Mountain Hawks Surge Past 19th-Ranked Colgate

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Lehigh scored five of the first six second-half goals to turn a one-goal lead into a 10-5 advantage on its way to an impressive 11-7 win over #19 Colgate on Saturday at the Ulrich Sports Complex.

The Mountain Hawks allowed just 21 Raiders shots, only three coming from Colgate's leading scorer Ryan Walsh who was held pointless by Lehigh sophomore defenseman Tripp Telesco. With the win, Lehigh improves to 9-3 and 4-2 in the Patriot League while Colgate falls to 7-4 and 3-3 in the league.

"It was a great day," said Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese. "I was proud of our guys' effort. I thought the guys played hard today, played with purpose and with fire. That was really important for us. I don't think we had a great start, but our play in the third quarter was inspired. Guys played really hard, trying to pick up groundballs and make the simple plays. That proved to be the difference today."

After 42 straight games with a point, Walsh was held pointless for a second straight game. He only had three shots, one on goal as Telesco continued his tremendous season. He finished with four groundballs and three caused turnovers to up his season totals to 35 and 28, respectively.

Junior Dan Taylor led the offense with four points behind two goals and two assists. Junior Kurtis Kaunas also had two goals and senior Matt Smith dished two assists. Eight other Mountain Hawks posted a single point in a balanced all-around effort.

Saturday was Senior Day as Lehigh's 13 seniors were recognized prior to their final home game in the Brown and White. With the win over Colgate, this senior class became the winningest in program history. The Mountain Hawks have defeated the Raiders four straight times after a seven-game losing streak against Colgate was snapped in the 2012 Patriot League Championship Game.

The Mountain Hawks played a physical, aggressive style, forcing 15 of Colgate's 24 turnovers. Junior Dylan O'Shaughnessy had two groundballs and two caused turnovers while classmate Sam Lawrence also caused a pair of turnovers. Lehigh's starting defense of Telesco and seniors Ty Souders and Lukas Mikelinich combined for nine groundballs and five caused turnovers on the afternoon.

"It was a total team effort. We needed to be great off the ground on both ends of the field and in between the restraining lines," said Cassese. "I thought we got really good play out of our faceoff unit. Senior Ryan Buttenbaum stepped in and our wing play was tremendous. That allowed us to have a lot more possessions in the second half.

"It was definitely a true team effort," Cassese continued. "Everyone played a role, and that's what you need to do to beat a good team like Colgate."

A back and forth first half began with a Colgate goal at 6:36 of the first quarter. Lehigh responded with the next two, from sophomores Reid Weber at 4:45 and Billy Oppenheimer at 1:09.

The teams traded goals in the second quarter, each scoring three times. After Colgate pulled even, freshman Jason Kozel scored his first-career goal in transition off a feed from Lawrence to make it 3-2 at the 8:37 mark. Junior Alan Henderson and Taylor scored Lehigh's other second-quarter goals.

Coming out of halftime, Lehigh outscored Colgate 4-1 in the third quarter to improve its season total to 42-14 in that stanza. Taylor began the scoring at 12:35 followed by a Mastroianni rocket from Smith less than a minute later. After a Raiders goal, Kaunas scored twice in 2:09 to make it 9-5 after 45 minutes of play.

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2014-04-05



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