March 15, 2014

Lehigh Rebounds With 13-2 Romp Over Navy

from Press Release

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Following Tuesday's loss at #17 Yale, the #14/15 Lehigh men's lacrosse team responded in a big way, defeating Navy 13-2 on Saturday afternoon at the Ulrich Sports Complex. Junior Dan Taylor paced the offense with a career-high five goals and eight points while senior Lukas Mikelinich held the nation's fifth-leading point scorer Sam Jones without a point.

"Tuesday's game at Yale was a tough one for our team and our program," said Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese. "We talked a lot about what happened on Tuesday. Our job as coaches and the team is to make sure it never happens again. I thought the energy was good today and the guys were excited to get back out there. We were fortunate enough to have a game only a few days after that output."

The 11-goal win marked Lehigh's largest-ever margin of victory over the Midshipmen. The previous largest was five goals set each of the last two seasons. Lehigh has now won four straight over Navy after snapping a 98-year losing streak against the Midshipmen in 2010. Lehigh improves to 6-2 on the season and 3-1 in Patriot League play while Navy falls to 3-4 and 2-2 in the league.

Over their last two Patriot League games, the Mountain Hawks have allowed just five goals (three to Bucknell and two to Navy). Lehigh gave up just one even strength goal on Saturday and none over the game's final 51:59.

Junior Patrick Corbett added his seventh-career hat trick while sophomore Reid Weber dished a career-high four assists. In total, the starting attack combined for eight goals and seven assists. Junior Klay Heston scored a career-high two goals while senior Matt Smith and Jimmy Cahill scored a goal and sophomore Billy Oppenheimer had a goal and assist.

"I thought our attack play was very good today," said Cassese. "Dan did a nice job quarterbacking the offense from his position. Our attack did what they're designed to do. They were definitely catalysts on the offensive end."

"Any time you have a 10-2 loss, a lot of onus goes on the offense," said Taylor. "We knew we had to step it up. All six guys were moving well today. I was fortunate to get open and hit my shots. Today, we were all about effort. We came out and played as hard as we could and got a great result."

Mikelinich finished with a groundball and two caused turnovers while sophomore Tripp Telesco had three groundballs and three caused turnovers and senior Ty Souders posted two groundballs and a caused turnover. Junior Sam Lawrence was strong at defensive midfield, finishing with a groundball and three caused turnovers. Junior goalie Matt Poillon impressed with 10 saves, allowing just two goals.

"Defensively, the guys followed the game plan and played within themselves," said Cassese. "They gave up savable shots for our goalie, who is pretty good when he sees those shots. It was a collective defensive effort."

Cahill opened the scoring just over a minute into the game, converting a transition opportunity to make it 1-0.

"We had a huge play from our senior energy guy, coming down off the clear and sticking one. I thought that set the tone for the day," said Cassese.

Corbett scored his first at the 11:02 mark, but Navy pulled within 2-1 at 6:59. That marked Navy's last goal in over 30 minutes as Taylor scored two straight to give Lehigh a 5-1 lead, sparking the Mountain Hawks to eight straight goals.

Lehigh took a 5-1 lead after one quarter then goals from Smith and Corbett made it 7-1 at the half. Taylor, Oppenheimer and Corbett made it 10-1 before Navy's T.J. Hanzsche scored his second goal of the day, on the extra man, to make it 10-2 at 5:05 of the fourth quarter.

Taylor came back with the next two goals and an assist on Lehigh's final goal - a man-up goal scored by Heston - to account for the 13-2 final.

Lehigh held a 32-26 edge in shots and 27-26 advantage in groundballs. Senior Ryan Buttenbaum was 8-of-17 at the faceoff X while freshman Casey McAdam was 1-of-2. After Poillon made 10 saves, sophomore Steve Brodeur came in to make one over the final 5:21. John Connors made six stops for the Mids.

The Mountain Hawks return to action when they travel to Army next Saturday (Mar. 22) to face the Black Knights. Army dropped a slim 7-6 final to #2 Loyola on Saturday.

"They played Loyola a whole lot tougher than we did," said Cassese. "Army is a team we know very well. It's a team that will be fired up to play Lehigh in its home stadium. We'll need to have a great week of practice and we'll need to make sure that we're ready to play."

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