BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The Lehigh men’s lacrosse team looks to continue its historic season Saturday when it travels to #17/16 Colgate to face one of its biggest challenges to date. Faceoff in Andy Kerr Stadium is set for 2 p.m. Saturday will feature the nation’s top scoring defense (Lehigh) against the top offense (Colgate). The Mountain Hawks hope to contain the Raiders’ Peter Baum, who is the top scorer in the country (42 goals and 13 assists in 10 games).
Lehigh own the nation’s most victories (10), using eight unanswered goals at Navy Friday for its ninth straight win. The Mountain Hawks trailed 4-1 early in the second quarter, but held the Midshipmen scoreless for the final 42:02 to run away with the 9-4 win. Lehigh held Navy star Tucker Hull to only a single goal after he entered with 21 goals and 20 assists over his first eight games. Freshman Matt Poillon made six saves, including three big second-quarter stops, to lower his nation-leading GAA to 5.42. Junior Mike Noone helped spearhead the defense with a career-high five groundballs, along with three caused turnovers, to earn his second straight Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honor. Freshman Patrick Corbett led the offensive charge with three goals and an assist to earn Rookie of the Week laurels.
The Lehigh defense has now allowed four goals or fewer in six games this season. Lehigh won its second straight game against Navy after going 98 years in between victories (26 games). It was also the squad’s first-ever win at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. On Saturday, Lehigh will look to snap a six-game losing streak against Colgate and win in Hamilton for the first time since 2000. The Mountain Hawks dropped a hard-fought 11-8 final to the Raiders last season.
A win Saturday would clinch Lehigh its second straight Patriot League Tournament appearance and fourth in school history. The Mountain Hawks last made the tournament in consecutive years in 2005 and ‘06. A win would give Lehigh 11 on the season, pulling within one of the school-record 12 victories in 1994 (the team finished 12-3 that season).
The Mountain Hawks are tied with Bucknell atop the standings with identical 3-0 Patriot League marks. The next two weeks will prove crucial in seeding for the league tournament, with the regular season champion hosting the entire tourney. Lehigh will host the #15/13 Bison next Saturday (Apr. 14) for Senior Night.
Colgate has enjoyed a strong season to date, coming in with an 8-2 record, 2-1 in Patriot League play. The Raiders’ lone losses have come against Dartmouth and Navy while they handed #14 Fairfield its first loss of the season. Baum leads the nation in scoring, with 42 points and 13 assists in 10 games. The defending Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week scored five fourth-quarter goals to help Colgate break a 9-9 tie on its way to a 15-13 win over Army. Ryan Walsh isn’t far behind with 24 goals and 13 assists while Jeff Ledwick has 17 points and seven assists. Three others have recorded double-digit points as well for the nation’s most prolific offense (13.60 per game). Kevin Gordon leads the team with 16 caused turnovers while Bobby Lawrence owns 15 and Kevin Boyle 13. Faceoff specialist Brendon McCann is 56.5 percent on the year (130-of-230), with a team-high 74 groundballs. Jared Madison has started all 10 games in goal, posting a 9.41 GAA and 46.8 save percentage.
Colgate has owned the all-time series as of late, winning six straight and 10 of the last 11 for a 26-10 all-time lead. Lehigh’s last victory came in 2005 (12-11 in overtime) while its last road win came in 2000 (11-9). The teams first met in 1956, which Colgate won, 16-0. Lehigh’s first win was in 1960 (8-6), but Colgate won seven straight before Lehigh’s next victory in 1969. Lehigh had one impressive streak, winning four in a row and five-of-six from 1992-97, but the Raiders have only lost three games since. Last season, the teams played a hard-fought contest which Colgate pulled out, 11-8.
The Mountain Hawks return to the Ulrich Sports Complex next Saturday (Apr. 14) against #15/13 Bucknell for a big clash against the Bison. Faceoff for Senior Night is set for 7 p.m.