March 7, 2011

Lehigh Puts Winning Streak On Line at OSU

from press release

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Coming off two consecutive wins, the Lehigh men's lacrosse teams looks to make it three in a row when it travels to Columbus to take on the No. 13 Ohio State Buckeyes on Tuesday. Opening faceoff is set for 7 p.m. The Mountain Hawks are quickly rising - both regionally and nationally - as they stand in first place in the Patriot League while receiving numerous votes in the USILA National Coaches Poll.

The two-straight wins over Navy and Detroit Mercy puts Lehigh at 3-1 on the young season, 1-0 in league play. The team's success has gotten the attention of coaches nationally, who voted the Mountain Hawks third among "Also Receiving Votes" in their weekly poll. Lehigh is effectively 23rd in the nation, just behind Drexel and Brown and ahead of Georgetown and Bucknell.

The Mountain Hawks are vying for their first win over a ranked foe since topping No. 19 Lafayette in last season's finale. That marked their second straight win over a ranked opponent, one week after topping No. 9 Villanova. Ironically, Lehigh will have an immediate opportunity to garner two straight ranked wins as it plays at No. 18 Yale on Saturday.

Leading the way for Lehigh last week was junior Adam Johnston and sophomore Ryan Snyder, who both received honorable mention recognition on the Patriot League weekly honor roll. Johnston scored four goals in each game, netting the first two and two of the final three makers against Navy in leading the Mountain Hawks to their first win over the Midshipmen since 1913. He then scored four more goals at Detroit Mercy Sunday, which included a career-high three man-up tallies.

Meanwhile, Snyder has continued to serve as one of the team's most valuable players, winning 31-of-44 faceoffs last week. He is now up to 74.4 percent (64-of-86) on the season, good for fifth in the nation. He also leads the nations in ground balls. His 46 are three ahead of Delaware's Dan Cooney, whose 43 has actually come in six games. Snyder is on pace to challenge Geoff Snider's NCAA record for ground balls in a single season (194) while his 11.5 ground balls per game would stand first in NCAA history; Snider's 11.41 in 2006 currently lead the way.

The Mountain Hawks jumped out to a quick 4-1 lead at Detroit on Sunday before the Titans stormed back to even the score. Lehigh responded with eight straight goals spanning the second and third quarters to take control. Sophomore Noah Molnar scored the fifth goal for the Mountain Hawks to break Detroit's momentum and spark the 8-0 run.

Ohio State, out of the ECAC, is 4-1 on the season with wins over Detroit (4-3), Mercer (20-2), North Carolina (13-8) and Penn State (6-5). Its lone loss came at No. 5 UMass. The Buckeyes have risen from unranked in the preseason all the way to No. 13 in the nation following its big home win over the Tar Heels in front of 2,695 at Ohio Stadium. Leading the way offensively is Jeff Tundo (10 goals, four assists) and Logan Schuss (eight goals, six assists), who are tied for the team lead with 14 points. Three different goaltenders have seen action with Greg Dutton getting the most time. He is 3-1 on the season with a 6.54 GAA and .534 save percentage.

Tuesday marks the first-ever meeting between the Buckeyes and Mountain Hawks.

The Mountain Hawks return to action on Saturday when they travel to Yale to face the No. 18 Bulldogs. Lehigh returns home one week from Saturday (Mar. 19) to host Presbyterian at 12 p.m. at the Ulrich Sports Complex.

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