Posted: March 8, 2008
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh got back to .500 on Saturday afternoon with a 15-6 victory over visiting Wagner at the Ulrich Sports Complex in a game in which every healthy Mountain Hawk saw time. Freshman Jonathan Stumpf led the Brown and White with a career-high four goals on offense, while a trio of Mountain Hawks added three scores apiece. With the win Lehigh moves to 3-3 overall, while the Seahawks remain winless at 0-5.
Lehigh took 45 shots on the afternoon, led by Stumpf’s eight, while Will Gruetzmacher and Matt Diehl were credited with five each. The Mountain Hawks scooped up 35 ground balls, including five from senior Stuart Baxter who was also four-of-nine in the X. As a team Lehigh won 12-of-23 face-offs and was 17-of-20 on clear attempts, while forcing 18 Wagner turnovers.
The Seahawks took 29 shots for the game and scooped up 36 ground balls, including a game-high nine from Brian Poissant, who also won eight-of-14 face offs. Wagner was 15-of-22 on clear attempts and forced Lehigh into 14 turnovers.
Lehigh got on the board first when Stumpf took a pass from senior Fred Cassilly and scored his first goal of the day at the 13:11 mark. Diehl then made it a 2-0 Mountain Hawk lead less than two minutes later with his sixth goal of the season. Junior Max Dahlem got into the scoring act with his seventh goal of the season with 9:02 remaining in the opening quarter, but Will Macumber cut Lehigh’s lead to two with Wagner’s first score of the afternoon at the 6:28 mark.
Junior Ricky Cornetta scored an unassisted goal at the 2:28 mark to put the Mountain Hawks up 4-1, but the Seahawks scored the next two goals in a span of six seconds to pull the visitors to within one after the first 15 minutes of play.
“I thought Wagner was the better team in the first quarter,” Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese said afterwards. “They came out ready to play and gave us everything they had there.”
Lehigh responded to Wagner’s strong start however with five unanswered goals in the second quarter, the first coming by Stumpf 1:22 in. Senior Tom Allen then scored his first goal of the season with 11:11 to go in the half and the Mountain Hawks were in front 6-3. Dahlem netted his second score of the afternoon at the 8:29 mark and Jonathan Haley scored for the first time this year just 1:17 later to put the home team up 8-3. Stumpf would finish the first half scoring for the Brown and White with 3:19 to go as the Mountain Hawks took a 9-3 lead into intermission.
“Our guys ability to take Wagner’s best hit and throw a good counter-punch was impressive,” Cassese commented. “I was happy with the way we responded in that second quarter.”
Just as he ended the first half with a goal, Stumpf began the third by completing the hat trick with an unassisted score at the 6:14 mark. That put Lehigh in front by seven. Jeff Policicchio got Wagner to within six with a score off a feed from Macumber, but the Mountain Hawks closed out the third with three straight scores, including one each from Cornetta, John Henry McNierney and Gruetzmacher to take a commanding 13-4 lead into the final 15. Gruetzmacher's goal was his first of the season and the sophomore did it in stylish fashion, with a nifty around the neck shot.
Diehl netted his second score of the day just 16 seconds into the fourth to put Lehigh ahead by ten, and Chris Linko would score the Brown and White’s final goal of the day at the 7:22 mark. It was Linko’s first goal of the season.
All four Lehigh goal keepers saw time on Saturday and all four recorded at least one save. Senior Eric Spirko got the start and earned the win with two saves before giving way to classmate John Park who made six saves in 19 minutes of work. Freshman Morgan Haller sent back three shots in his time on the field and junior Dan Kaufman stopped one shot while he was out there.
“It’s always good to be able to get everyone out there,” Cassese said. “All of our goalies had at least one save so that was nice to see.” He added, “It feels good to get back to .500 and this was a solid win for us as we look forward to our game on Tuesday.”
Lehigh returns to action on Tuesday afternoon when the Mountain Hawks head to Annapolis, Maryland to take on the nationally ranked Navy Midshipmen. Game time is set for 3:00.
Photography, 2008 (c) Greg Fota