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Wozniak (@HolyGhostLax), Hilburn (Malvern Prep) help BU end @LehighLacrosse season

Wednesday, 26th April 2017

Categories Boy's/Men's, College  
 

Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/26/17
From Press Release

Senior LSM Greg Wozniak (Holy Ghost Prep) collected six groundballs and three caused turnovers and junior attackman Ryan Hilburn (Malvern Prep) added a goal and two assists and two groundballs to lead host Boston University to a 10-4 win over Lehigh Tuesday night in the first round of the Patriot League men’s lacrosse playoffs.

With the loss, Lehigh ends its season at 7-7 following its seventh straight Patriot League Tournament berth. Senior Cody Triolo led the offense with three goals for his first-career hat trick while Conor Gaffney (Lenape-NJ) finished a strong freshman campaign by winning 12-of-18 faceoffs to finish the year winning 61.0 percent (139-of-228).

“We knew it would be a tough battle, but the third quarter got away from us a little bit,” said Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese. “I thought a lot of it had to do with them. They’re a very veteran team with a ton of seniors. They played really well today and deserved to win. Our guys battled to the end, but it wasn’t enough tonight.”

Sophomore Craig Chick had five groundballs and three caused turnovers to finish with 39 caused turnovers on the season, tied for the school record, originally set by Evan Guerrero in 2009. Chick’s mark is the most by a Lehigh player since caused turnovers became an official NCAA statistic in 2010. Sophomore Eddie Bouhall also had three groundballs and a caused turnover.

Triolo scored on Lehigh’s first possession, giving the Mountain Hawks an early 1-0 lead with 13:07 remaining in the first quarter. The Terriers scored the next two, but senior Ian Strain (Episcopal Academy) responded with just over a minute remaining in the first to pull Lehigh even at two after 15 minutes of play.

Triolo gave the Mountain Hawks a 3-2 lead less than a minute into the second, then the Terriers tied the score less than two minutes later, which proved to be the final goal of the half. Senior Donny Stires came up big in that frame, making six saves while allowing just one goal in the second.

Boston University scored the only four goals of the third quarter – one by Hilburn to make it 5-3 – as Lehigh was only able to muster five total shots, two of which were saved by Terriers’ goalie Christian Carson-Banister.

The Terriers scored the first three goals of the fourth to extend its run to 8-0, opening a 10-3 lead with 5:20 remaining. The Mountain Hawks held a 14-8 edge in shots in the fourth, but had 10 turnovers while Carson-Banister made five stops. Triolo added his third goal with 26 seconds remaining to pull Lehigh within 10-4 at the final horn.

“I love my seniors,” said Cassese. “This is such a great group. I’m going to miss these guys terribly. They gave me their very best all year. They fought through a lot of ups and downs that come with a young team. They’re guys I really believe in and I really appreciate what they’ve done for the program. I’m sorry I won’t be able to get another game with them.”

Final shots were 31-30 in favor of the Terriers while Lehigh held a 31-30 edge in groundballs Gaffney was a perfect 5-of-5 facing off in the fourth quarter to finish 12-of-18 for the game. He became Lehigh’s first player to eclipse 60 percent facing off since Ryan Snyder in 2011.

Lehigh’s season ends at 7-7 overall following its seventh straight Patriot League Tournament berth. The season was highlighted by two wins over nationally-ranked teams, Boston University (in the regular season) and Princeton.

“I think we came a long way,” said Cassese. “From where we started to where we finished, we improved a lot. We played a lot of quality team towards the end of the year; we played well in spots and won some big games. Hopefully, that gives us confidence moving forward, but right now, my focus is on my seniors and making sure we send them off the right way.”

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