Posted: April 7, 2007
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Down two goals entering the fourth quarter, Lehigh scored two straight times to tie the score at eight, but Colgate netted two unanswered goals to pull away for a 10-8 victory on Saturday afternoon at the Ulrich Sports Complex. With the loss, Lehigh falls to 3-6 overall and 2-3 in Patriot League play while the Raiders improve to 6-4 overall and 3-1 in league action.
“The face-off X was the difference today,” head coach Chris Wakely said afterwards. “The special teams play was even, we didn’t clear as well as we could have at certain times, but it was the face-offs that hurt us. A number of times we were first to the ball but could not gain possession (off of the face-off.” He continued, “This was a typical hard-fought Lehigh – Colgate Patriot League affair. Their goal keeper made a few big saves down the stretch against our guys in close, which could have made a difference were we to capitalize.”
Lehigh was out shot 25-24 for the game, while the Raiders scooped up 31 ground balls to the Mountain Hawks 25. Junior Eric Spirko, who made seven saves in goal for Lehigh, led the team with five ground balls, while seniors Colin Mistele and Mike Zurfluh, along with junior Dan Honeywell both registered three. The Mountain Hawks had a tough day in the X, losing 18-of-22 face-offs to the Raiders, but they did manage to force Colgate into an 0-for-2 day in EMO.
Colgate got on the board first when Jeff Hiller took a feed from Brandon Corp and scored with 11:39 left on the clock in the opening quarter. Senior David Gaunt, who scored three goals on the afternoon, tied the game at one with his ninth score of the season just 52 seconds later, but Hiller scored his second goal of the game 17 seconds after that, to put the visitors in front 2-1. Senior Alec Hooff brought the Mountain Hawks even yet again when he took a feed from classmate Steve Marino and scored at the 7:31 mark of the opening quarter, but Corp would give the lead back to the Raiders when he scored with 6:05 to go. Nick Monastero then put the visitors up two, at 4-2, with his seventh score of the season, but Hooff netted goal number-nine on the year with just 1:23 to go, sending Lehigh into the second down by just one at 4-3.
Brendan Hurley opened the second quarter scoring with his 18th goal of the season at the 8:01 mark to make it a 5-3 game, but Gaunt scored his second goal of the day to bring Lehigh to within one at the 6:48 clip. Marino then scored on an assist from senior Jeff Wiener and the game was knotted at five with 5:20 left in the half. That would be all the scoring for the first two quarters, and the teams retired for halftime tied at five.
Kevin Colleluori gave the Raiders a 6-5 lead in the third at the 9:09 mark, but sophomore Ricky Cornetta scored his fourth goal of the season less than two minutes later to tie the game at six. Monastero would give the lead back to Colgate with his eighth score of the season and Corp made it a two-goal Raider advantage when he scored the quarter’s final goal with 3:02 left on the clock.
Wiener got Lehigh on the board first in the final 15 minutes of play when he scored off of a Marino feed, and Gaunt tied the score at eight when he completed the hat trick at the 5:06 mark. From there however, Lehigh was unable to score again, and Corp and Matt Lalli would score twice in a matter of just 42 seconds sending the Raiders to their second straight win over the Brown and White.
Corp finished with four points, coming on three goals and one assist, while Monatero and Hiller both scored twice. Raider goal keeper Tim Harrington sent back seven Lehigh shots, including several in the closing minutes on one-on-one opportunities. Marino handed out three helpers for the Brown and White, while Hooff scored twice and Cornetta was the lone non-senior to register a point for the second consecutive game.
Lehigh returns to action on Wednesday when the Mountain Hawks play host to St. Joe’s in their 2007 home finale. Game time is set for 7:00 from the Ulrich Sports Complex.