BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Coming off a tough 6-4 loss to UMass on Wednesday, the Lehigh men’s lacrosse team heads to Patriot League play the remainder of the season beginning with a trip to Holy Cross Saturday. Opening faceoff against the Crusaders is set for 3 p.m. Following Saturday’s game, the Mountain Hawks head home for three of the last four in the regular season.
Lehigh got off to a fast start on Wednesday, taking a 2-0 lead over the Minutemen just 2:22 into the game. But the Mountain Hawks could only score twice more over the final 57:38. The defense was strong, allowing just six goals, but it wasn’t enough. Lehigh dropped a home game by a 6-4 final for a second straight game (the Mountain Hawks fell to Penn 6-4 on Mar. 5).
Senior David DiMaria got off to a hot start, scoring a goal then adding assist within those first three minutes. However, he was shut down from there as was classmate Dante Fantoni, who saw his 50-game point streak (which was fourth nationally) snapped. Lehigh’s other goals came from sophomores Patrick Corbett and Alan Henderson, and senior Kyle Stiefel.
Sophomore goalie Matt Poillon was once again strong in making 13 saves between the pipes to up his season save percentage to 59.5 and lower his GAA down to 8.10. Junior Ty Souders tied a career high with five groundballs as he and fellow close defensemen Mike Noone and Baxter Lanius caused two turnovers apiece.
Holy Cross has enjoyed a much-improved season so far, entering with a 4-3 mark including wins over Hartford, Sacred Heart, Rutgers and most recently, Navy. It marked the Crusaders’ first-ever win over the Midshipmen. Holy Cross is led offensively by Clay Haarmann, who owns a team-high 16 goals and 19 points. James Kennedy has 15 points (six goals, team-leading nine assists), John Hannan 13 (12 goals, one assist), Myles Gillespie 13 (10 goals, three assists) and Terry McKenna 12 (10 goals, two assists). Reigning Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week Matt Ward owns a team-leading 24 groundballs and 14 caused turnovers while Kyle Kadlick has 21 groundballs. A pair of goalies have split time with Michael Ortlieb owning a 9.51 GAA and 56.8 save percentage in four games (three starts) while Kenny O’Connor has a 11.15 GAA and 41.3 save percent in four games (all starts).
Lehigh leads the all-time series which began in 1991, 22-0. The Mountain Hawks have won their last three meetings by seven, seven and nine goals, respectively. The closest call came at Holy Cross in 2007 when Lehigh eeked out a 9-8 overtime victory. The last time the sides played in Worcester, Lehigh won 11-5.
Lehigh returns home for three of its final four games, beginning next Saturday (Mar. 30) against Navy at 1 p.m.
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