BETHLEHEM, Pa. — After an impressive 11-7 win over Navy last weekend to open Patriot League play, the Lehigh men’s lacrosse team is staying home to host Holy Cross on Saturday. Please note the new departure time of 10am (moved from 1pm due to inclement weather forecast). The Mountain Hawks responded from early 3-0, 5-2 deficits against the contenders to beat the Crusaders 9-2 in the final 40 minutes of the game.
Celebrating his birthday, second year Scott Cole scored two of Lehigh’s five goals in the first half, including his second with 2:09 left in the second quarter, to tie the Mountain Hawks at five after 30 minutes. Cole Kirst made his debut in the season and immediately scored twice. Second year Quinn Armstrong also scored two goals, as did his classmate Aidan Decker, who scored his second and third career goals. They came within 3:14 of each other in the third quarter, the former a beauty behind the back and the latter following a quick move to get free of a defender. Those goals turned a 6-6 tie into an 8-6 Lehigh lead.
After Navy shot within 10-7 with just their second goal in nearly 40 minutes, senior Mike Sisselberger immediately scored the face-off to clear any doubt. Sisselberger finished the day 18 of 22 head-to-head with 13 grounded balls, to earn his second Patriot League Specialist of the Week award (and career-best eighth). He was also named to the USILA National Team of the Week. Goalkeeper graduate student James Spence finished with 10 saves, all in the last three quarters of the game.
Holy Cross is 0-5 this season and 0-1 in Patriot League play. After three straight losses by seven or more goals, the Crusaders lost a tight 11-9 final to Merrimack and fell to Army West Point in the league opener, 14-8. Dean DiNanno leads Holy Cross with nine points via four goals and five assists. Jayce Lambert scored a team-high seven goals and provided one assist. Connor DePiero has won just over 50% of his faceoffs (65 of 121) with a team-best 24 ground balls. Defenseman Chris Conlin had 15 ground balls and a team-high nine resulted in turnovers.
The teams split each of the four encounters, with Lehigh recently winning in 2020 by a 15-10 finish. It was the last game for both teams before the COVID-19 pandemic ended the season. This improved the Mountain Hawks’ all-time record against Holy Cross to 28-2. Lehigh’s two losses have come on the road (2019 and 2017). Lehigh is 14-0 against Holy Cross at home. The teams first met in 1991 – a 14-7 Lehigh road win.
After Saturday’s game, the Mountain Hawks prepare for their first road league game, at No. 12 Army West Point next Saturday in a rematch of the 2019 Patriot League Championship Game. Gametime is set at 12 h on ESPN+.