Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/17/21
From Press Release
The No. 7 Lehigh men’s lacrosse team scored seven first-quarter goals and six more in the second to take a commanding 13-4 halftime lead, then held off the hard-charging Leopards in the second half before pulling away for a 18-11 win over Lafayette on Friday evening in Fisher Stadium. With the win, the Mountain Hawks improve to 7-0, 6-0 in the Patriot League ahead of a rematch with Lafayette on Sunday at 12 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.
“It’s good to win. Obviously in the Lehigh-Lafayette school-wide rivalry, it’s good to get one for Lehigh,” said Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese, who with the victory, tied John McCloskey for the most wins in program history (115). “I’m proud of the win. I thought we certainly carried the pace of play in the first half. In the third quarter, they really brought the fight to us. I give them a lot of credit. I thought Coach Myers and their staff got their players playing really hard after going down big and they carried the pace of play in the third quarter.”
Offensively, Lehigh’s starting attack combined for 18 points (13 goals, five assists). Junior Tommy Schelling led the way with seven points (five goals, two assists), the sixth time in seven games this season he’s eclipsed five points. Sophomore Christian Mule’ posted four goals and two assists for a career-high tying six points. Junior Cole Kirst added a career-high five points via four goals and an assist.
Junior Mike Sisselberger (Southern Lehigh) won 21-of-25 faceoffs with a program and Patriot League record 20 groundballs. It also marked the most GBs in NCAA Division I Lacrosse this season. Final shots were 47-33 in favor of Lehigh while the Mountain Hawks held a 45-26 edge in groundballs. Senior James Spence (Springfield-Delco) made 12 saves, allowing 10 goals in the victory.
Peter Lehman (Council Rock North) had two goals for Lafayette while LSM Sean Rushton had a goal and an assist, two groundballs and a caused turnover and Charlie Cunniffe (Episcopal Academy) had a goal and an assist.
Five minutes in, the score stood even at two, Lehigh’s first goal coming behind-the-back from junior Matt Marker. The Mountain Hawks ended the first quarter on a 5-0 run as Kirst’s second of the game gave Lehigh a 7-2 advantage.
Another 5-0 run in the second quarter turned a 7-3 lead into a 12-3 margin, with Schelling scoring twice in that stretch.
A transition goal, Mule’ from senior Teddy Leggett, opened the second-half scoring and gave Lehigh a 14-4 lead. But that’s when Lafayette came back strong, scoring six straight over the rest of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth to pull within 14-10 with 7:36 on the fourth-quarter clock.
However, goals from Mule’, Schelling and two from Kirst erased any doubt, on the way to the 18-11 final.
“For our guys, I thought we lost the battle to human nature tonight,” said Cassese. “We went up pretty big and let our foot off the gas pedal and started to basically get complacent in all of our details. The combination of that on our side, how hard they were playing and the fact that they were not quitting, allowed them to get back in the game.”
“But I do give our guys credit for bouncing back in the end and creating more separation late in the fourth quarter. No doubt, we had a scare today from the Leopards. We’re going to have to correct some things in a hurry and get ready to play them on Sunday.”