Patriot League Shows True Colors on Topsy-Turvy Saturday

PHOTO BY BRENT HUGO/LEHIGH ATHLETICS

Freshman attackman Christian Daniel scored two goals and added three assists Saturday as visiting Navy toppled No. 14 Lehigh 10-7.


Just when you thought the Patriot League may be predictable, Saturday happened.

Just hours after Bucknell upset No. 7 Loyola on the road and Colgate took down No. 15 Army at home, Navy came into Bethlehem, Pa. and defeated No. 14 Lehigh, 10-7. 

The end result is four teams with one Patriot League loss apiece and two more with two apiece.

Lehigh held the edge in practically every statistical category, except saves. The Mountain Hawks’ offense struggled to get into a rhythm, and when they did a quality shot off, Ryan Kern stood tall. Kern finished with career-high 18 stops, 11 coming in the second half to stop Lehigh’s hopes of a comeback.

“I took a different approach to today’s game,” said Kern, who passed his previous career high of 17 saves against Army last season. “Instead of getting amped up, I tried to stay level-headed throughout the game and just focused on the ball.”

Lehigh finished with a 38-26 edge in shots and 39-27 advantage in ground balls. Navy turned the ball over 19 times compared to 11 for the Mountain Hawks and the Mountain Hawks won 13-of-21 faceoffs. But in the end, Lehigh’s offense scored just seven goals, one game after putting up 13 at Hofstra against the nation’s top-scoring defense.

“[Kern] really played a full four-quarter game and made it tough for us to mount anything that would look like a comeback,” Lehigh coach Kevin Cassese said. “I thought that was the difference in the game for sure. Our guys battled hard. They were resilient. That was our fifth game in 15 days and I thought they left it all out on the field.”

Navy jumped out to a 2-0 lead and led 4-2 in the late stages of the second quarter when a one-minute non-releasable penalty led to two Lehigh extra-man goals in the span of 46 seconds. Tristan Rai found Andrew Pettit on both occasions to even the score at four.

The Midshipmen created separation in the third quarter, as Jack Ray scored the first two goals, at 13:06 and 8:42 to give Navy a 6-4 advantage. Later, Dave Little gave the Midshipmen a 7-4 lead, just 22 seconds after Kern’s fourth save of the quarter.

The Mountain Hawks scored with 3:00, then 1:52, remaining in the third to pull within 7-6. In the final minute, Lehigh defenseman Eddie Bouhall had a shot in front of the goal, but Kern made another stop and Christian Daniel found Little for a transition goal to give Navy an 8-6 lead heading to the fourth.

The Midshipmen kept the momentum going in the final stanza as Greyson Torain scored at 12:52 then 3:59 to give Navy a 10-6 advantage. Lehigh tried to make a late comeback, scoring at the 3:46 mark and winning the ensuing possession, but Kern denied Andrew Eichelberger to all but end hopes of a comeback.

In the end, five different Navy players led the offense with two goals apiece; Daniel posted a game-high five points (two goals, three assists).







Bucknell Holds Off Loyola, Snags First Top-10 Win Since 2013

No. 20 Bucknell knocked off No. 7 Loyola 12-11 Saturday afternoon at the Ridley Athletic Complex. The Bison (6-3, 4-1 Patriot League) handed the two-time defending conference champion Greyhounds (5-3, 3-1) their first Patriot League loss of the season by building a four-goal advantage and then holding off a furious comeback attempt in the final six minutes of regulation.

After Kevin Lindley completed a hat trick with 5:47 on the clock to snap Bucknell's 4-0 run, Loyola netted two goals in a 31-second span to make it a 12-11 game with 3:03 left to play. While Jarett Witzal won the resulting faceoff to get the Bison the ball back, Jacob Stover denied a Connor O'Hara bid with 2:11 remaining to give the Greyhounds a chance to send the game into overtime.

