Lehigh Defense Stifles Bucknell for 9-3 Win
from Press Release
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Bucknell scored first, but wouldn't score for another 50:28 as the #16 Lehigh men's lacrosse team scored nine straight goals on its way to a dominant 9-3 victory on Saturday. In a rematch of the 2013 Patriot League Championship game, the Mountain Hawks (5-1, 2-1 Patriot League) held the Bison (2-3, 1-2) to just 20 shots on the way to their fourth straight win over Bucknell. The Bison turned the ball over 15 times to Lehigh's seven, and when they could get a quality shot off, Lehigh junior goalie Matt Poillon was there to make the save.
"I'm proud of our guys," said Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese. "This was our best team effort of the early season. It wasn't a complete 60 minutes, but it was an outstanding effort overall."
Junior Dan Taylor led the offense with four goals to tie a career high. Classmate Patrick Corbett scored twice while sophomore Alex Eaton added a career-high two goals as well. Senior Ryan Buttenbaum was strong at the faceoff X, winning 11-of-15 with seven groundballs.
"I thought our faceoff personnel did a nice job today," said Cassese. "Not only Ryan Buttenbaum in the middle, but also our wing play was terrific all day. We got a nice spark from Ray Mastroianni on the wing (four GBs)."
The Mountain Hawks caused nine of Bucknell's turnovers led by a career-high three caused turnovers from sophomore long-stick midfielder Casey Eidenshink. Sophomore Tripp Telesco continued his strong play with two groundballs and two caused turnovers. He now has 15 groundballs and 13 caused turnovers over his last four games.
"The defensive effort was solid all around," said Cassese. "Coach Brendan Callahan had the fellas ready to play today and it was a full unit effort from start to finish. They played our style, with great composure, and full support and trust of one another. It was fun to watch."
Bucknell got on the board early as Thomas Flibotte made it 1-0 at 10:10. The Mountain Hawks only got five first-quarter shots off and couldn't find the back of the net as the Bison maintained its lead into the second quarter.
Taylor scored his first of the afternoon (from sophomore Reid Weber) to make it 1-1 at 10:49 of the second. Weber took a feed from sophomore Billy Oppenheimer and made it 2-1 just over four minutes later before Taylor added Lehigh's third straight with 3:55 on the clock.
Taylor single-handedly gave the Mountain Hawks a 5-1 advantage with goals at 13:59 and 11:28 of the third quarter, then after more than eight minutes of scoreless action, Lehigh scored three times in the final 2:51 to take a commanding 8-1 lead after three quarters of play. Eaton scored twice, including one with four seconds on the clock.
Corbett tallied an extra man goal at 8:27 of the fourth from Oppenheimer, who dished his third assist of the afternoon. Bucknell finally solved Lehigh's defense, breaking a 50:28 scoreless drought with a goal at 4:42. The Bison added a goal at 1:45 with the Mountain Hawks' backups in for the 9-3 final.
Lehigh held a dominant 37-20 shot advantage and 36-24 edge in groundballs. The Mountain Hawks won 12-of-16 faceoffs led by Buttenbaum's 11-of-15. Poillon made six saves before being replaced by sophomore Steve Brodeur who stopped 1-of-2 over the final 3:41. Bucknell goalie Sam Grinberg made 15 stops.
The Mountain Hawks head to Yale on Tuesday for a big nonleague matchup against the #10 Bulldogs. Opening faceoff is set for 7 p.m.
"We have plenty to work on," said Cassese. "Today, we lost the first and fourth quarters. That was disappointing and is something we will need to improve upon if we hope to compete for a championship this season."
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