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.@LehighLacrosse advances to 7th straight @PL_MLAX tourney with 9-6 win over Bucknell!

Friday, 21st April 2017

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 4/21/17
From Press Release

The Lehigh men’s lacrosse team used a 6-0 run to take an 8-2 third-quarter lead, on its way to a big 9-6 victory over Bucknell in the regular season finale on Friday evening at the Ulrich Sports Complex.

Lehigh’s Andrew Pettoit (Tower Hill-DE, Duke’s LC) had four goals (Photo by Derek Behrenshausen)

With the win, the Mountain Hawks clinched a berth into their seventh straight Patriot League Tournament and will travel to Boston University on Tuesday for a 7 p.m. quarterfinal round showdown. Friday was Senior Night, and a pair of seniors helped lead the charge, as Ian Strain (Episcopal Academy) recorded his first-career hat trick while Donny Stires stopped 11-of-17 shots sent his way.

“This is a great team win,” said Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese. “Obviously, with the emotions of Senior Night, I’m really happy for our seniors. That’s what was at the forefront of this night.

“There was a big game to be played and there was a lot riding on that game, but I really enjoyed being at practice with the seniors this week, going through the pregame ritual with them, meeting with them, talking about their careers and what they wanted their legacies to look like. A big part of their legacies was trying to beat Bucknell in their final game here at home. I’m really happy they were able to do that.”

Strain finished with three goals and an assist as he’s now recorded eight goals and four assists over his last four games. Sophomore Andrew Pettit (Tower Hill) scored a game-high four goals while classmate Tristan Rai had two goals and an assist. Danny Norris (Avon Grove) had two groundballs and a caused turnover to spark the defense.

Pettit scored the game’s first two goals, giving Lehigh a 2-0 lead deep into the first quarter. The Bison pulled even, but the Mountain Hawks responded in a big way, staging a 6-0 run in the span of 24:58. Strain began the run with an assist to Rai, ended the run with an unassisted goal midway through the third quarter and had two other goals in between.

Bucknell ended the scoring drought at 3:04 of the third quarter, its first of three straight tallies. A Rai man-up goal gave Lehigh a 9-5 advantage with 4:43 left in the fourth, the Bison added their sixth goal in the final minute, but the Mountain Hawks held onto their fourth straight home victory.

Final shots were 31-24 in favor of Bucknell while Lehigh held a 30-22 edge in groundballs. Freshman Conor Gaffney (Lenape) won 9-of-19 faceoffs for the Mountain Hawks while Stires finished with 11 saves in goal.

“The biggest key tonight was the play of our seniors in particular,” said Cassese. “All the way from the energy that we got from Conor Duffy taking the first wing for us, Ian Strain having a big night, Donny Stires playing big in the goal. There were a lot of little plays made by guys like Matt Raposo, Casey McAdam, Cody Triolo, right on down the line. When you have seniors who show up big in big time games, you’re going to get big-time wins.”

The Mountain Hawks will now travel to Boston for a Tuesday night showdown against the Terriers in the Patriot League Quarterfinals. Opening faceoff is set for 7 p.m.

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