Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/23/19
From Press Release
Trailing 6-4 early in the third quarter, the No. 15 Lehigh men’s lacrosse team ended the game on an 11-2 run to give the Mountain Hawks their fifth straight victory, a 15-8 triumph at Navy on Saturday afternoon at Navy Marine-Corps Memorial Stadium.
The win marks the 100th in Kevin Cassese’s head coaching career, all coming at Lehigh. In his 12th year, Cassese is the fastest coach in program history to reach the milestone, and just the second overall. Lehigh’s seven-goal win marked its largest-ever margin of victory at Navy, and second largest overall in the 41 all-time games between the two schools, a series that dates back to 1910.
With the win, the Mountain Hawks improve to 6-3. They are 4-0 in Patriot League play for a second straight season. Lehigh’s five-game winning streak is the program’s longest since 2013.
“Once again, I was proud of the effort and resilience our team displayed today,” said Cassese. “Adversity, mainly by way of injury, continues to hit us and we continue to adapt and overcome. It’s a testament to my assistant coaches, our captains and our upperclassmen.”
Senior Lucas Spence (Springfield-Delco) led the offense with six points behind four goals and two assists. Since his return to the lineup earlier this month, Spence has 25 points (15 goals, 10 assists) in five games, scoring multiple goals in all five contests, including four hat tricks. Included for Spence was one of the goals of the year, not only for Lehigh, but arguably all of NCAA Lacrosse.
Junior Conor Gaffney (Lenape) finished 17-of-26 facing off. After winning just 5-of-10 in the second half, he won 12-of-16 in the second, putting together another spectacular performance. Sophomore James Spence (Springfield-Delco) was stellar in goal, making a career-high tying 17 saves for the second time in the last three games. During Lehigh’s five-game winning streak, Spence has stopped 62-of-101 shots sent his way (61.4 percent).
Senior Tristan Rai added four points via two goals and two assists while classmates Mickey Fitzpatrick and Alexander Tumminello each had two goals apiece. Freshman Tommy Schelling posted a career-high three points (two goals, one assist). Junior Crew Cintron tied a career high with two points (one goal, one assist). Senior Craig Chick helped lead the defense with three groundballs and a caused turnover. Tumminello and junior Erik DiGirolamo (Parkland) each caused a turnover as well.
“I thought Navy got the better of us in the first half; they were bringing the fight to us and winning most of the one-on-one matchups, including the 50/50 ground balls,” said Cassese. “I thought we got tougher in the second half, recommitted to the ground ball and tough plays between the restraining lines, and it helped us go on a big run in the third quarter.”
Navy goalie Ryan Kern (Salesianum School) had 10 saves.