Lehigh vs. Brown
February 21, 2009
The Game Story:
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh unleashed a furious fourth quarter rally scoring six goals against one of the nation’s toughest teams, but in the end the Mountain Hawks came up one goal short, falling to No. 14 Brown 13-12 at the Ulrich Sports Complex on Saturday afternoon. Junior Chris Lubin netted a career-high five goals, including three in the final 15 minutes of play, while sophomore Brian Bienemann found the back of the net three times for Lehigh (0-2). Brown received three goals apiece from Andrew Feinberg and Collins Carey.

Senior Ricky Cornetta and freshman Cameron Lao-Gosney each netted two goals for the Mountain Hawks, while Cornetta led the Brown and White with a pair of assists. Lehigh unleashed 38 shots for the game, which were ten more than Brown, and as a team the Brown and White scooped up 38 ground balls, led by Kyle Gentile’s five. Gentile also won 8-of-16 face-offs in the X, while Will Scudder won six-of-10. Dan Honeywell and Evan Guerrero combined for eight caused turnovers on defense for Lehigh, while starting goalie Morgan Haller sent back five Bears shots before giving way to Conor Murphy, who stopped one shot in his 15 minutes of action.

Brown totaled 26 ground balls for the game, led by Nik Melvin, Ryan Cassil, and Rob Schlesinger with three apiece. Joel Tracy won 8-of-17 in the X, while Nic Bell won 4-of-9. All-American goalie Jordan Burke stopped seven shots in goal for the Bears and Melvin led the visitors with three caused turnovers.

“I thought we gave a much better effort today (compared to last weekend),” Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese said afterwards. “I loved the way our guys responded after we went down; I thought we showed a lot of heart and never quit out there. It would have been easy to pack it in at that point, but we fought until the bitter end against one of the best teams in the country.” He continued, “We were much more disciplined than we were last week, we valued the ball and we did a nice job in the face-off X; we just came up one goal short.”

Cassese then offered his thoughts on the play of Lubin. “Chris is one heck of a scorer. When he’s on, he’s really on, and we need him to be on all the time. It’s been a challenge for us to score goals, so for him to put five shots past the best goalie in America is huge. We just need to build off of today’s game, keep getting better, and begin our preparation for the (North Carolina) Tar Heels next weekend.”

Brown jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first two minutes of the game before Lao-Gosney got Lehigh on the board at the 11:12 mark. Feinberg put the Bears up 3-1 one minute later, but Bienemann netted his first goal of the day with 7:12 on the clock, to make the score 3-2. Thomas Muldoon scored the final goal of the quarter however to give Brown a 4-2 lead after 15 minutes of play.

After a Bears score to open the second, Cornetta got into the scoring column with an unassisted goal at the 12:43 mark to make the score 5-3, but Brown’s Thomas Muldoon took a feed from Brady Williams to give the visitors a 6-3 advantage. Bienemann answered with his second score of the day however, sending the teams into halftime with Lehigh trailing by just two, 6-4.

Brown scored the first three goals of the third to take a five-goal lead with 6:05 remaining. From there Lubin began his scoring assault, netting his first score with only 46 ticks on the quarter clock. Carey answered with his second score for Brown though, making it a 10-5 game. Lubin wasn’t done with his scoring in the quarter however, as he scored an unassisted goal with just 10 seconds to go, sending Lehigh into the final 15 minutes down only four.

A pair of Bears goals to begin the fourth put Lehigh in a six-goal hole, but from there the Mountain Hawks offense caught fire as Lubin scored twice, and Bienemann, Cornetta and Lao-Gosney each got into the act. Lao-Gosney’s goal with 5:44 left in the contest brought Lehigh to within one at 12-11. Kyle Hollingsworth slowed the Mountain Hawks momentum with a goal, to put the visitors up two, but Lubin netted goal number-five with 20 seconds to go, making the score 13-12. Lehigh won the ensuing face-off and appeared to have tied the game, but the shot hit the side of the net, and the Mountain Hawks comeback attempt fell just one goal short.

The Mountain Hawks will return to action on Saturday, February 28 when the Mountain Hawks travel to Baltimore to take on the No. 6 ranked North Carolina Tar Heels at St. Paul’s School. The opening face-off is set for 1:00.