Lehigh vs. Lafayette
April 23, 2005
The Game Story:
Bethlehem, PA – Lehigh used a four goal fourth quarter to defeat archrival Lafayette on Saturday evening 9-7 at the Ulrich Sports Complex and qualify for the 2005 Patriot League Tournament. The Mountain Hawks honored their seven seniors prior to the contest and looked to the fourth year student-athletes for a lift in the game. Senior captain Greg Morin delivered, scoring three goals and recording his 100th career point along the way. Alec Hoof added two goals and three assists, as Lehigh improved to 9-4 with the win, and 3-3 in Patriot League action, while the Leopards end their season with a record of 2-11 and 1-5 in league play.

Senior Andrew Lucas opened the scoring for Lehigh just 1:14 into the contest on an assist from David Gaunt, to put the Mountain Hawks up 1-0, which is how it would remain until 5:33 remained in the quarter, when Hoof netted his tenth score of the season. Lafayette would answer as Jon Paulson scored off of an assist from Mike Meirowitz to slice the Lehigh lead to one. Morin scored his first goal of the game off of an assist from Blake Best with 3:26 to go in the quarter and the Mountain Hawks were back up two, 3-1. Mike Moran then scored his third goal of the season, assisted by Best, with just four seconds to go in the quarter and Lehigh headed to the second quarter ahead 4-1.

Leo Stinson scored the second quarter’s first goal with 11:45 to go in the half, but Andrew Mastromonaco would put Lehigh back up three at 5-2 with his third goal of the season at the 10:52 mark of the quarter. Lafayette scored the half’s final two goals to send the game into halftime, with Lehigh ahead 5-4.

Lafayette scored the game’s only two goals in the third quarter and headed to the fourth ahead 6-5. But Lehigh did not panic, and took control in the final period, as Morin scored with 13:42 remaining, and David Walsh followed that up with his 16th score of the season to put the Brown and White ahead for good. Morin and Hoof then netted scores in a span of 2:11 and the Mountain Hawks were comfortably in front 9-6. Sean Burek would score late in the contest, but it was to no avail.

Lehigh was out shot 27-21 on the evening, and had just 19 ground balls to Lafayette’s 30. Lehigh converted 19 of 25 clears and had 19 turnovers to the Leopards 18. Freshman Eric Spirko had six saves in goal for the Mountain Hawks, while Jeff King scooped up four ground balls.

Head Coach Chris Wakely liked the way his team did not panic when it fell behind. “At that point, we are just trying to get a stop and get a quality possession. And the next thing you know, we scored and we’re right back in it.” Wakely continued, “Lafayette is a tremendously improved program. They are much more athletic than they have been in the past, they are well-coached and they execute what they are trying to do very well.”

As for qualifying for the post season tournament, Wakely said, “I think our guys handled the pressure very well, especially in the fourth quarter. The seniors have come a long way and I know this means a lot to them.”

Lehigh will open up action in the Patriot League Tournament on Friday, April 29 when the fourth-seeded Mountain Hawks take on top-seeded Navy on 2:00 in Annapolis, MD.