In a rematch of the 2014 Patriot League Championships, the No. 4 Lehigh men’s lacrosse team was unable to carry its first-half momentum through the end of the championship game and fell 15-8 as the top-seeded team Loyola won its third consecutive league title and ended the Mountain Hawks’ season Sunday afternoon.
Junior attackman and midfielder Andrew Pettit led the team (10-7, 5-4 PL) in scoring with four goals. Sophomore midfielder Andrew Eichelberger followed with two goals of his own. Junior attackmen Tristan Rai and Lucas Spence contributed one goal apiece. The Mountain Hawks took 27 shots, 20 of which were on goal. Freshman goalkeeper James Spence had 10 saves on the day.
The Greyhounds (12-3, 8-1 PL) opened up the championship game with a two-goal run to give Loyola its first lead of the game. Lehigh responded two minutes later with two goals of its own to tie up the game heading into the second quarter.
The evenly matched battle continued through the half. In a mirror image of the first quarter, the Greyhounds scored two goals that were followed by a two-goal run by the Mountain Hawks. With less than two minutes remaining on the clock, both teams sent the ball flying into their opponent’s net to close out the half and enter the break 5-5.
Despite a head-to-head first half, Loyola pulled away with a six-goal run to establish a lead that carried the Greyhounds through the remainder of the game. Each team scored a goal to conclude the third quarter with a 12-6 advantage in favor of Loyola.
Loyola and Lehigh went back and forth in scoring in the fourth quarter, but the Mountain Hawks were never able to pull ahead. Lehigh saw its season end as the Greyhounds claimed the Patriot League title, just as they did the last time the Mountain Hawks played in the championship game in 2014.