Streak Over: Colgate Snaps Lehigh's Nine Game Run
from staff reports
|Peter Baum, Colgate's leading
scoring threat, had only two points, but the Raiders prevailed in
overtime against the nation's top ranked defense.
© Rich Barnes (file)
HAMILTON, N.Y. – The No. 17 Colgate men's lacrosse team snapped No. 7 Lehigh's nine-game winning streak on Saturday afternoon when it handed the Mountain Hawks their second loss of the season and first league setback 11-10 in overtime in a game that saw seven lead changes and seven tied scores.
The Raiders (9-2, 3-1 Patriot League), who defeated their second nationally-ranked opponent of the season, were able to come back from a two-goal deficit in the closing minutes of the game to send it into additional time and secure a win in their first overtime game of the season on a Jeff Ledwick goal.
The Mountain Hawks (10-2, 3-1) took a 10-8 lead with 5:10 left in regulation, but the Raiders scored the final three goals to snatch the victory.
The Colgate win, coupled with Bucknell's defeat to Army, means Lehigh, Colgate and Bucknell enter next weekend tied for first in the Patriot League with identical 3-1 records.
Senior co-captain Ledwick led Colgate with four points from three goals and one assist while sophomore Brendon McCann also added four points from one goal and three helpers. Freshman Ryan Walsh added two goals and one assist while junior Peter Baum had one goal and one assist for two points.
Junior Matt Baker, freshman Matt Clarkson, senior co-captain Kevin Gordon and classmate John Donnally also tallied one goal each in the game. Junior Robert Grabher also had an incredible performance, going 20-for-25 at the faceoff X while also picking up 11 groundballs and an assist in the game.
"Give Colgate a ton of credit," said Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese. "They came out and won the game. They did it by dominating the hustle stats. They controlled the shots, the groundballs and the faceoffs. They really took it to us today and that was the difference."
"Credit Colgate's faceoff personnel," said Cassese. "Being able to secure possession was the difference in the game. We played far too much defense against the top offense in the country."
Colgate (9-2, 3-1 PL) came out to its usual strong start in the first period, opening scoring when Ledwick picked up a quick pass from Baum and then fired it past the goalie to give his team a 1-0 lead at the 13:37 mark. Both teams then began to play a more attacking game over the next four minutes, but this time around it was the Mountain Hawks that found a goal at the 9:31 mark to tie the score at 1-1.
The Raiders reclaimed their lead just over three minutes later with an unassisted goal from Clarkson to put the score at 2-1. However, Lehigh then tied the score at the 4:21 mark before going on to gain its first lead of the game 3-2 with a goal in the final five seconds of the quarter. Both goalies had four saves in the opening 15 minutes of play.
In the second period, neither team could find a goal in the first eight minutes as they battled it out on the field. The game became more physical as they searched for a goal, which then resulted in a 30-second penalty on the Raiders but Lehigh could not capitalize on the first extra-man opportunity of the game.
Both teams continued to force each other to make turnovers while firing shots on net but it was not until the 6:47 mark that the Mountain Hawks were able to break the dry spell with a tally from Dante Fantoni at the 6:47 mark. This did not deter Colgate, which then struck back with a goal from McCann at the 3:57 mark to reduce the scoring margin to one goal. A penalty on Lehigh with less than two minutes left in the half allowed the Raiders to find an equalizer at the 1:15 mark. Baker scored the man-up goal with an assist from Ledwick. Six seconds later, Grabher won the faceoff, dished it over to Gordon, who then wound up his long pole and shot it past the goalie into the top of the net to give Colgate a 5-4 lead going into half time.
The Raiders attempted to carry their scoring momentum into the third quarter, however it was Lehigh that was able to even up the score again at the 11:32 mark to make it 5-5. The Mountain Hawks then took the lead with a sixth goal off an initial shot that hit the post and was then fired in courtesy of the Lao-Gosney brothers. The teams continued to play aggressively, with Lehigh looking to extend its lead and Colgate attempting to tie the score once again. This time around however, it was the Raiders that got their way with a tally from Walsh off a pass from McCann to put the score at 6-6. As the clock wound down, it was clear that the pressure was on for both teams. Colgate was able to break the tie and take a 7-6 lead courtesy of a unassisted goal from Walsh with 3:15 left but then a tally from the Mountain Hawks with 23 seconds left in the period tied the game up at 7-7.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter it looked like Lehigh would be able to turn things around, scoring back-to-back goals at the 13:14 and 10:01 marks to take a 9-7 lead early in the period. Feeling the pressure of the game slipping out of their hands, the Raiders soon answered back with an eighth goal at the 7:43 mark from Donnally with an assist by McCann to make it 9-8. This did not discourage Lehigh, which then extended it lead to two goals once again with the score at 10-8 at the 5:10 mark. However, Colgate was able to maintain its composure and find a pair of goals from Baum and Ledwick at the 4:22 and 1:43 marks to tie the game at 10-10 and send it into overtime. Walsh had an assist on Ledwick's goal.
After almost scoring a goal in the final seconds of the fourth quarter with a shot from Baker that was saved, the Raiders came into their first overtime period of their season determined to find the game-winner. Lehigh almost found the golden goal when David DiMaria hit the post and was then denied by goalie Jared Madison on his second shot. However, after a long, exciting battle at Andy Kerr Stadium, it was Colgate that was able to respond to its fans' pleas with a game-winning goal from Ledwick with help from McCann at the 2:07 mark of the four-minute period to secure the 11-10 win.
Senior goalie Jared Madison had nine saves in the game while Matt Poillon, one of the nation's top goalies this season, had 16 stops for Lehigh. The 11 goals were the most that Poillon has conceded all season.
Colgate held Lehigh scoreless in its one extra-man opportunity while going 1-2 on its man-up opportunities. The Raiders also held a 44-33 advantage in shots and in groundballs, 30-21.
The game featured the nation's top offense Colgate (13.6 goals per game) against Lehigh's top-ranked defense (5.45). Sophomore Lukas Mikelinich shut down Baum, but the Raiders got scoring elsewhere.
"We didn't have anyone who stepped up and played their best game of the year," said Cassese. "On the other side of the ball, we did a great job on their top two scorers [Baum and Ryan Walsh], but they're a talented offense. They played together and a lot of guys stepped up."
Colgate will resume play next weekend when it hosts Lafayette for a league matchup on Saturday, April 14 at 1 p.m. in Hamilton, N.Y.
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