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Men’s lacrosse: Lehigh remains undefeated; Villanova, Delaware, St. Joe’s, Penn State triumph

Saturday, 24th April 2021

Categories Boy's/Men's, College  
 

Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/24/21 – From Press Releases

The No. 6 Lehigh men’s lacrosse team wrapped up its Patriot League slate in strong fashion on Saturday, never trailing in an 18-12 win over visiting Bucknell.

The victory improves the Mountain Hawks to 9-0 on the season, 8-0 in Patriot League play, as Lehigh finishes undefeated in the league for the first time since 2013 (and winning a program-record eight league contests in the process). Sophomore Christian Mule was the biggest story, posting career highs in goals (7) and points (10), just one goal from tying the program’s single-game mark and two from tying the program’s points record.
 
Lehigh, who already clinched the No. 1 overall seed and right to host the Patriot League Semifinals and Championship Game, become the first men’s lacrosse team to post an unbeaten league slate since Loyola was 8-0 in 2014.

After winning six of his first 11 faceoffs, Lehigh junior Mike Sisselberger (Southern Lehigh) won 15 of his last 16 to finish the day 21-of-27 with 15 groundballs. Sisselberger is running away with the NCAA faceoff percentage lead. F Senior James Spence (Springfield-Delco) made 12 saves, nine coming in the second half. Bucknell’s Parson finished with 13.
 
“First and foremost, I’d like to give Coach Fedorjaka and the Bison a lot of credit for the effort they put forward today,” said Cassese. “For us, I thought we certainly did a nice job offensively. You can look at guys like Christian Mule’ and Justin Tiernan, who were very much the recipients of good offense and our guys being able to share the ball. Draw slides, share the ball and end up with shots in tight.
 
“I thought Bucknell did some things offensively that put a lot of pressure on us defensively,” Cassese continued. “A lot of credit goes to their offense, but certainly our defensive effort can be better and needs to be better moving forward. Our faceoff unit and Mike Sisselberger put in another extraordinary effort. He’s been a machine for us. We’re certainly riding him and going to continue to do so moving forward.”
 
Mule’ was a huge spark offensively, having a hand in seven of the Mountain Hawks’ 10 first-half goals (four goals, three assists in the first 30 minutes). Junior Tommy Schelling added two goals and four assists for the game while sophomore Justin Tiernan scored three times for his first-career hat trick. Senior Kevin Gersbeck dished a career-high three assists, and classmate Andrew Eichelberger scored twice.
 
Defensively, senior Teddy Leggett had four groundballs and two caused turnovers, senior Matt Douglas had five groundballs and a caused turnover while junior Patrick McIlroy tallied two groundballs and two caused turnovers.
 
Early on, the score was tied at one then three, but a 3-0 Mountain Hawks’ surge put Lehigh ahead 6-3 early in the second quarter. Less than two minutes later, Mule’ scored his third of the game in impressive fashion, shoveling it past Bucknell goalie Daniel Parson from several yards in front of the crease.

Tommy Sopko (Conestoga) had a goal and three assists and two caused turnovers for Bucknell.

St. Joe’s 14, LIU 13

With the Hawks leading 14-13 with 44 seconds remaining in regulation and the ball in the Sharks’ offensive end, Saint Joseph’s graduate student defenseman Tyler Makar stifled LIU’s Jake Gillis to force the turnover and SJU cleared en route to the Northeast Conference victory on Sweeney Field.

With the win, the Hawks (7-3, 7-0 NEC) have defeated all seven conference opponents to claim the 2021 NEC regular-season title outright. This marks the program’s fifth regular-season title since joining the NEC (’14, ’15, ’16, ’18, ’21).

“What an exciting game that was,” beamed head coach Taylor Wray following the win. “I tip my hat to LIU. They are a terrific and well-coached team and play with tremendous grit.”

Junior face-off specialist Zach Cole (Lenape) dominated with a 22-of-29 showing from the X and a game-high eight ground balls.

Sophomore attackman Matt Bohmer recorded a hat trick and a helper to lead nine different SJU goal scorers on the day. Senior midfielder Shane Fable (2g, 2a), and sophomore attackman Ryan Doran (1g, 3a) added four points apiece for an SJU offense that scored 14 goals, 11 of which were assisted.

Villanova 19, Marquette 8

The Wildcats defeated the Golden Eagles on Senior Day.

Villanova’s offense got going early going up 5-2 at the end of the first quarter. Eric Overbay started the game assisting Villanova’s first three goals.

Matt Campbell scored the opener followed by a goal by Corey McManus, who finished with six goals on the day, and the third goal for Villanova was scored by Colin Crowley. Keegan Khan would then set up Campbell to put Villanova up 4-1 with five minutes to go. Khan would finish with six assists, a career high. The Wildcats scored the final goal of the quarter with 44 seconds remaining following a failed clear by the Golden Eagles Gavin Burke dished it to an open McManus to make it 5-2.

Delaware 16, Towson 8

The Blue Hens (9-2, 6-1 CAA) picked up their sixth win in CAA play, a program-best mark. Delaware did so by scoring 16 goals opposite the Tigers (6-7, 3-4 CAA), the most in the series against Towson since April 10, 1999.

Several Blue Hens provided major contributions on the offensive end, including rookie Cam Acchione, who scored a career-high five goals on just five shots. Mike Robinson poured in a hat trick of his own, needing just four shots to tally three goals to go along with four ground balls.

Charlie Kitchen (St. Augustine Prep) and Tye Kurtz facilitated much of the offense, combining for seven assists. Kitchen capped his afternoon with six points on two goals and four assists, and moved into third in program history with 233 career points. Kurtz, meanwhile, totaled five points on a pair of scores and three helpers.

In goal, Matt Kilkeary posted a standout performance, tying his career high with 13 saves while allowing a career-low eight goals. Eight of the senior’s 13 stops came in the second half.

Penn State 10, Ohio State 9

Penn State secured a home game in the quarterfinal round of the Big Ten Men’s Lacrosse Tournament and kept the Creator’s Trophy in Happy Valley with plenty of late-game heroics in a win at Ohio State.

Dylan Foulds scored two goals in a span of 45 seconds, the second of which was the eventual game-winner with 23 seconds to play, and Aleric Fyock made an incredible save in the closing seconds to give Penn State the much-needed victory. The Lions, who improved to 4-6 overall and in the Big Ten, clinched the No. 3 seed in the Big Ten Tournament and will host either Johns Hopkins or Michigan in the quarterfinal round on Saturday, May 1. The semifinal and championship rounds will be played at Panzer Stadium on May 6 and May 8, respectively.

TJ Malone (Haverford School)added two goals for the Lions.

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