Lehigh vs. Lafayette
March 30, 2007
The Game Story:
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Behind a strong second half performance, Lehigh downed archrival Lafayette 8-3 on Friday evening at the Ulrich Sports Complex. Senior Jeff Wiener led the way on offense with three goals, while classmate Alec Hooff added two scores and an assist. With the win, the Mountain Hawks snap a three-game losing skid and improve to 3-5 overall and pull even at 2-2 in the Patriot League. The Leopards fall to 1-8 overall and 0-4 in league action.

Head coach Chris Wakely is now 6-0 versus the Leopards in his time at Lehigh and he commented on the contributions of the senior class, which accounted for all of the Mountain Hawks points, except two, following the victory. “I think it speaks to the match up with us having a predominant upper class lineup and Lafayette made up of a talented group of freshman and sophomores.”

He continued, “We felt like our experience would eventually pay dividends and that we would be able to find our groove on offense. It doesn’t matter who we are playing at this time of the season, we need to get victories. Every team on our remaining schedule is a tough matchup, so this was crucial to move back to .500 in the league and inch towards .500 overall.”

Freshman Matt Mersky gave Lafayette the early lead with his ninth goal of the season a the 6:38 mark of the opening quarter. That was the only goal either team would score in the opening 15 minutes, but sophomore Ricky Cornetta quickly got the Mountain Hawks on the board in the second with his third score of the season off of an assist from Wiener at the 14:20 mark. Neither team could seem to find its rhythm on the offensive end, with no goals coming for over ten minutes. Wiener ended that with his first score of the evening at the 4:02 clip of the quarter, which sent the Brown and White into halftime ahead 2-1.

John Galassi tied the game at two with his fifth goal of the season at the 11:44 mark of the third, but Marino gave the Mountain Hawks the lead again, with his 11th score of the season at the 7:58 mark of the quarter. Sean Burek tied the game yet again, this time at three, at the 7:01 clip, but senior Hooff put the Mountain Hawks in front to stay with his sixth score of the year at the 2:43 mark. Wiener netted his second score of the night with only eight ticks remaining in the third, sending Lehigh into the final 15 minutes with a 5-3 lead.

Senior Mike Zurfluh put the Mountain Hawks in front 6-3 with his seventh goal of the season off of an assist from Marino with 12:24 remaining, and Hooff made it a four-goal game with 4:17 to go when Zurfluh found him on a nice pass. Wiener then closed it out with his third score with 2:19 to go, as Hooff assisted on the final score.

Lehigh out shot the Leopards 27-18 on the night and scooped up 22 ground balls, led by junior Michael Tabb’s four. Junior Eric Spirko added three ground balls and sent back six Lafayette shots in goal, while Lafayette goal keeper Jeff Canfield was spectacular in goal for the Leopards, sending back 13 shots for the game. Tabb won six-of-12 face offs for the Brown and White, while Marino, Zurfluh and Wiener all handed out two assists. Wiener led the Mountain Hawks with six shots, while Hooff and Marino both unleashed five.

Lehigh returns to action on Saturday, April 7 when the Mountain Hawks play host to Colgate in a pivotal Patriot League showdown. Game time from the Ulrich Sports Complex is set for 1:00.