Lehigh Offense Explodes in Win over Detroit Mercy
from press release
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh’s offense
erupted for a season high 21 goals, including a combined 12 in the
first and fourth quarters, as the Mountain Hawks rolled past
Detroit 21-9 on Monday afternoon at the Ulrich Sports
Complex. The 21 goals are Lehigh’s most since 1999 and
the win is Lehigh’s first at home since 2008. Cameron
Lao-Gosney led the Brown and White with five goals, while Alex
Drake scored four in helping Lehigh up its record to 3-4.
Joel Matthews found the back of the net four times for the Titans
who fall to 0-5.
“The weather in the game against Yale was similar to how it is today,” Lao Gosney said afterwards. “But we put our foot down and kept going and came away with the win.” He continued, “We were challenged by the coaching staff after losing to Yale and today we did a nice job of bouncing back. We fought hard, we were aggressive with our dodging and we kept trying to get to the goal.”
Lehigh unleashed a season best 44 shots on the afternoon and Detroit was credited with 20. The game featured 26 combined penalties and 36 combined turnovers. Junior Will Scudder did a terrific job in the X for Lehigh, winning 16-of-19 and he also scooped up eight ground balls. As a team Lehigh scooped up 32 ground balls and the Mountain Hawks also caused eight turnovers. Freshman Dan Carr received the start in goal for Lehigh and sent back six shots in 45 minutes of action before giving way to Conor Murphy who stopped three shots in the fourth quarter.
Detroit was credited with 20 shots for the game led by Matthews with seven. Jordan Houtby and Chris Butts caused two turnovers each and Houtby led the Titans with five ground balls. A.J. Levell stopped ten shots in goal for the visitors and Vince Diana stopped four.
“I was much prouder of our effort today,” head coach Kevin Cassese explained. “I thought we played much harder than we did over the weekend. This team still has a lot to learn and needs to get some additional practice underneath its belt. We have a lot of inexperienced guys and even our upperclassmen aren’t that experienced. It’s a learning experience for us. We need to continue to battle and scrap, and out-work our opponent.”
He continued, “I thought our attack was the recipient of unselfish play by our midfield. That position needs to have guys who are unselfish in order for it to be successful and today we had that. Our first midfield scored eight goals and handed out three assists today and I thought they really stepped their play up. They bounced back from the game against Yale because that was not their best performance.”
Lehigh came out of the gate firing and raced out to a 5-0 lead after one quarter on the strength of goals by Cameron Lao-Gosney, Dante Fantoni, Brian Bienemann, Drake and Roman Lao-Gosney. Scott Harris and Matthews opened the second with back-to-back goals for Detroit, pulling the Titans within three, but Fantoni and Drake responded with two straight scores for Lehigh to give the home team a 7-2 lead with 8:48 left before halftime. Cameron Lao-Gosney and Roman Lao-Gosney scored more goals for Lehigh as the Mountain Hawks opened up a 9-3 advantage, but Detroit came back with three straight scores to make it a 9-6 game. Unfazed, Lehigh answered with goals by Drake and Cameron Lao-Gosney to take an 11-6 lead into halftime.
Just as they did in the first quarter the Mountain Hawks came out strong in the third scoring three straight to go in front 14-6. Cameron Lao-Gosney, Fantoni and Johnston scored for Lehigh before Detroit closed the quarter with a 3-0 run to make the score 14-9 after three.
Lehigh completely dominated the final 15 minutes of play to leave little doubt as to who would win the game. Cameron Lao-Gosney got things started before Adam Johnston found the back of the net with 12:09 to play, which made the score 16-9. Drake then made it 17-9 with a score at the 8:05 mark before John Henry McNierney and Taylor Castagna alternated scoring on four goals to put the final margin at 21-9.
Lehigh now has over one week off to prepare for its next game before returning to action on March 23 when the Mountain Hawks play host to Army in a huge Patriot League showdown at home. The opening face-off is set for 7:00 from the Ulrich Sports Complex.
“Next week is huge for us,” Cassese said. “We are halfway done with our season now and with two big Patriot League games coming up this is a crucial stretch for us."
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