Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/5/17
From Press Release
The Lehigh men’s lacrosse team scored the game’s first two goals and ended the first half on a 5-0 run, on its way to an impressive 11-5 Patriot League win at Colgate on Saturday afternoon behind a bunch of Philly/Duke’s LC grads.
Sophomore Lucas Spence (Springfield-Delco, HEADstrongLC, Duke’s LC) posted his first-career hat trick while classmate Andrew Pettit (Tower Hill, Duke’s LC) tallied his fourth consecutive hat trick as Lehigh improved to 3-2 overall, 1-1 in league play.
“After last week, going down 9-1, we emphasized a fast start today,” said Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese. “That was really important for us to get that. We had a 2-0 first quarter and 7-2 first half. The fast start was much-needed and we were able to make that happen. We had really good faceoff play and we had really strong defensive play. I thought we had really good leadership today as well.”
Freshman faceoff specialist Conor Gaffney (Lenape, Duke’s LC) continued his stellar play, winning 16-of-20 faceoffs with 12 groundballs. Sophomore Craig Chick had four groundballs and two caused turnovers, eclipsing 50 career caused turnovers in the process. Junior Danny Norris (Avon Grove, Duke’s LC) had a big day with a career-high five groundballs and three caused turnovers.
Along with the hat tricks from Spence and Pettit, senior Matt Raposo tallied two goals and two assists while senior Cody Triolo had a career-high three points (one goal, two assists). Sophomore Tristan Rai had two points behind a goal and assist. Ian Strain (Episcopal Academy, Duke’s LC) added a goal and two GBs.
Spence and Pettit accounted for the game’s only first-quarter goals, coming at the 8:52 and 7:01 marks, respectively. Lehigh’s defense finally gave up a goal 15:33 into the game, then Colgate pulled even 2:32 later, but the Mountain Hawks answered with five straight goals to end the half, two scored by Raposo. His second came with eight seconds remaining in the stanza to give Lehigh a 7-2 lead at the half.
The Raiders pulled within 7-3 early in the third quarter, but Spence scored the next two, late in the third and midway through the fourth. Each team scored twice the rest of the way to account for the 11-5 final.
Lehigh finished with a 37-26 edge in shots and 30-19 advantage in groundballs. Sophomore Chris Kiernan made nine saves, allowing just five goals, across Colgate’s Brandon Burke who made 11.
“We know we have a long way to go, but at the same time, dropping to 0-2 in the Patriot League was something we didn’t want any part of,” said Cassese. “You don’t need extra motivation when it’s Lehigh and Colgate, but I think there was a little extra motivation. Getting that first Patriot League win was really important for us.”