May 06, 2019
By: Erica Rose
It was a rollercoaster weekend for the Lehigh men’s lacrosse team. What started out as a thrilling victory on Friday night ended in heartbreak on Sunday. The second-seeded Mountain Hawks advanced to their second straight Patriot League Championship game when they defeated Boston 10-9. On Sunday, they would face the 4th seed in Army who upset Loyola in the other semi-final game.
On March 9th, the Mountain Hawks defeated the Black Knights 11-8, but that wasn't the case on Sunday. It was a day of runs ultimately as the Mountain Hawks outscored Army 5-0 in the second quarter leading the game 7-2. But as they would find out, this one was far from over. In the final 12:16, the Black Knights would score 6 unanswered to pull out the thrilling 11-7 victory. In the end, the Black Knights made the plays when they needed to in the fourth quarter, leaving the Mountain Hawks disappointed once again.
But, there is still so much this team has to be proud of. Individually, Craig Chick had three caused turnovers to finish his career with 160 – a new NCAA all-time record. Junior Conor Gaffney was stellar facing off, winning 18-of-22 with 15 groundballs, and taking the final 13 face-offs of the game. In the process, he broke the Patriot League record for face-off wins in a season (finishing with 249); his 69.7 percentage for the season is also a league record. He finished the season with Patriot League records in percentage, faceoff wins and groundballs (152), all school records as well.
Lehigh had to overcome a lot of adversity as well this year, suffering several injuries to key players, but that never slowed them down. After the game head coach Kevin Cassese was quoted by Lehigh saying: "I'm really proud of the guys." "It's still fresh so I won't be able to fully put it in perspective as of yet. In my 12 years at Lehigh, that was the most adversity that we had to deal with. It hit us hard and hit us at all the wrong times. I'm proud of the guys for being able to rally back a few times. One time in March (going 6-0) and then against Boston University on Friday. It felt like Boston was going up and we were going the other way [entering the game]. That was a defining moment for this team and a microcosm of the resilience that they showed, starting with the senior class."