Lehigh vs. Bryant
March 28, 2009
The Game Story:
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Facing a 13-9 deficit after three quarters, Lehigh rallied to pull within one goal with 4:13 remaining, but that was the final time the Mountain Hawks would score as they fell to the Bryant Bulldogs 14-13 at the Ulrich Sports Complex on Saturday afternoon. Senior Ricky Cornetta led the Mountain Hawks with three goals and three assists while Cameron Lao-Gosney, Brian Bienemann and Adam Johnston all scored twice apiece. Three players scored four goals each for Bryant, including Bryan Kaufmann, Kevin Hoagland and Max Weisenberg.

Lehigh took 45 shots on the afternoon led by Lao-Gosney’s nine, while Max Dahlem unleashed eight. Johnston tied for high honors with Morgan Haller with four ground balls each, while Rich Bradley caused seven turnovers and won 5-of-13 in the X. Kyle Gentile caused five TOs and scooped up three ground balls, while Haller stopped eight shots in goal.

Kaufmann and Hoagland led the visitors with seven shots apiece, while Andrew Hennessey had a huge day at the X, winning 21-of-31 to go along with a game-high 14 ground balls. Four different Bulldogs caused two turnovers and in goal Jameson Love sent back 13 shots.

“We dug ourselves too big a hole today and in the end it was too much to overcome,” Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese said afterwards. “Give credit to Bryant, they are a great team and they simply wanted it more than we did today. We weren’t able to match their intensity and that cost us. Looking ahead, we move back into league play next weekend against Colgate and my hope is that we come out and play with more intensity and more passion.”

Johnston scored the game’s first goal two minutes in off a feed from Cornetta and Kaufmann tied the game at one just 53 seconds later off an assist from Zack Greer. Lao-Gosney netted goal number-14 on the season with 8:41 on the quarter clock to put the home team up 2-1, but Hoagland answered with a score 36 seconds after to once again tie the game.

Lao-Gosney gave the lead back to Lehigh, and Matt Diehl followed with his third score of the season to give the home team a 4-2 lead with 5:29 left in the first quarter. Hoagland scored with only 42 ticks left in the quarter though, sending the teams into the second with the Mountain Hawks up 4-3.

Hoagland and Weisenberg opened the second with back-to-back scores to give Bryant its first lead of the afternoon at 5-4, but goals by Dahlem and Bienemann gave Lehigh the lead back with 8:45 left before halftime. Bryant then took the lead back on three straight scores, including two from Kaumann and one from Weisenberg to make it an 8-6 game with 3:10 remaining before the half. Cornetta brought the Brown and White within one with 2:14 on the clock and Johnston’s goal with only 12 seconds left sent Lehigh and Bryant into halftime knotted at eight.

Greer opened the second half with his 30th score of the season to give Bryant the lead yet again, but Cornetta had the answer for Lehigh as he took a pass from Bienemann and beat Love to tie things up at nine. The Bulldogs closed the quarter with four straight goals though to put Lehigh in a 13-9 hole heading into the final 15 minutes of play.

Lao-Gosney found Cornetta for a goal two minutes into the final quarter to make the score 13-10, but Kaufmann momentarily put an end to Lehigh’s momentum as he found the back of the net at the 12:09 mark. Roman Lao-Gosney netted his first collegiate score with 8:31 to go, which brought Lehigh to within three at 14-11. Bienemann then made it a two-goal affair as he score with 5:17 to go, and Evan Guerrero completed a beautiful coast-to-coast drive with a goal at the 4:16 mark, pulling Lehigh within one. Guerrero picked off a pass on the other end of the field, sprinted past numerous Bryant players and riffled a shot into the back of the net, sending the Lehigh crowd into a frenzy.

Coming down the stretch Lehigh had its chance to tie the game, but was unable to put the ball in the back of the net. Cassese called a pair of timeouts in the final minute of play to set up the Mountain Hawks offense, but Cameron Lao-Gosney’s shot was stopped just as time ran out.

Lehigh now has one week off before it returns to action on April 4 when the Mountain Hawks play host to the Colgate Raiders at the Ulrich Sports Complex. The opening face-off is set for 1:00.