Bucknell vs. Lehigh
April 2, 2005
The Game Story:
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Steve Case registered a career-high five points with two goals and three assists, leading the 15th-ranked Bucknell men's lacrosse squad to a 12-7 victory over Lehigh at waterlogged Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium. The Bison (6-2, 4-0 Patriot League), who have now equaled their win total from all of last season, scored the last five goals to break open a tight contest and take over sole possession of first place in the Patriot League.

The game featured a matchup of the Patriot League's overall scoring leader in Bucknell's Chris Cara and the league's leading goal producer in Lehigh's Andrew Lucas, but both stars were held in check much of the day. Cara finished with two goals and one assist, while Lucas was held to just a single goal.

Patrick Christensen registered a hat trick, including a couple of highlight reel goals, and Brian Gargan scored twice for the Bison, who outshot Lehigh 44-26 but found themselves embroiled in a tense affair until breaking things open in the game's final 18 minutes.

Lucas' only goal of the day tied the game at 7-all with 3:50 left in the third quarter. After winning only 2 of 10 first-half faceoffs, the Bison were rejuvenated at the X in the second half, and Ryan Goodman's faceoff win just after the Lucas goal set up the go-ahead tally from little-used freshman middie Rick Carolan, who snuck a shot past Eric Spirko just 42 seconds later.

Then with only five seconds left in the third, Christensen falling down near the crease somehow slipped a pass to Kirk Klett for a critical insurance goal. Bucknell took control with three goals in just 1:48 early in the fourth quarter. First it was Christensen, who plucked Gargan's deflected shot out of mid-air and slammed it in for a 10-7 Bison lead. Gargan scored on a low outside shot at the 10:13 mark, then Goodman cleanly won the faceoff, sprinted to the net and fed Cara for Bucknell's fifth straight goal with 10:07 to play.

Matt Baran made five of his 13 saves the rest of the way as Bucknell shut out Lehigh (5-4, 0-3) over the game's final 18:50.

The Mountain Hawks stunned the Bison with two goals in the first 54 seconds of the game. Greg Morin, who finished with two goals and three assists, scored 46 seconds in and long-stick middie Jeff King found the net right off the faceoff for a quick 2-0 Lehigh lead.

A lefthanded rocket from Gargan got the Bison on the board at the 11:32 mark of the opening period, but Bucknell would not take its first lead until Cara's man-up goal off a Case feed with 2:49 left in the half. That gave Bucknell a 5-4 halftime cushion, with Case scoring or assisting on four of the five first-half tallies.

Christensen's nifty underhanded, back-to-the-goal shot with 5:41 left in the third quarter gave Bucknell a 7-5 advantage. The Bison nearly made it 8-5 moments later, but Spirko made a point-blank save on Christensen and Bucknell took an unnecessary roughness penalty on the scrum for the loose ball. Instead, Blake Best finished a precise diagonal pass from Morin for an extra-man goal, and Lucas scored the tying goal just 42 seconds later.

Both teams scored twice with a man advantage, while the Bison won the ground ball battle 40-29. Lehigh won 11 of 21 faceoffs, although Bucknell claimed 8 of 11 in the second half. It was Bucknell's sixth straight victory over Lehigh.

Prior to the game retiring Bucknell head coach Sid Jamieson was honored, and a stone monument was unveiled in recognition of his 38-year tenure as head coach. More than 150 Bison alumni braved a driving rainstorm to be part of the celebration.

Jamieson's Bucknell squad now has a week off to prepare for next week's critical Patriot League showdown with fifth-ranked Army. The Black Knights are 3-0 in Patriot League play and will be looking to wrestle first place away from the Bison. Game time is 1 p.m. at West Point's Michie Stadium. The game will be aired live on the Bison Sports Network - WMLP 1380-AM in Lewisburg and on the web at www.BucknellBison.com.