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Men’s lacrosse: Pontrello (@HermitsLacrosse) leads Loyola past @LehighLacrosse

Sunday, 2nd March 2014

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 3/2/14
From Press Release

Nikko Pontrello (St. Augustine Prep) scored three straight goals to break a 3-3 tie and spark visiting Loyola to a 14-7 victory Saturday over Lehigh at the Ulrich Sports Complex. Sophomore

Reid Weber (Germantown Academy) led the way with for Lehigh (4-1, 1-1) a goal and two assists for his third straight multi-point game. Four Mountain Hawks caused two turnovers apiece while junior Matt Poillon made 11 saves between the pipes. The loss snaps a six-game home winning streak, nine-game regular season winning streak and 13-game winning streak against Patriot League foes.

“Loyola played a full 60-minute game,” said Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese. “They played well on offense, they played well on defense. They got great faceoff play and great goalie play. Typically when you do that, you’re going to win the game.”

Junior Patrick Corbett got the scoring started just 1:59 into the game and finished with two on the afternoon to up his season total to a team-leading 11. Four other Mountain Hawks tallied a single goal while six finished with a single point.

Sophomore Tripp Telesco posted three groundballs and two caused turnovers and senior Lukas Mikelinich had two and two, respectively. Short-stick defensive midfielders Jimmy Cahill and Sam Lawrence caused two turnovers each.

“I thought our guys battled hard and were ready to play,” said Cassese. “I don’t think we executed as well as we could have. A lot of that was because of them as opposed to us.”

Corbett scooped a groundball off a Jack Runkel save and beat the senior goaltender to make it 1-0 in the early going. Loyola responded with three straight goals, but a transition opportunity led to a nifty goal from junior Kurtis Kaunas (Parkland). Sophomore Alex Eaton tacked on an unassisted tally at 51 seconds of the first quarter to make it 3-3 after 15 minutes of play.

The Greyhounds controlled the second quarter as Pontrello scored two man-up goals, with an even strength goal in between, for the natural hat trick. That gave Loyola a 6-3 lead at 9:10 of the second quarter. Brian Schultz gave the Greyhounds a 7-3 advantage heading into halftime.

Weber scored the first goal of the second half, but Loyola responded with four straight to take an 11-4 lead after three quarters.

The Mountain Hawks wouldn’t go away quietly as Corbett scored at 12:55 and sophomore Billy Oppenheimer (Germantown Academy) added his first in a Lehigh uniform at 6:23 to pull within 11-6. However, Loyola scored three of the game’s final four goals for the 14-7 final.

Loyola held a 34-29 edge in shots and 27-22 in groundballs. Both teams took care of the ball, turning the ball over just 11 times each. Poillon’s 11 saves came across Runkel who impressed with 13.

“I think this game exposed our weaknesses. Loyola is a really good team,” said Cassese. “Whenever you play a good and well-coached team, they’re going to exploit your weaknesses. I think today, we learned a lot about what those are and hopefully they’re pretty obvious for our guys. If they’re not, they will be after our film session tomorrow. We have to start cranking away on getting those weaknesses better and hopefully turn them into strengths.”

The Mountain Hawks head to Bucknell to face the Bison next Saturday in a rematch of the 2013 Patriot League Championship Game. Opening faceoff is set for 1 p.m.

“It’s still early in the season,” said Cassese. “It’s March 1 and we have a long way to go. We’re disappointed we didn’t win today, but we’re excited about our team and hopefully we can turn this thing around. We’ll have to do it quickly.”

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