Lehigh vs. Bucknell
April 11, 2008
The Game Story:
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Austin Winter handed out five assists and added one goal as No. 10 Bucknell upended Lehigh by a score of 11-5 on Friday evening at the Ulrich Sports Complex. Five different Lehigh players scored on the night, including Fred Cassilly, Jonathan Stumpf, Ricky Cornetta, Brian Bienemann and Max Dahlem. With the loss the Mountain Hawks fall to 6-8 overall and 2-4 in Patriot League play while the Bison improve to 9-2 overall and 4-1 in league action.

Bucknell out shot the Mountain Hawks 27-19 for the game, including a 14-5 advantage in the second quarter. Lehigh scooped up 25 ground balls, led by senior Stuart Baxter’s four, while classmate Tom Allen credited with three. In goal, senior Eric Spirko sent back eight shots in 55 minutes of action, while John Park played five minutes in a relief role.

Billy Haire scooped up four ground balls for the Bison, while Rick Carolan won 10-of-16 face offs and also totaled four GBs. Nick Sciubba got the start in goal and stopped seven shots in 58 minutes of action before giving way to Matt Antonelli.

Stumpf put Lehigh up 1-0 at the 12:24 mark of the opening quarter off a feed from Cassilly, but Ryan Klipstein tied the game at one with his eighth score of the season with 7:58 to go in the quarter. Bienemann put the Mountain Hawks in front 2-1 with 7:31 left in the opening 15 minutes, but two straight scores by the Bison put the visitors on top 3-2 after one quarter of play.

Three goals by Bucknell to open the second made the 6-2 with 10:48 to go in the first half, but Dahlem found the back of the net at the 6:32 mark to slice the deficit in half. Tim Brandau and Perry Menzies scored the last two goals of the half however and the Bison took an 8-3 lead into intermission.

Winter opened the third quarter with his first and only goal of the game as Bucknell went in front 9-3, but Cassilly answered with his 11th goal in 2008 and Lehigh was back within five at 9-4. Brandau made it a 10-4 affair with his 22nd goal of the year, but again Lehigh had an answer as Cornetta scored with 2:48 to go, giving Lehigh hope of a comeback entering the final quarter of play.

Both teams struggled to find any kind of offense in the fourth with the lone goal coming from Steven Cheng, his first of the season, with six ticks to go, making the final margin 11-5.

“Credit goes to Bucknell, they played a heck of a game,” Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese said afterwards. “Bucknell’s offense was good, they came in with a strong game plan and executed. On defense we were a step slow; we knew what they were going to try and do, but just had trouble slowing them down.”

He continued, “This is a disappointing loss because it ends our hopes of earning a berth into the Patriot League Tournament, but the season is not over. We have one huge game remaining against a very good Notre Dame team next weekend and we’re going to do everything we can to be ready for it.”

Cassese then commented on the season best crowd of 1,062 people in attendance. “This crowd was great tonight. I wish we could have given them a better show, but this is a marathon, not a sprint. We’re building this program day-by-day and we want to see the community support continue to grow as we move forward. Hopefully with the events surrounding the Notre Dame game next weekend, we’ll have another great crowd.”

Lehigh concludes its season on Sunday, April 20 when the Mountain Hawks welcome the nationally ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish to the Ulrich Sports Complex. The opening face-off is set for 1:00.