Posted: 03/12/2012 | Last updated: March 12, 2012 at 04:26 PM
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Red-hot Lehigh men’s lacrosse continues to receive team and individual recognition as the squad moved to 11th in both the Coaches and Media Polls released Monday. In addition, freshman goalie Matt Poillon was named Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week for the second straight week, and third time in five weeks. Sophomore close defenseman Ty Souders earned honorable mention recognition.
The Mountain Hawks are riding five straight victories (longest streak since 1999) while their 6-1 overall record is the team’s best start since 1969. Lehigh defeated VMI last Tuesday, 6-2, before topping #15 Yale on Sunday, 11-7, for its first win over the Bulldogs since 1918. The defense has continued to shine, allowing only 25 goals over its six wins (4.2 per game).
In the process, Lehigh jumped from 16th in the Coaches Poll and 15th in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll all the way to 11th in both. The Mountain Hawks jumped teams like Penn State, Duke and Princeton, among others. The Mountain Hawks are mere points away from the top 10 in the country.
Poillon continues to be a big reason for the success, allowing only nine goals while posting a stellar 66.6 save percentage in stopping 18-of-27 last week. He began by making 10 stops at VMI while only allowing two goals. It marked his second double-digit save performance of the season and first since the season opener. Poillon then stopped eight of 15 against a potent Yale offense, holding the Bulldogs to just over half of their season average (14.67) coming in. Poillon and the defense held VMI scoreless for one stretch of 45:33 and Yale scoreless for a 21:29 stretch, proving crucial in both victories. For the season, Poillon owns an impressive 5.91 GAA and 60.2 save percentage. He’s been named Goalkeeper of the Week three times after no Lehigh goalie had ever won the award, which was formed in 2007.
While Poillon has been a stellar backstop, Souders has anchored the defense, which has turned it around after allowing 17 to Villanova on Feb. 18. The Macungie, Pa. native covered VMI and Yale’s top offensive players, holding them to only a single assist all week while posting two groundballs and a caused turnover against the Bulldogs.
Lehigh remains home for its Patriot League opener on Saturday as the Mountain Hawks welcome Army for a 1 p.m. faceoff. The squad will then hit the road the following Tuesday (Mar. 20) for a 7 p.m. tilt at #10 Penn State.