Lehigh Scores First Eight to Beat Binghamton
from press release
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - A strong defense set the tone
early while an explosive offense took over late as the Lehigh
men’s lacrosse team cruised to a 13-7 win over Binghamton on
Tuesday evening at the Ulrich Sports Complex. Sophomore David
DiMaria led the offense with two goals and three assists while
senior Richard Bradley registered a season-high seven groundballs
and five caused turnovers to lead the Mountain Hawks (6-4, 2-1
Patriot League) to their second straight victory.
Lehigh scored the game’s first eight goals before Binghamton got on the scoreboard at 2:57 of the second quarter. The Bearcats eventually clawed back to as close as 10-7 early in the fourth, but the Mountain Hawks responded with the game’s final three goals to erase any doubt.
“Getting out to the 8-0 lead was important, but I’m disappointed we let them back in the game,” said Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese. “This is a big non-league win for us; we try to get better every week. We’ll need to elevate our game to come up with a win on Saturday [against No. 20 Penn State].”
The victory marks Lehigh’s fourth in as many home games, tying the squad’s best home start since 2008. A 6-4 record also gives the Mountain Hawks their best record after 10 games since the 2006 campaign.
DiMaria tied a career high with his five points behind two goals and three assists. Fellow sophomore Dante Fantoni posted four behind two goals and two assists. In the process, they each extended their point streaks to 20 and 23 games, respectively.
“Dante really helped us extend our lead while David did a nice job of quarterbacking our offense,” said Cassese.
Junior Roman Lao-Gosney gave a struggling Mountain Hawk offense an early lift with a career-high three goals, all coming within the game’s first 20:12.
“We got a great spark from Roman,” said Cassese. “He’s been pressing of late. He came out and got a few big goals in the early going.”
Sophomore Noah Molnar also posted a career-high two assists while the Mountain Hawks received two goals from sophomore Kyle Stiefel and single tallies from juniors Cameron Lao-Gosney and Adam Johnston, along with sophomores Brian Hess and Alex Drake.
Bradley helped spearhead a defense which didn’t allow a goal until 2:57 remaining in the second quarter. Sophomore Mike Noone contributed a career-high three groundballs, along with a caused turnover. Molnar also added two groundballs and a caused turnover.
Sophomore Ryan Snyder was stellar once again at the faceoff X, winning 18-of-20 while tying a career-high 13 groundballs to help Lehigh control possession. He has now won 67.2 percent of his faceoffs on the season while scooping a league-leading 87 groundballs.
The teams played to a stalemate over the game’s first 14:00 before Roman Lao-Gosney broke the ice with his fifth goal of the season at 1:00 of the first quarter. DiMaria then fed Johnston for a goal only 28 seconds later to make it 2-0.
Lehigh went on to open an eight-goal lead, which included two more tallies from Roman Lao-Gosney and two straight from Stiefel. Fantoni made it 8-0 with 4:37 remaining, but Binghamton responded with two quick scores in a 25-second span to pull within 8-2 at the half.
The Bearcats slowly inched back, netting five of the first seven second-half goals to pull as close as 10-7 at 10:05 of the fourth quarter. But Lehigh responded with goals from Cameron Lao-Gosney, DiMaria and Drake to seal the victory.
The Mountain Hawks led the final shot count, 38-15, while holding the groundball edge, 39-19. Lehigh was 15-of-17 on clear attempts while Binghamton was 13-of-18. The Mountain Hawks finished 2-of-3 on the extra man to the Bearcats’ 3-of-4. Lehigh sophomore Dan Carr finished with three saves across Kraig Heston, who made seven.
Lehigh remains home on Saturday when it welcomes Keystone State rival and No. 20 nationally ranked Penn State for a special 1 p.m. faceoff in Goodman Stadium. Tickets are available online at Lehighsports.com and be calling 610-7LU-GAME.
“Saturday is big, our first-ever game in Goodman,” said Cassese. “This win gives us tremendous momentum leading into that game. We want to get on a roll as we head into the meet of our Patriot League schedule. It’s also a big opportunity to get a top-20 win.”
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