Lehigh men’s lacrosse beats Colgate 12-9


Lehigh men’s lacrosse upended the reigning Patriot League Champions Colgate University 12-9 Saturday afternoon at Banko Field.

Senior midfielder Billy Oppenheimer managed to squeeze a career-high five points all into the first half, scoring two goals and three assists. Senior attackman Reid Weber scored his third hat trick of the season, all of which were in the first half as well.

Lehigh (4-1, 2-0 Patriot) led by as much as five goals late in the third quarter, but Colgate went on a 5-1 run beginning in the last couple minutes of the third quarter to cut the lead to one. However, Lehigh held the Raiders scoreless for the final 6:17 of the game to hold onto the win.

In the fourth quarter, sophomore midfielder and faceoff specialist Matt Ernst went down with an injury, which kept him out for the rest of the game. Coach Kevin Cassese said this caused a big momentum shift, but he said the team did a good job of not letting it compound into a loss. Cassese added that he has no update on the severity of Ernst’s injury.

Lehigh had just one turnover going into the second half, but committed nine in the second half as Colgate began to come back. Weber said the physicality of the game and the rivalry that has spawned between the teams didn’t really attribute to Colgate’s run, saying it was more that the pace of the game changed.

Freshman attackman Tristan Rai, who had just one goal going into the final minute of regulation, scored his weekly highlight-reel goal, catching a rebound on the crease and quick-sticking it into the net for another goal.

Lehigh will go on the road to face Army West Point on March 12 at noon.

Top 5 Stats

5. Weber and Oppenheimer went to the same high school — Germantown Academy in Pennsylvania.

4. Rai, who had two goals, came into the game tied for the most goals (16) in the nation.

3. Junior attackman Matt Raposo had a hat trick, his second of the season. All three goals were in the second half.

2. Sophomore goalie Adam Sawicki had 11 saves, his second most in a game this season.

1. Colgate still leads 28-15 all-time in the series.

Rapid Reaction

Coach Kevin Cassese: “We felt like last week against Holy Cross our midfield defense really let us down, and that was a huge point of emphasis. We basically launched all-out warfare against our short stick defensive midfielders in practice this week, and we really challenged them to be better. I thought they stood up to the challenge.”

Reid Weber: “It was such a great team win, we had a couple guys step up. We were prepared all week, we knew exactly what was coming, but coach prepared us well and we executed beautifully.”

Billy Oppenheimer: “It’s always nice to come out early and have the offense click like that. We all felt really good at halftime, and offensively we were clicking all week. I think the chemistry gets better every game, and we saw that today a little bit.”

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