Kevin M. Neibauer
LaxPhilly– A Division of the Edge of Philly Sports Network.
The #4 Lehigh University Mountain Hawks (8-6) welcomed the #5 United States Naval Academy (9-6l to Ulrich Sports Complex in Bethlehem, PA. in Semi-Final action
Tommy Schelling posted an eight point game to give him 14 points in the Patriot League Tournament.
Lehigh went to a 4-0 lead and held off the Middies by a 14-8 score
To the Action:
Lehigh started off with 4:02 played with Schelling (4g,4g) potting the first career helper from Ryan Niggeman (1a).
Schelling set up Ryan Tiernan (2g) 3:12 later to double the advantage.
Scott Cole (2g,1a) 5 goals with three helpers thus far in the tourney, followed by far and away,the best goal of the season.
Schelling sent a pass to Christian Mule` (2g,2a) who, in one motion, leaped, caught the pass and put the ball behind netminder, Pat Ryan.
Henry Tolker (1g,2a) stopped the Hawks run with help from Xavier Aline (1a) and time expired on the 4-1 Lehigh quarter
Wild Second Unfolds:
Patrick Skalniak (3g,1a) started his somewhat big day with help from Dane Swanson.
Matt Marker (1g) had a quick answer for his 14th to keep with the three goal 5;2 lead
Skalniak hit a streaking Max Hewitt (1g,2a) for the 20th from Hewitt.
Schelling teamed with Cole Kirst (2g) for Kirst’s 14th and 15th just forty seven seconds apart.
Tolker took his turn as playmaker setting up Skalniak on the advantage just twenty four ticks after the second Kirst tally.
Dane Swanson (1g,1a) put home a Tolker feed to get it to a 7-5 game
Mule` found Tiernan to end the half with Lehigh in control, 8-5.
Things normalized a bit in the third with just a combined five markers.
Four of the goals belonged to the Mountain Hawks to seize control.
Cole hit for his 29th at 11:56 countered by Hewitt connecting with Jack Sweeney (1g) on the man up.
Lehigh unveiled a two quarter five goal run started with an unassisted Mule` goal.
Schelling hitting for his 22nd with 1:44 to play and Quinn Armstrong (1g) doubling up Navy, 12-6 with only :10 on the clock.
The Run Continues:
Schelling potted his 3rd and 4th of the night to make the score Lehigh 14, the Middies 6.
Tolker once again did the work for Skalniak on the advantage followed by Nick Cole (1g) taking advantage of a Sam Dracobly (1a) helper to close the book on the Navy season and the 14-8 game.
‘It’s nice to win. The last couple weeks have been really tough, Three one-goal losses, a couple overtime losses. It was nice to see our guys bounce back, especially against a tough opponent like Navy.” Lehigh Head Coach Kevin Cassese.
“With the service academies, any time you play Navy and Army, you have to ‘bring it,'” said Cassese. “There’s nowhere to hide on the field. You really have to bring every ounce of energy that you have.”
News and Notes:
• Lehigh takes on top seed, The Boston U. Terriers, Friday at 4 PM Eastern on the CBS Sports Network.
• Statistics wise, it was a close battle. Shots favored Navy by a 42-40 margin.
• Lehigh put more on goal, 24-22 while winning the Ground Ball battle, 45-36.
• Navy had 18 Turnovers to the Mountain Hawks 14.
• Extra Man had Navy posting 3 of 6 with Lehigh being blanked in a pair of chances.
• Face offs welt the Lehigh way, 16 of 26.
• Nick Barry went 70% for the Middies, 7 of 10.
• Lehigh’s Mike Sisselberger was outstanding.
15 of 23 with 10 Ground balls.
• Sisselberger was awarded The Patriot League Faceoff Specialist of the Year. He bacame just the third Mountain Hawk to recover 300 ground balls…He currently has 308 for his career.
• Lehigh received 13 saves from James Spence with Pat Ryan knocking back 10 for Navy.
More from Coach Cassese:
“I’m proud of our guys,” said Cassese. “We’ve now beaten the service academies three times [this season]. To beat Navy twice in one year is really hard to do. I have a lot of respect for their team, a lot of respect for their coaches and I’m proud of our guys for the effort they put forward today. We’ve been trying to get a complete effort – offensively, defensively and between the lines – and I think tonight might have been as close to it as we’ve had all year.”
Lehigh Moves to Final
Kevin has followed and promoted the game of lacrosse since May 19, 1974.
The same day the Philadelphia Flyers won the Cup, the Philadelphia Wings were introduced to Neibauer and Philadelphia.
Kevin has covered many sports, including baseball, football, basketball, and.. lacrosse. A former licensed football referee and baseball umpire, Kevin brings a unique insight to his game coverage.
A published writer in JustHockey Magazine, Kevin covered the American Hockey League as well as a monthly story on a pugilist where Kevin used the pen name, The Rink Rat. Neibauer turned his attentions to lacrosse for a few years and does his part, whether podcasting or writing to grow the game. Kevin branched out to his roots and currently provides insight for all Philadelphia teams for Edge of Philly as well as his full-time duties with LaxPhilly.