BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Tied at two in the first quarter, the #17/19 Lehigh men’s lacrosse team scored 11 of the next 13 goals to erase any doubt and beat Marquette going away, 13-6 on Saturday afternoon. Senior Ryan Buttenbaum won 17-of-21 faceoffs and the offense converted those opportunities, led by junior Patrick Corbett who tied a career-high four goals. The Mountain Hawks improve to 2-0 on the season heading into a showdown with #20 Villanova next Saturday at the Ulrich Sports Complex.
“I thought our guys did a good job being ready to play, especially on the offensive end,” said Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese. “We had some good sets and really carried the tempo early. Defensively, we weren’t on high alert in the first quarter, giving up two goals on the interior of our defense. Once that settled down, we played a ton of offense because Ryan Buttenbaum was winning so many faceoffs. The defense got a chance to settle in a little bit and the offense played pretty well in the third quarter.”
Senior Dan Taylor added four points behind two goals and two assists. Junior Kurtis Kaunas set a career high with three points via a goal and two assists while eleven other Mountain Hawks posted a single point.
Senior Ty Souders led the defense with four groundballs and two caused turnovers. Buttenbaum scooped a game and career-high 12 groundballs, also setting a career high for faceoffs won.
Seniors Matt Risk and Cody Newton got the scoring started, scoring at 12:39 and 11:45 to give Lehigh a 2-0 advantage.
“It’s a theme for our program; when guys graduate, the next wave of guys steps up,” said Cassese. “These are guys who might be relatively inexperienced, but they’re not freshmen. They’re sophomores, they’re junior , they’re seniors, they’re guys who have been around the block a time or two. The expectation is that they’ll step up and we won’t miss a beat.”
Marquette responded with goals at 9:13 and 7:13, but Corbett scored his first goal of the afternoon, off a feed from Kaunas, to make it 3-2 after one quarter of play.
The Mountain Hawks controlled most of the second quarter. After a Taylor goal at 10:10, junior Alan Henderson scooped the groundball off the ensuing faceoff and found Corbett who made it 5-2 just eight seconds later. Goals from juniors Klay Hestonand Pat Dougherty made it 7-2 before the Golden Eagles pulled within 7-3 at the half.
Marquette scored less than two minutes into the third quarter, but Lehigh answered with six straight goals bridging the rest of the third and midway through the fourth. Junior long pole Dylan O’Shaughnessy got the scoring started on an unsettled situation then Taylor followed. Corbett scored twice in 18 seconds for his third and fourth goals and with it, his second straight hat trick and sixth of his career. Kaunas added a third-quarter goal to make it 12-4 after 45 minutes of play.
Senior Jimmy Cahill made it 13-4 at 10:05 of the fourth quarter before Marquette answered with the final two goals. Blaine Flemin’s tally at 6:00 ended the Golden Eagles’ drought of 22:31 without a goal. Lehigh’s defense stood tall to allow just six goals for a second straight week.
Lehigh held a 38-27 edge in shots and 36-18 in groundballs. Junior Matt Poillon was strong, making nine saves while Marquette goalie J.J. Sagl finished with four.
The Mountain Hawks remain home to host another Big East foe (Villanova) next Saturday at 3 p.m. Lehigh hits the road the following Saturday for its Patriot League opener at Boston University.
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