No. 9 Lehigh Advances Past Army to the Patriot Title Game

Lehigh held a slight 30-29 edge in shots, while groundballs were even at 26. Freshman Matt Poillon made four saves for the Mountain Hawks before giving way to junior Griffin Farha, who made three saves in the final minutes. Palmieri made seven saves for the Black Knights.

The Mountain Hawks will now face Colgate on Sunday with a Patriot League Championship and NCAA Tournament berth at stake. Faceoff is set for 3:00 p.m. in Hamilton, N.Y. The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network while streaming audio coverage will be available online at

“You don't have four teams ranked in the top 20 for no reason,” said Cassese. “This is what it's all about. You have to beat two top 20 teams in three days. Colgate's awesome. We'll have to play our very best game of the year if we hope to win a championship on Sunday.”

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HAMILTON, N.Y. – Senior attackman Conor Hayes scored four points (2G, 2A) and junior midfielder Alex Van Krevel netted a pair of goals, but it was not enough as No. 2 Lehigh topped No. 3 Army, 13-7, in Friday night's second semifinal of the 2012 Patriot League Tournament at Andy Kerr Stadium.

The loss eliminated Army (7-7) from the conference tournament, while Lehigh moves on to face top-seed and host Colgate in Sunday's championship game at 3:00 p.m.

The Mountain Hawks jumped out to an early 5-1 lead late in the first quarter and never looked back. The Black Knights scattered single goals through the remainder of the game, but never strung together more than one as Lehigh (13-2) punched its ticket to the title game.

Senior Derek Sipperly shined once again on the face-off, winning 18 of 24 battles. Aside from Hayes and Van Krevel, junior attackman Garrett Thul, senior attackman John Adair and sophomore attackman Alex Carros each chipped in with single goals. Sipperly connected with Hayes for a goal late in the fourth quarter to earn his seventh assist of the season.

Lehigh held a slight 30-29 edge in shots, while both teams totaled 26 ground balls. Sipperly led all players with 11 ground balls, while freshman defensive midfielder Billy Baird added four.

Senior goalkeeper Zach Palmieri made seven saves, as did Lehigh rookie Matt Polloin. Both teams were 1 of 4 on extra-man opportunities.

The Mountain Hawks took an early 1-0 lead on a Brian Hess goal with 11:29 on the clock in the first quarter. Army answered back as Hayes found Carros with a quick trigger for his first career goal at 10:09. The Mountain Hawks scored the next four goals unanswered on their way to a 5-1 lead. Army made it 5-2 after the first as Thul fed Hayes after a restart with 18 seconds left to tally the Black Knights' second goal.

Lehigh proceeded to out-score Army 3-1 in the second quarter en route to an 8-3 halftime lead. Thul worked around a double-team and scored from the right side for Army's lone goal in the second frame.

The Mountain Hawks continued to roll in the second half, scoring seven additional goals. Both of Van Krevel's goals came in the second half, while Adair notched the Black Knights' only man-up goal to open the fourth-quarter scoring. Despite out-shooting Lehigh 21-13 in the second half, Army could not overcome the deficit.

The Black Knights close out the regular season at nationally ranked Johns Hopkins next Saturday, May 5, at Homewood Field. Face-off is set for 2:00 p.m. with the game appearing live on ESPNU.

Game Notes: Garrett Thul extended his goal-scoring streak to 38 games ... Alex Van Krevel matched a season-high two goals on Saturday ... Derek Sipperly took all 24 face-offs on the night ... Lehigh topped Army 7-6 during the regular-season meeting ... Saturday marked the first Patriot League Tournament meeting between Army and Lehigh ... senior long stick midfielder Tim Henderson and junior defenseman Brendan Buckley were honored prior to the game after being named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and Scholar-Athlete of the Year, respectively.

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