Lehigh sophomore defenseman Danny Norris waits for a faceoff to begin alongside New Jersey Institute of Technology sophomore midfielder Jesse Rice on Saturday, February 6, 2016. Lehigh will play Colgate University in its second Patriot League game of the season on Saturday, Mar. 5, 2016. (Hallie Fuchs/B&W Staff)

Lehigh men’s lacrosse to host reigning Patriot League champion Colgate

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The Lehigh men’s lacrosse team will be playing in its second Patriot League game of the 2016 season against Colgate University on March 5, at the Ulrich Sports Complex.

“We have had this game circled on the schedule since the beginning of the fall season,” sophomore midfielder Matt Ernst said. “It is always an exciting opportunity to go up against the reigning Patriot League champions.”

Lehigh (3-1, 1-0 Patriot) opened up its season on Feb. 6 with a win against New Jersey Institute of Technology, 21-4. Freshman attackman Tristan Rai led the team in goals with five, while senior midfielder Alex Eaton scored four.

The following week, the team traveled to Durham, North Carolina, to take on Duke University at Koskinen Stadium. Duke led at the end of the first quarter 5-1 and 9-2 at halftime. Lehigh began to make a comeback in the third and fourth quarters, but in the end it was not enough, and the Hawks lost 13-11. Rai scored four goals while senior attackman Reid Weber scored three.

Following their loss, the Mountain Hawks bounced back and beat Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, on Feb. 20. Senior midfielder Billy Oppenheimer scored the first goal of the team’s 6-0 run to start the first quarter. That momentum continued throughout the game and Lehigh eventually won 15-7. Weber and Rai each had four goals, while Oppenheimer scored two. Seniors Ray Mastroianni and Eaton, juniors Cody Triolo and Matt Raposo, and freshman Eddie Bouhall all had one goal each.

“It is early in the season, and our team is still working on what we want to attain internally as a team,” senior defenseman Tripp Telesco said. “We are happy where we are as a team right now and are excited for the opportunities we have this year.”

A week later, the Mountain Hawks pulled off a close 12-11 win over College of the Holy Cross. Late in the fourth quarter, the game was tied at 11. Oppenheimer scored an unassisted goal, making the score 12-11 with four minutes left in the game. The team was able to hold onto its lead until the end of the game. Rai scored three goals, while Oppenheimer, Raposo and Eaton each scored two.

“Our team is happy to be 1-0 in the Patriot League so far,” Telesco said. “We were disappointed with the preseason rankings because we were seventh out of ninth. It would be great for our team’s confidence and momentum to get a win this Saturday.”

The Colgate Raiders will likely prove to be tough competition for the Mountain Hawks. The team won the Patriot League last year and are coming into the game with a 2-1 record, most recently beating Bucknell University in overtime, 11-10. Similar to the Hawks, the Raiders are also trying to improve their two-game winning streak.

“Like we have done all year, we just come to practice everyday to get better and win the day,” junior attackman Anthony Ramaizel said. “We know if we bring the intensity and toughness to practice everyday, then we will play a great game against any team.”

Following their game against Colgate, the Mountain Hawks will be taking on Army West Point in New York. The game against Colgate will be Saturday at noon.

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