Junior midfielder Ray Mastroianni looks for an opening to shoot on goal. The Mountain Hawks lost to Marquette 10-9. (Liz Cornell/B&W photo)

Lehigh men’s lacrosse team drops season opener to Marquette 10-9


For the first time since 2009, Lehigh’s men’s lacrosse team lost its season opener.

Amid the suspension of three returning players, Lehigh began its season at home against Marquette University. In a back-and-forth battle, the Mountain Hawks ultimately lost 10-9.

Senior midfielder Kurt Kaunas scored with just 1:53 left in the fourth quarter to cut Marquette’s lead to one, but Lehigh was unable to score again as the Golden Eagles ran the clock out.

“I thought it was a pretty clean game overall,” said Coach Kevin Cassese. “Obviously we came out on the short end, but I thought both teams battled really hard. That’s kind of what I expected just knowing a little bit about them and how they finished the year last year.”

Senior attackman and offensive captain Dan Taylor led the way for Lehigh with three goals and two assists, tallying his 15th career hat trick. Kaunas and junior attackman Reid Weber each added two goals.

The first quarter was almost all defense, with neither team able to get much going. Lehigh finally broke the scoreless tie when Taylor passed to Weber for a goal. That ended the first quarter at 1-0.

Marquette eventually went into halftime with a 4-3 lead after stringing together three quick goals in the beginning of the second quarter. Taylor scored the first goal of the second quarter on a behind-the-back shot after dodging around the net.

The teams traded goals back and forth in the third quarter, but Marquette went into the final quarter of play with a 7-5 lead. Lehigh’s offense started to open up in the fourth quarter, but it was too little, too late for the Mountain Hawks.

Due to the three players being suspended, some younger guys got a chance to start, such as sophomore midfielder Anthony Ramaizel and freshman defenseman J.J. Foley.

“It’s all about getting experience, we’re playing a lot of young people out there, a lot of guys that haven’t really played a lot of meaningful minutes for us, especially on the defensive end,” Cassese said.

Another young guy that got his first career start was sophomore attackman Matt Raposo. After only recording one point in five games last season, Raposo started and finished the game with two assists and two shots.

“I thought (Raposo) made some plays that were positive, and I thought he left some plays on the field a little bit,” Cassese said. “But for a first time stepping in, a little bit of a tough spot for Matt, I was very impressed with him, and I thought our attack did a pretty good job overall.”

Despite the loss, Lehigh won the battle in shots 35-28, as well as in ground balls 30-27. Sophomore midfielder Casey McAdam handled the faceoffs all game and split them down the middle, winning 11 of 23.

Sophomore midfielder Ian Strain also had a goal and an assist on four shots. It was his first game of his career after missing all of 2014 with an injury.

Lehigh will travel to Greenville, South Carolina, for its next game as it takes on Furman University on Feb. 14 at 11 a.m.

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