(Photo Courtesy of Lehigh Athletics)
The Lehigh Mountain Hawks have advanced to the Patriot League title game after defeating Colgate 13-9 in a semifinal contest on Friday afternoon.
Mike Sisselberger made the difference in the back-and-forth battle for the Mountain Hawks, going 18-for-25 at the dot to help provide Lehigh with a solid possession advantage.
On top of Sisselberger’s dominance at the dot, John Sidorski led Lehigh with six points off three goals and three assists. Christian Mule’ had a hat trick and James Spencer made nine saves in cage.
James Caddigan and Jacob Sposita each had two goals to lead the Raiders.
Colgate broke the ice with a Jacob Sposita rip following nearly 10 minutes of defensive play to open the contest. The goal broke open the scoring as the two sides traded goals before Lehigh ended the quarter on a two-goal run to take their first lead of the game, 3-2. The Mountain Hawks stretched their run to three to open the second quarter before Colgate answered a two-goal run of their own to tie things back up at 4.
The Mountain Hawks and Raiders traded multi-goal runs throughout the second quarter, tying 5-5 in the period. A Tommy Schelling goal late in the half gave Lehigh a narrow 8-7 lead heading into the locker room.
After a first half in which Lehigh went 8-12 in the clearing game opposed to Colgate going 6-6, the Mountain Hawks tightened up the second half and stepped on the gas. Lehigh went scored three straight to open the third quarter and extend their run to four goals and push ahead 11-7. Thomas Colucci scored the lone goal for Colgate in the third and James Caddigan had the Raiders’ lone fourth-quarter goal.
Christian Mule’ and John Sidorski each found the back of the net in the fourth to seal the deal for the Mountain Hawks.
Loyola 11, Army West Point 10
The Loyola Greyhounds continued their impressive run, taking down Army West Point 11-10 to advance to the Patriot League championship game. The win marks Loyola’s fourth in a row and second straight postseason win to avenge an April regular-season loss.
After what seemed like three full quarters of tug of war with neither side taking more than a one goal lead, the Loyola caught a spark. The Greyhounds went on the biggest run of the game, scoring four straight from the 53 second mark in the third through the 7:37 mark in the fourth to take a 10-7 lead.
The Black Knights were able to answer and went on a 3-1 run, which included two goals from Brendan Nichtern, and make it an 11-10 game with just over four minutes left in regulation. However, despite the late-game jolt of momentum and a few very impressive defensive stands in the final minutes of play, Army wasn’t able to force a full comeback and ultimately fell.
Sam Schafer made a game-saving save with just over a minute left to keep the Black Knights’ offense at bay and secure the win for Loyola. The goalie ended the contest with 12 saves in the contest.
Peter Swindell (2G/1A), Aidan Olmstead (2G/1A), and Kevin Lindley (1G/2A) led the Loyola offense.
Brendan Nichtern led Army with three goals and three assists for six points. Wyatt Schupler made 12 saves in cage and Stevie Grabher went 15-for-24 at the faceoff dot for the Black Knights.
Patriot League Championship Game: Lehigh vs Loyola (Sunday, noon)