NCAA Team Reviews: Lehigh Mountain Hawks

Photo credit to Tom Sanczyk/Lehigh Athletics
Photo credit to Tom Sanczyk/Lehigh Athletics

For the better part of four months, many of us watched some exciting college lacrosse, whether it was on TV, online, or in person.  There were good games, which included all of Championship Weekend, and there were bad games, such as low scoring affairs and of course, the horrendous winter weather.  I take a look back at all 69 Division I teams and how they fared this season and what to look forward to in 2016.

Check out previous recaps: NJIT Highlanders, UMass Lowell River Hawks, VMI Keydets, Manhattan Jaspers, Canisius Golden Griffins, Robert Morris Colonials, St. John’s Red Storm, Wagner Seahawks, Binghamton Bearcats, Bellarmine Knights, Jacksonville Dolphins, Furman Paladins, Lafayette Leopards, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers, Siena Saints, Delaware Blue Hens, UMBC Retrievers, Dartmouth Big Green, Providence Friars, Mercer Bears, Penn State Nittany Lions, Hofstra Pride, Michigan Wolverines, UMass Minutemen, Monmouth Hawks, Vermont Catamounts, Sacred Heart Pioneers, Holy Cross Crusaders, Penn Quakers, Villanova Wildcats, Boston Terriers, Quinnipiac Bobcats, Hartford Hawks, Hobart Statesmen


2014 Record 13-5
2014 Conference Record 6-2 (3rd in Patriot)
2014 Scoring Offense 10.56 Goals Per Game (25th in DI)
2014 Scoring Defense 7.22 Goals Against Per Game (2nd in DI)
2014 Goals Leader #41 Dan Taylor – Junior (47 Gs)
2014 Assists Leader #41 Dan Taylor – Junior (29 As)
2014 Points Leader #41 Dan Taylor – Junior (76 Pts)
2014 Goaltending Leader #30 Matt Poillon – Junior (.575 SV %)
2014 Face-Off Leader #29 Ryan Buttenbaum – Senior (.552 FO %)
2014 Ground Balls Leader #29 Ryan Buttenbaum – Senior (79 GBs)
2014 Caused Turnovers Leader #66 Tripp Telesco – Sophomore (36 CTs)
2014 Quality Wins Villanova (7-6 3OT), Army (12-11)
2014 Bad Losses Princeton (10-9 2OT), Loyola (16-7 – Patriot League Championship)


2015 Record 7-9
2015 Conference Record 3-5 (6th in Patriot)
2015 Scoring Offense 10.19 Goals Per Game (T28th in DI)
2015 Scoring Defense 10.06 Goals Against Per Game (30th in DI)
2015 Goals Leader #41 Dan Taylor – Senior (41 Gs)
2015 Assists Leader #41 Dan Taylor – Senior (36 As)
2015 Points Leader #41 Dan Taylor – Senior (77 Pts)
2015 Goaltending Leader #18 Adam Sawicki – Freshman (.504 SV %)
2015 Face-Off Leader #24 Matt Ernst – Freshman (.484 FO %)
2015 Ground Balls Leader #31 Casey Eidenshink – Junior (50 GBs)
2015 Caused Turnovers Leader #31 Casey Eidenshink – Junior (23 CTs)
2015 Quality Wins Princeton (16-15), Stony Brook (12-11)
2015 Bad Losses Marquette (10-9), Bucknell (9-8 OT)


After a very good 2014 although losing to new conference foe Loyola in the Patriot League Championship game, Lehigh was nowhere near the same as they were in 2014 or even the past few years when they won the Patriot League Championship. Dan Taylor returned on offense, which was a blessing, but there was uncertainty in the net with time in the cage split between All-American Matt Poillon and freshman Adam Sawicki. The Mountain Hawks took a huge hit with the loss of Ty Sounders to graduation, falling from 2nd in the nation in goals against to 30th, a difference of almost three goals per game. But although Lehigh had a very tough and slow start, they rebounded in time to just qualify for the Patriot League Tournament as the 6th and final seed, only falling to Bucknell in round one.

The team started the season ranked, but falling to Marquette by a goal, before getting a win the following week on the road against Furman. They opened Patriot League play against Boston, with a man-up goal from Patrick Corbett with 2:37 left in the game being the game winner against the Terriers. It looked like Lehigh would be competing for a spot in the Patriot League Tournament at the time. But six consecutive losses would follow, four of those coming in league play. First, it was against defending league champion Loyola 11-8, then an overtime loss to Bucknell. After an 8-3 loss to interstate rival Villanova, Lehigh suffered another tight loss in Patriot League play, this time against Navy. Denver came next, followed by a 7-5 loss to Army. Things didn’t look good at all, but at 1-4 in conference play, second-to-last just ahead of Lafayette, the Mountain Hawks were somehow still in contention for a tournament spot. The turnaround started with a blowout 16-5 win over Monmouth, before beating Holy Cross 19-7. Another tight league loss followed, this time to Colgate. Their final three games were huge games, and would all be tough to get wins. First was Princeton, in a rematch of 2014’s 2OT loss to the Tigers. Down 15-14, Kurtis Kaunas tied the game up with 3:04 left to play, then climaxed by Dan Taylor’s game-winner with 16 seconds left to play. Another one goal game followed against Stony Brook, entering their rivalry game with Lafayette, in which Lehigh needed a ton of help in order to get to the Patriot League Tournament. Goals by Dan Taylor and Reid Weber late pulled Lehigh past Lafayette to win their game, and that ton of help came, putting Lehigh in the #6 seed, but losing to Bucknell in round one.

The loss of Dan Taylor will be costly to Lehigh’s offense. There’s no way to replace the production that you lose with Taylor. Reid Weber is the team’s second leading scorer and will return for his senior year, along with teammate Billy Oppenheimer. There will be plenty of need for 2016, and it might cost Lehigh a trip to the Patriot League Tournament.


Andrew Pettit Attack Tower Hill (DE)
Craig Chick Defense/LSM South River (MD)
Jackson Monnin Midfield Charlotte Latin (NC)
Mickey Fitzpatrick Attack Duxbury (MA)/Trinity-Pawling (NY)
Matthew Rimol Defense Londonderry (NH)
Samuel Shearin Midfield Goffstown (NH)
Michael Di Rienzo Defense Sachem East (NY)
Max McCabe Defense Bishop Guertin (NH)
Lucas Spence Attack Springfield-Delco (PA)
Eddie Bouhall LSM/Defense Lynbrook (NY)
Jonathan Klobus Goalie Syosset (NY)
Zach Drake Attack La Salle College High School (PA)

The Mountain Hawks will have to replace 12 departing seniors with 12 incoming recruits to try to replenish the team. Three players are some of the top recruits in the nation. Andrew Pettit from Tower Hill is on Ty Xanders’ watchlist as an attackman. Another attacker comes in at #70 in Springfield-Delco’s Lucas Spence. He’s a fierce attacker that helped lead the Cougars far in the District I Tournament the past two seasons. And this recruiting class is topped off with Eddie Bouhall, the 31st best recruit and an Under Armour All-American defenseman from Lynbrook. Also, watch for Zach Drake, an attacker from La Salle College High School, which sends a lot of guys to Bethlehem, who shined in some games the past three seasons, which included a PIAA State Championship his sophomore season.