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

"That was a big key for us," said Cassese. "We knew we needed to start quickly. If their offense got rolling early, it could've been a long day for us. We came out hot out of the gate and forced them to play from behind, at least a little while before they caught up pretty quickly."

Colgate mounted a charge, scoring three straight in a 30-second span (at 12:30, 12:05 and 12:00), but Souders scored his first-career goal at the 10:10 mark, a man-down goal off an odd-man break, to make it 6-3. The Raiders came right back with two consecutive, but again, Lehigh had an answer. Hess scored his first of the game at the 3:32 mark, before DiMaria and Fantoni netted goals to end the half, giving Lehigh the four-goal lead it had at the end of the first, 9-5.

The Raiders' Jeff Ledwick, who finished with a game-high five goals, scored at 13:36 of the third quarter to make it 9-6, but Lehigh answered with three of the next four and four of the next six to take a 13-8 advantage after Roman Lao-Gosney's second goal in a 4:23 span.

However, Colgate went on another outburst, scoring three times in a 1:02 span to pull right back within 13-11 with 1:15 remaining. But as they did at the end of the second quarter, the Mountain Hawks scored a momentum-changing goal with just 11 seconds left in the third, for a three-goal cushion.

Fantoni and senior Cameron Lao-Gosney made it 16-11 at the 11:03 mark of the fourth. The Raiders did score three goals down the stretch, but the Mountain Hawks held them off to wrap up the 16-14 victory.

Colgate held a 43-40 shot edge while Lehigh won the groundball battle, 31-29. Snyder won 15 of 32 faceoffs in a strong bounce back performance after struggling in the regular season meeting against the Raiders. He also scooped nine groundballs to improve to 92 for the season. The Mountain Hawks were 14 of 15 on clears and 2 of 3 on extra man opportunities while Colgate was 16 of 18 and 3 of 5, respectively.

Freshman Matt Poillon was solid with 14 saves while Madison posted four before Colgate's Conor Murphy made one.

The Mountain Hawks will now wait for next Sunday's NCAA Tournament Selection Show. Check back to Lehighsports.com throughout the week for continued updates.

"We're definitely not even close to being done yet," said Fantoni. "We'll wait for our NCAA Tournament fate, prepare for that and see how things go from there."

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2012-04-29



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