Men’s lacrosse falls short in season’s final game at Lehigh

Mike Caruso, Staff Writer

Bison men’s lacrosse lost a close game against Lehigh on April 21 with a final score of 9-6 to finish the season.

After entering the game tied for sixth place in the Patriot League, the win gave the Mountain Hawks the post-season advancement.

Sean O’Brien ’18 and Connor O’Hara ’18 led the charge offensively for the Orange and Blue with two goals each, while Will Sands ’18 and Quinn Collison ’17 each posted one goal and one assist.

Lehigh got out to a quick start against the Bison, scoring two straight goals to kick off the game. The Orange and Blue managed to keep their composure and scored back-to-back goals of their own from O’Brien and O’Hara to tie the game early in the second quarter. The Bison’s biggest deterrent for executing their offensive game-plan early was Lehigh’s goalie, who ended the first quarter with six saves alone.

“Coming in we believed they would play zone, so we spent all week practicing our zone offense and really just focusing on having constant movement so nobody was stymied,” O’Hara said.

The stout defensive performance by the Mountain Hawks caused a four-goal surge in the second quarter to end halftime with a score of 6-2. The Bison kicked it into high gear offensively in the third quarter as O’Brien notched a momentum-killing goal, making the score 8-3 at the end of the third quarter.

Collison and O’Hara proved that the Bison were not going to roll over and let Lehigh leave with an easy win as O’Hara scored 1:22 minutes after Collison’s goal in the fourth, closing the gap to three goals with a score of 8-5. Sands also added a goal after Lehigh benefited from an extra-man goal after a checking penalty. By that point, there was not enough time to come back and mount a victory.

The Orange and Blue ended up finishing 10 for 19 in face-offs. Matt Gilray ’18 came up big defensively for the Bison, finishing with seven ground balls and three forced turnovers. Jarrett Witzal ’19 also managed to make history in the game, as he became the third Bison ever to record 300 career faceoff wins.

The Bison finished the season with a final record of 5-8 overall and 3-5 in the Patriot League. Although it was not the end of the season they were hoping for, they played hard in every game and never showed signs of quitting. The Bison show great potential in the future with a lot of returning starters.

“I had a blast with 41 of my best friends this year on and off the field,” Collison said. “We had some ups and downs this season and we were tested, but this group of guys is special regardless of the wins and losses. There’s a lot to look forward to for Bucknell lacrosse.”

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