Posted: April 1, 2006
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Behind a three-goal fourth quarter, Lehigh upset No. 19 Bucknell 7-5 on Saturday afternoon at the Ulrich Sports Complex. Junior Stephen Marino scored three goals for the Brown and White, who improve to 6-3 overall and 2-1 in Patriot League play, while the Bison, who are the second top-25 team that Lehigh has beaten this season, fall to 4-5 overall and 2-2 in league action.
Lehigh dominated the Bison in every statistical category, including a 36-18 advantage in shots, 12 of 16 in face offs and 30-15 in ground balls. The Mountain Hawks also forced 17 Bison turnovers and were eight of 12 in clears. Sophomore John Park made seven saves in goal for Lehigh, while senior captain Jeff King scooped up six ground balls, tying with fellow senior Tom Weiss for team-high honors.
Joe Mele scored the game’s first goal at the 8:56 mark of the opening quarter, and John Togneri gave the Bison a 2-0 lead with a goal of his own 2:36 later. Lehigh would trail by that score heading into the second period. Marino got the Brown and White on the board for the first time when he took a pass from Alec Hoof and beat Bison goal keeper Matt Baran to make the score 2-1. Junior Blake Best then knotted the score at one with his 13th score of the season at the 1:15 mark. The teams would head into halftime tied at two goals apiece.
Senior Jeff Wiener opened the second half with his 12th score of the season, putting the Mountain Hawks up one with 10:02 left in the third quarter. Nick Marks and Kirk Klett then scored back-to-back goals to put Bucknell up one with 6:10 to go in the third. Best would tie the score though, as he scored an unassisted goal with just 1:04 left, sending the teams into the fourth quarter deadlocked at four.
Junior Michael Zurfluh put the Mountain Hawks up one with his third score of the season at the 14:26 mark of the fourth, and Marino have the home team a two-goal advantage with 10:57 to go. The Bison trimmed the lead to just one at 6-5, as Klett scored his second goal of the afternoon, but Marino took a pass from Zurfluh after Best knocked the ball free just moments earlier, and found the back of the net with just 1:53 remaining, sending the Mountain Hawks to their sixth win of the season.
Head coach Chris Wakely spoke about the team’s first victory over Bucknell during his tenure. “After being down 2-0 after the first quarter, we just told the team to continue what they were doing. We were getting good looks and that’s about all you can ask for. Offensively you want to be concerned if you are not getting good looks, but we were getting them. Their (Bucknell) goalie was playing great early on, making save after save, so we just had to continue what we were
Wakely added, “Our entire senior class got the game ball today. Tom Weiss was outstanding in the face-offs for us and Jeff King, as always, played great. Blake (Best) came up with the big hit to help us get the go-ahead goal, Matthew Hichborn came up huge. There were a lot of great performances all around.”
Lehigh will return to action next weekend when the Mountain Hawks travel to Hamilton, New York to take on the Raiders of Colgate. Game time is scheduled for 3:00.