Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/12/14
From Press Release and Staff Report
Led by a career-high tying eight points from junior Dan Taylor and another strong defensive effort, the #19/20 Lehigh men’s lacrosse dominated Georgetown in a 12-3 win on Saturday evening.
The game was played at Ridley High School as part of the second annual Relentless Cup in support of the HEADstrong Foundation’s fight against blood cancers.
“we wanted to come out with a lot of energy from the start,” said Lehigh sophomore attackman Billy Oppenheimer (Germantown Academy), who had a goal and an assist. “I think we did that – we jumped out early and got a big win.”
“It’s great to play such a tough opponent like Georgetown especially on a stage like this for such an awesome organization,” added sophomore attackman Reid Weber, another GA grad who had two goals. “We put them away and kept them away.”
The Mountain Hawks improve to 10-4 overall, reaching double-figure victories for a third straight season after going 18 years between double-digit victories.
The Relentless Cup is a special fundraising lacrosse event uniting communities in support of the HEADstrong Foundation by combining interstate youth games, high school games, highlighted by Lehigh vs. Georgetown under the lights. Proceeds from the Relentless Cup directly supported the essential quality life services provided by the HEADstrong Foundation, supporting cancer patients and their families.
“We play at the HEADstrong fall tournament for the Colleluori Classic. We didn’t come this year, so it was good to get back to Ridley and be a part of this event,” said Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese. “I have so much respect for the Colleluori family and for the HEADstrong foundation that when they approached me with the opportunity of moving this game to Ridley, I said absolutely, we would love to be a part of the cause and support the cause.”
One game after scoring five goals at Princeton, Taylor finished with four goals and four assists. Sophomores Kurtis Kaunas and Reid Weber, along with junior Patrick Corbett, all scored two goals apiece. Kaunas added two assists for a career-high four points.
The Lehigh defense continued its strong play, causing 11 of the Hoyas 16 turnovers while allowing four goals or fewer for a fourth time this season. Senior Lukas Mikelinich and sophomore Casey Eidenshink each finished with three caused turnovers. Along with senior Ty Souders, the starting close defense combined for nine groundballs and eight caused turnovers.
Junior Matt Poillon was strong in goal, making eight saves on the evening. Hoyas goalie Jake Haley was stellar as well, making 17 saves.
Junior Dylan O’Shaughnessy opened the scoring at 10:25 of the first quarter with a man-up goal to make it 1-0. Corbett scored an unassisted goal just over oneminute later for a 2-0 lead.
After Georgetown pulled within 2-1 at 7:03 of the first quarter, Lehigh scored the next five straight capped off by two straight from Taylor in the span of 24 seconds and a Taylor feed to Weber on the extra man that made it 7-1 at 4:26 of the third quarter.
The Hoyas finally solved the Lehigh defense just over one minute later, but not before the Mountain Hawks held Georgetown scoreless for 33:39.
The Hoyas pulled within 8-3 early in the fourth quarter, but the Mountain Hawks scored the final four goals including the final two from Taylor in the span of 1:06 for the 12-3 final.
“I think we’re really confident coming into April,” Oppenheimer said. “Coach Cassese says if you want to play well, April is the time. And we’re excited to make a run.”
“Like Billy said, we want to be playing our best ball in April, and we’re headed in that direction,” added Weber. “The defense has been strong all year; now the offense is picking it up and matching their intensity. I think we’re ready to make a serious run.”
Final shots were 51-23 in favor of Lehigh as the Mountain Hawks eclipsed 50 shots for the first time since last March 2 vs. VMI. Groundballs were 33-30 Lehigh. The Hoyas won 13-of-19 faceoffs. Lehigh was 2-for-5 on the man advantage while Georgetown did not have an extra man opportunity.
“I thought tonight was big for us coming off Tuesday against Princeton,” said Cassese of a heartbreaking OT loss. “Our focus was on energy, trying to get the energy back. That was a deflating loss for us on national TV against a great opponent. I was nervous our guys would be a little flat coming out, so I was proud the way they came out. I’m proud of the effort throughout, especially on the defensive end.”
The Mountain Hawks wrap up the regular season next Friday night (Apr. 18) when they head to Lafayette to face the archrival Leopards at 7 p.m.
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