Lehigh took on Lafayette in eight different athletic events on the first weekend of April. Men's lacrosse, softball, cross country and both men's and women's tennis were victorious against rival Lafayette. (Marissa Alverzo / B&W Staff)

Le-Laf Weekend, but in April


Lehigh students traditionally think of “Le-Laf” as the weekend in the fall when the Lehigh and Lafayette football teams square off in the country’s most played NCAA football rivalry. On the first weekend in April this year, Lehigh and Lafayette’s sports schedules converged to create a spring Le-Laf weekend.

On April 2 and April 3, Lehigh defeated Lafayette in eight different individual sporting events, picking up wins in men’s lacrosse, a three game softball sweep, men’s and women’s track and men’s and women’s tennis. 

In the men’s lacrosse matchup, Lehigh bested Lafayette for the 13th time in a row, winning 14-7.

One of those goals was senior Judah Hicks’ first career goal. He scored on a shot he attempted from 51 yards out, landing in an unguarded net and giving Lehigh a five-goal lead.

“Our coach puts us in situations in practice where we have to shoot from there,” Hicks said. “I normally don’t get that shot to go in, but it just worked out that time.”

Hicks said it meant a lot to him to pick up his first goal in a game against Lafayette.

The Lehigh Lafayette softball series saw some twists and turns. In the finale, the two teams went extra innings, only for the game to end in a walk-off error on a bunt attempt to give Lehigh the sweep in a 7-6 win. 

The Mountain Hawks had the upper hand on the mound throughout the weekend. Senior Gabriella Nori allowed two runs in six innings for a win in game one. Sophomore Katelyn Young pitched in the second and third games, going the full distance in the second game in a 7-2 win, and pitching the first six innings in the series finale on Sunday, picking up wins in both.

“I think our whole team has been coming together,” Young said. “Our offense has been working well and our defense has made some spectacular plays.”

The Lehigh track teams traveled to Lafayette for dual-meets, which the men won 117-86 and the women won 124-76.

In the women’s meet, senior Teasha McKoy won field athlete of the event and freshman Melissa Cunningham won track athlete of the event in her Le-Laf dual-meet debut.

“This meet in particular is more team-based because there are only two teams at the meet: us and Lafayette,” Cunningham said. “We can only enter three people per event, so we had to strategize who those three people were in hopes of placing 1-2-3 to score the points we needed.”

In the 200m, Cunningham placed first with a time of 25.40, a 10th of a second off her indoor personal-record, making her sixth all-time in the event in Lehigh history.

In the men’s dual-meet, freshman Jonathan Bennett received top honors for track athletes and junior Ian Scott was named the top field athlete.

Scott, who won the triple jump and long jump over the weekend, noted how there’s always a lot of excitement surrounding the dual-meets with other schools.

“With the dual-meet, there’s three people per event, per school,” Scott said. “You know exactly who’s competing in each event, and you have more of an idea of the markers that everyone on the team needs to win.”

In the two tennis meets over the weekend, Lehigh picked up a 7-0 sweep over Lafayette in the men’s competition, winning all three doubles matches and all six singles matches. This was the Mountain Hawks’ second 7-0 win of the season and sixth home win of the year. Additionally, it was their 10th straight over Lafayette, a streak dating back to 2009.

The women’s tennis competition came down to sophomore Megha Dania in the final match of the day. After falling in the first set to her opponent, Dania had two more sets to win her team a point. 

With spectators — including the men’s and women’s teams — watching her court, Dania said it was their support that changed the dynamic of the match.

“Tennis can be so individualized when playing singles, but the crowd made me feel like I wasn’t alone,” Dania said.

Dania came back in the second set and won the third off deuce point to put the Mountain Hawks on top, 4-3, improving to 18 straight wins over Lafayette since 2004.

The women’s tennis team finished its season 5-10, 2-5 in the Patriot League. The men’s tennis team is 11-6, 6-1 in the conference, and plays their season finale against Bucknell on Saturday. Both track teams are preparing for the Patriot League Championships on May 6 and 7. The softball team is 18-13-1, undefeated in the Patriot League, with 11 regular season games remaining. No. 27 ranked men’s lacrosse is 7-4 overall, 5-1 in Patriot League play and begins postseason competition on May 3.

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