BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Coming off a pair of tough losses at the Frontier Airlines Face-Off Classic, the #16/17 Lehigh men’s lacrosse team looks to bounce back when it returns home to host VMI Saturday. Opening faceoff is set for 2:30 p.m. at the Ulrich Sports Complex. Saturday marks the beginning of a big eight-day stretch for the Mountain Hawks as they’ll follow by hosting #14/15 Penn Tuesday night then playing #8 Penn State next Saturday in the Independence Classic at PPL Park.
The Mountain Hawks led Denver at the half and trailed by only two after three quarters, but a monster fourth quarter for the Pioneers erased any doubt. Lehigh followed with a back-and-forth game against Air Force at its indoor facility as a snowstorm in Denver forced a change in location of that day’s games. Sophomore Dan Taylor led the way with nine points over the two games to earn a spot on the Face-Off Classic All-Tournament Team. He began with his first-career hat trick (along with an assist) on Saturday before posting a career-high three assists and five points Sunday.
Senior attackmen David DiMaria and Dante Fantoni continued their strong starts as DiMaria posted four points in each contest while Fantoni had a goal against Denver then three goals and an assist vs. Air Force. DiMaria leads the team with 22 points through four games while Fantoni and Taylor are tied for second with 15 points apiece.
Sophomore Kurtis Kaunas emerged with three goals last weekend, posting his first-career multi-goal game against Denver while adding a goal vs. Air Force. Classmate Patrick Corbett also netted his first goals of the season, scoring once against the Pioneers and twice against the Falcons.
Saturday’s lacrosse game is part of a busy afternoon on the Goodman Campus. The men’s basketball team hosts Army at 12 p.m. in a nationally-televised contest on CBS Sports Network.
VMI enters with an 0-4 record, falling to Navy, Army, Virginia and Saint Joseph’s. The Keydets are led by Russell East (seven goals, one assist) and Bernie Mowbray (four goals, four assists) with eight points apiece. They’ve struggled offensively, averaging just 5.50 goals per game while allowing 15.50. Matt Lindemann has played all 240 minutes in goal, owning a 15.50 GAA and 52.3 save percentage. Ty Trobridge leads the team with nine groundballs along with five caused turnovers while Tyler Prasnicki has eight groundballs and a team-leading eight caused turnovers.
Lehigh leads the all-time series, 11-5, which includes eight straight victories. The sides played last season for the first time in nine years, a 6-2 Mountain Hawk victory. VMI won the first-ever meeting in 1988, 14-9 then went on to win four of the first five. Saturday will mark the first game in Bethlehem since 2001, a 16-11 Lehigh win.
Following Saturday’s game, the Mountain Hawks will remain home to host #14/15 Penn on Tuesday at 7 p.m. following the Lehigh women’s lacrosse game against Delaware at 4 p.m.
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