March 6, 2011

Eight-Goal Run Gives Lehigh Victory, Best Start Since 2006

from press release

DETROIT - The Lehigh men's lacrosse team used an 8-0 run bridging the first and second halves to break open a close game, on its way to a convincing 13-9 win over Detroit Mercy on Sunday. With the victory, the Mountain Hawks improve to 3-1 on the season, good for their best start since 2006. Junior Adam Johnston led the way with four goals behind a career-high three man-up tallies.

"I thought we had good energy from the start," said Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese. "We came out on fire, going up 4-1 in the first quarter. That was really important for us to get off to a fast start and we did. I was proud of that."

Sophomore David DiMaria was stellar as well in dishing a career-high five assists. That upped his point streak to 14 consecutive games while fellow sophomore Dante Fantoni added a goal to improve his streak to 16 straight. The five assists were most by a Lehigh player since Ricky Cornetta also had five on Mar. 17, 2009 against Army.

"Detroit is much improved from a year ago," said Cassese. "Give them a lot of credit for fighting back on two occasions. They controlled tempo for the first half of the second quarter, and then late in the third and into the fourth."

The Mountain Hawks finished with 41 shots, their most since last Apr. 3 when they had 46 against Sacred Heart. Lehigh also won 17-of-24 faceoffs, including 13-of-18 from sophomore Ryan Snyder, who has now won 74 percent (64-of-87) of his draws on the year. He also scooped up 11 ground balls - his fourth straight game in double figures - to improve his season total to 46.

Senior Cameron Lao-Gosney impressed with his sixth-career hat trick while fellow senior Jonathan Stumpf added two goals for the second straight game and third time in four contests this season.

Lehigh used a number of man-up opportunities to its advantage, converting 3-of-7 (all by Johnston) while Detroit finished 2-of-6. Not to be forgotten, a relentless Mountain Hawk defense pressured the Titans into 22 turnovers as they were only 10-of-25 on clear attempts. Sophomore goaltender Dan Carr impressed with 12 saves.

Johnston got the Mountain Hawks off to the fast start with two goals in a 29-second span early in the first quarter. The first came at 12:16, while he converted his second only 10 seconds into Lehigh's first extra-man opportunity.

Detroit pulled within one at 10:56, but Cameron Lao-Gosney answered to put Lehigh back up two before Stump made it 4-1 at 7:31. The Mountain Hawks continued to attack, but Detroit goaltender A.J. Levell kept his squad in the game with seven first-quarter saves, keeping it a three-goal margin after 15 minutes of play.

The Titans' offense responded with three straight second-quarter goals to even the score at four. The first two came within the first 2:55 of the quarter before Shayne Adams netted the equalizer at the 8:39 mark.

Sophomore Noah Molnar ended Lehigh's long 15:29 scoreless drought with a crucial goal at 7:00 to give the Mountain Hawks a 5-4 advantage.

"That was a huge goal for us where he drove right-handed," said Cassese. "You could see a sign of relief from our guys when he stuck that goal. That led us into the eight-goal run through the second and third quarters."

Roman Lao-Gosney made it 6-4 just over a minute later while brother Cameron made it 7-4 and Stumpf added his second with 2:45 until halftime.

Lehigh jumped out to the quick start in the second, scoring four goals within the first 6:23 to up its run, and lead, to eight. Johnston added a pair of man-up goals while Fantoni scored his first of the afternoon to make it 11-4. Cameron Lao-Gosney then scored Lehigh's first man down goal of the season at the 8:37 mark to cap off the 8-0 run, making it 12-4.

Detroit answered with two straight goals before junior Kevin Donovan Jr. added his first of the season at 6:09 of the fourth quarter to stop the momentum. The Titans did make one final push, scoring three goals in the span of 2:28, but it wasn't nearly enough as the Mountain Hawks held on, 13-9.

Lehigh held the final edge in shots, 41-32, and ground balls, 43-33.

The Mountain Hawks return to action on Tuesday when they travel to No. 13 Ohio State to take on the Buckeyes at 7 pm. Lehigh will continue its road trip at Yale next Saturday (Mar. 12) at 2 p.m.

"It's good to get the win, especially out here in foreign territory," said Cassese. "We're certainly not satisfied with this one win over Detroit. We have a lot of room for improvement. It's a short turnaround, but we expect our guys to come out with a lot of energy on Tuesday."


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