With 47 seconds on the clock, Christian Klipstein snagged an Alex McGovern bullet at the right edge of the crease to maintain Bucknell's one-goal edge. While the Bison turned the ball over after Klipstein's save, Hunter Newman picked off a Pat Spencer pass to keep Loyola from getting another look on net. The Bison drained the final 35 seconds from the clock by playing keep away and then stormed the field in celebration of their first victory over a top-10 opponent since 2013.

Bucknell turned an 8-8 deadlock into a 12-8 lead with a 4-0 run that stretched from the 3:55 mark of the third quarter to the 8:21 mark of the final frame. During that run, which proved to be the difference in the game, O'Hara netted two of his game-high four goals, Will Sands registered a pair of assists and Reed Malas capped his second career hat trick with an unassisted beauty.

Loyola's Aidan Olmstead led all players with six points (2g, 4a) while Lindley tied Malas for the game-high with three goals. Notably, Bucknell held Spencer, the two-time Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year and 2018 Tewaaraton finalist, to just three points (1g, 2a). 

Colgate Defense Foils Black Knights

Army's top-ranked defensive unit played pretty much to expectations but the Colgate defense was just a little bit better Saturday. The Raiders spotted the No. 15 Black Knights a pair of three-goal leads before storming back to secure a big 8-6 Patriot League victory Saturday on Crown Field at Andy Kerr Stadium.

Army came in allowing a nation's best 6.4 goals per game, while Colgate entered as the No. 2 overall offense at 14.4. Something had to give, but it was the Colgate defensive unit that stepped forward and put its stamp on Saturday's outcome.
 
After the Black Knights went ahead 5-2 early in the second quarter, Colgate held themscoreless for 41 minutes and 28 seconds to shift the game completely in its favor. Only a goal in the final 36 seconds snapped a near flawless performance.

The Raiders, meanwhile, strung together six consecutive goals over the second and third quarters to take command. Mike Hawkins, Joe Delaney and Griffin Brown scored to secure a 5-5 halftime tie, and then Hawkins, Brown and Duncan Hoskinson tallied in the third quarter to push the Raiders in front.
 
Connor Mullen backed up the defensive effort with 12 saves on 35 Army shots. Over his last two games, Mullen has allowed just 10 goals and made 17 saves.

Holy Cross Wins Without Head Coach

With head coach Judd Lattimore on administrative leave, Holy Cross picked up its second win of the season, defeating Quinnipiac 14-13.  Logan LeBlond led the Crusaders with a career-high five goals. Kevin Kodzis and Drew Babiak added three goals apiece, and Holy Cross held a 40-18 edge in ground balls.

The university placed Lattimore on leave in light of complaints from parents and players about his coaching methods, such as having the team run sprints during halftime of the Crusaders' game against Brown. According to multiple reports by Marisa Ingemi, an occasional US Lacrosse Magazine contributor, that came out Friday night on College Crosse and Inside Lacrosse, Lattimore was not expected to be on the sideline Saturday. "We are evaluating a personnel matter and the college cannot comment on personnel matters." a Holy Cross spokesperson told Ingemi in a statement.

Nike/US Lacrosse
Top 20 Scoreboard

No. 1 Albany 13, UMass-Lowell 6
No. 17 Syracuse 15, No. 2 Duke 14
No. 3 Maryland vs. No. 19 North Carolina – 10 p.m. ET
No. 5 Denver 11, Towson 10 (OT)
No. 6 Yale 16, Princeton 8
No. 20 Bucknell 12, No. 7 Loyola 8
No. 8 Johns Hopkins 15, No. 10 Virginia 13
No. 9 Villanova 13, Fairfield 12 (OT)
No. 11 Rutgers 15, Delaware 10
Cornell 20, No. 12 Penn 13
St. John’s 9, No. 13 Hofstra 8
Navy 10, No. 14 Lehigh 7
Colgate 8, No. 15 Army 6
Marquette 9, No. 16 Georgetown 8 (OT)
No. 18 Harvard 10, Dartmouth 8

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