-NJ) won 12-of-24 faceoffs, collecting seven groundballs.

A high-scoring first quarter saw 10 combined goals and 23 combined shots. Lehigh held leads of 1-0 and 2-1 before Jacksonville scored two straight to take a 3-2 advantage, its first lead of the game. Senior Ian Strain (Episcopal Academy) and freshman Andrew Eichelberger scored within a 23-second span to give Lehigh a 4-3 lead with 2:12 on the clock. The two-goal runs continued as Jacksonville eventually took a 5-4 lead with 21 seconds remaining in the first. However, Rai scored his first goal of the game with four seconds on the clock, evening the score at five after 15 minutes of play.

The defenses began to stand tall in the second quarter as Lehigh extended its run to 3-0 behind a goal from Pettit. His second gave the Mountain Hawks a 7-5 advantage with 5:16 left in the second quarter. Kiernan stood tall in the second, stopping four-of-five in the stanza. He was finally beaten with 48 seconds on the clock as Jacksonville pulled within 7-6 at the half.

Lehigh began the second half on a 3-0 run, extending its run to 6-1 since the end of the first quarter. The Mountain Hawks got goals from junior John Mehok (La Salle), freshman Parker Kent and sophomore Lucas Spence (Springfield-Delco) to take a 10-6 lead with 3:51 remaining in the third quarter.

The Dolphins scored the next two to pull within 10-8 with 13:32 left in the fourth, but Lehigh’s starting attackmen, Pettit, Raposo and Rai, responded with the next three goals, as the Mountain Hawks took a 13-8 advantage with 7:55 on the clock.

Jacksonville quickly cut into the deficit, scoring two goals over the next 36 seconds. The Dolphins added two more goals and had a chance to tie in the final seconds, but the Mountain Hawks’ defense made a stop when it needed it most to hold onto the 13-12 victory.

Lehigh finished with a 47-37 edge in shots while groundballs were tied at 35. Kiernan’s 12 saves came across Jacksonville’s Ben Gleichenhaus, who made 14 stops.

The Mountain Hawks return to action next Saturday when they play at defending National Champion North Carolina at 1 p.m.

Michigan 17, Lafayette 6

Scott McAvoy (Wyomissing) had two goals and an assist and Eric Joseph and Jason Sands each had a goal and an assist for Lafayette.

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