Posted: March 3, 2007
WORCESTER, Mass. – Matthew Diehl took a pass from Mike Zurfluh with 2:35 remaining on the clock in overtime and beat Holy Cross goal keeper Jimmy Harrison to lift Lehigh to a dramatic 9-8 victory over the Crusaders in the 2007 Patriot League opener on Saturday afternoon. Lehigh entered the fourth quarter trailing 6-4 but battled back to force overtime and eventually earn the win, improving its record to 2-2 overall and 1-0 in league action. Holy Cross falls to 1-3 overall and 0-2 in Patriot League play.
Jeff Wiener and Diehl both scored three goals for Lehigh, while Alec Hooff, David Gaunt and Freddie Cassilly each netted apiece. Hooff added three assists, while classmates Steve Marino and Zurfluh both handed out two helpers and sophomore Ricky Cornetta recorded one. Lehigh out shot Holy Cross 30-28 on the afternoon, and scooped up 26 ground balls, led by senior captain Kevin Donlan’s five. Hooff and junior goal keeper Eric Spirko both picked up three ground balls in the victory, as Spirko went the full 61:25 in net, and sent back ten Crusader shots.
Three different Crusaders (Paul LeBlanc, Edison Parzanese and John Marino) netted two goals, while Kyle Gwyn-Williams picked up six ground balls and Paddy Dowling won 12-of-18 face offs. LeBlanc finished the day with five points, while Harrison finished with 11 saves in net for the home team.
Luke Marchand put the home team in front 1-0 just 32 seconds into the contest off of a feed from Grant Cowherd, and LeBlanc would put Lehigh in a 2-0 hole at the mark. The Mountain Hawks would score the game’s next three goals though, one coming from Cassilly and two from Wiener, to take a 3-2 lead with left in the first half. That is how the game would remain as the teams headed into halftime.
Parzanese opened the second half with his first goal of the afternoon at the 14:02 mark of the third off of a feed from LeBlanc, and Marino would give the Crusaders the lead, at 4-3, when he scored, again assisted from LeBlanc, at the 13:00 mark. Wiener would tie the game at four off of a feed from Zurfluh 2:08 later, and from there neither side would score for over six minutes. The Crusaders closed the quarter out with two straight goals, as Parzanese and LeBlanc gave the home team a 6-4 lead heading into the final 15.
Diehl brought Lehigh to within one off of a feed from Hooff at the 14:26 mark, but Holy Cross again went up two when LeBlanc hooked up with Marino, giving the Crusaders a 7-5 lead with 12:22 left in the game. Lehigh did not back down however, and scored the game’s next three goals, one each coming from Diehl, Hooff and Gaunt, to take an 8-7 lead with just to go. It appeared as though the Mountain Hawks were headed for victory, until Cowherd netted an unassisted goal with just 15 ticks on the clock, sending the game into overtime, where Diehl would score the game-winner.
Lehigh will now be off for a week before returning to action on Saturday, March 10 when the Mountain Hawks play host to No. 6/7 Navy at the Ulrich Sports Complex. Game time is set for . Live video and audio can be found on lehighsports.com.