Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/3/18
From Press Release
The Lehigh men’s lacrosse team scored the game’s first two goals, and the final four, as the Mountain Hawks improved to 2-0 in Patriot League play with a 10-7 win over visiting Colgate on Saturday afternoon at the Ulrich Sports Complex.
In the end, Lehigh shut-out the Raiders for the game’s final 19:48, holding Colgate – the nation’s No. 3 scoring offense entering the day – more than eight goals under its average entering the day (15.75). Senior John Mehok (Bishop Shanahan) led Lehigh’s offense with a career-high four goals and five points.
“I thought it was a typical Lehigh-Colgate battle,” said Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese. “We always expect a close game, and we always expect a tough game with a lot of chatter back and forth. It’s what the rivalry is about. We had a good start and even better finish. In between wasn’t great, but the way that we finished the fourth quarter is what I’m going to remember about this game.”
Along with Mehok’s four goals, juniors Andrew Pettit (Tower Hill-DE), Tristan Rai and Mickey Fitzpatrick each scored two apiece. All three added one assist for three points on the afternoon. Junior Lucas Spence (Springfield-Delco) dished a career-high three assists.
Ian Strain (Episcopal Academy) added an assist and four groundballs and Conor Gaffney (Lenape-NJ) won 11 of 20 faceoffs while freshman goalie James Spence posted seven saves.
“Johnny played really well,” said Cassese. “Our offense wasn’t clean today and it’s nice to win a game when your offense isn’t clean. Johnny played hard, dodged hard and got to really good spots. When he got the opportunities, he made them count.”
Junior Craig Chick led the defense with three caused turnovers, to go with three groundballs. He is up to 90 career caused turnovers, needing just eight more to become Lehigh’s all-time career record holder. Classmate Eddie Bouhall had four groundballs and a caused turnover while sophomore defensive midfielder Christian McHugh impressed with two groundballs and a caused turnover.
Spence assisted goals from Fitzpatrick and Rai to give Lehigh a 2-0 lead with less than a minute remaining in the first quarter. Colgate got on the board with 15 seconds on the first-quarter clock, which helped spark a 4-0 run to give the Raiders a 4-2 mid-second quarter lead.
After trading goals, the Mountain Hawks scored the next three bridging the end of the second and beginning of the third. Mehok’s second of the afternoon tied the score at five at halftime, then Fitzpatrick began the second half like he did the first – giving Lehigh a 6-5 advantage at 12:25 of the third quarter.
The Raiders scored the next two to go up 7-6 with 4:48 remaining in the third, but Mehok took over down the stretch. He had a hand in three of the game’s final four goals (two goals, one assist). After evening the score late in the third, he found Pettit early in the fourth to put the Mountain Hawks up 8-7. On the ensuing faceoff, Pettit found Rai in an unsettled situation, then Mehok added a key insurance goal with 3:07 remaining. The defense caused five of Colgate’s six fourth-quarter turnovers to help wrap up Lehigh’s third straight win over Colgate and seventh in its last eight tries.
The Mountain Hawks finished with a 26-19 edge in shots and 33-18 edge in groundballs. After losing five of his first six faceoffs, sophomore Gaffney won 10 of his final 15.
“The middle of the games, the second and third quarters in particular, I thought Colgate played well,” said Cassese. “I want to give them credit, but I thought we also played very poorly in just about every aspect of the game. I was happy our guys didn’t panic, got themselves up and chipped away when we fell down and chipped away to get the lead.”