#9 Lehigh Tops #11 Colgate for First Patriot Tournament Title

The five-second gap between Collins' and Grabher's goals set a league record for back-to-back goals in a tournament game. The Raiders then went on to score twice more in the period first with an unassisted goal from Ledwick at the 7:52 mark and then with a man-up tally from Walsh assisted by Baum at the 5:23 mark. However, it was not enough to break the Mountain Hawks' lead with Lehigh finding four more goals to put the score at 9-5 going into half time.

The third period saw the most scoring action with a total of 11 goals. Colgate came out to a strong start, with Grabher winning his ninth faceoff of the game, which set a new school record for faceoffs won in a season with 194. The aggressive start led to the Raiders finding a sixth tally when Ledwick picked up a pass from Baum and beat the goalie to reduce the scoring margin to three goals.

Lehigh then answered back with a goal at the 12:05 mark but it was not enough to topple Colgate, which added a seventh goal 29 seconds later when McCann jumped into the air and batted in a pass from Walsh. The Mountain Hawks then stepped up their game, extending their lead to four goals once again with a pair of goals in the next four minutes.

Feeling the deficit, the Raiders struck back with four goals to Lehigh's one to put the game within two with 1:15 left in the third period. Baum scored the first goal off a quick pass from Walsh, who also assisted on the second tally that was scored by Ledwick.

Baum and Ledwick also scored the third and fourth goals respectively with assists from Grabher and McCann. Feeling their lead slip away, the Mountain Hawks responded with a late tally with 11 seconds left in the quarter to increase their lead to 14-11 going into the final period. This is only the second game this season that the Raiders have trailed in the third quarter.

Lehigh started the final 15 minutes of play with back-to-back goals in the 11th minute to give itself a five-goal lead with the score at 16-11. Both teams continued to battle it out on the field as the Raiders searched for a goal that would hopefully spark a final surge to force the game into overtime.

Colgate came close to achieving this mission, taking advantage of some failed clears and turnovers by Lehigh to then tally two goals in the final 80 seconds of play, but it was not enough. The Mountain Hawks were able to win the final possession and drain the clock to secure their first PL Tournament Title and first PL post-season win, 16-14. The win also marks the Mountain Hawks' first visit to the NCAA Tournament.

Senior Jared Madison and sophomore Conor Murphy both saw time in net for the Raiders. Madison had four saves in 49 minutes of play while Murphy had one stop in 11 minutes. Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year, freshman Matt Poillon, had 14 saves for Lehigh. Colgate went 3 for 5 on its extra-man opportunities while holding a slight 17-33 advantage at the faceoff X courtesy of Robert Grabher. The Mountain Hawks capitalized on two of their three man-up opportunities.

The team had three players named to the 2012 Patriot League All-Tournament Team with Peter Baum, Jeff Ledwick and sophomore Bobby Lawrence.

The Raiders will conclude their regular season next weekend when they host No. 7/9 Maryland on Saturday, May 5 at 1:00 p.m. The game will be televised on Time Warner Cable Sports.

* * * *

HAMILTON, N.Y. - Eighth-ranked and second-seeded Lehigh put together one of its strongest offensive outbursts of the season, tying a season-high 16 goals to beat the #10 Colgate Raiders, 16-14, and win its first-ever Patriot League tournament championship on Sunday.

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2012-04-29



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