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Lehigh Athletics | April 25, 2014

Lehigh topples Army in Patriot semis with 3.7 seconds left

  Reid Weber recorded his fourth career hat trick.

BALTIMORE -- Trailing 8-6 at the half, No. 18 Lehigh outscored No. 14 Army 6-3 in the second half capped off by a goal from sophomore Reid Weber with just 3.7 seconds remaining to give the Mountain Hawks a dramatic 12-11 win in the Patriot League Semifinals on Friday evening. With the win, Lehigh advances to its third consecutive Patriot League championship Game and will face No. 1 Loyola on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

"It was incredible," Weber said. "The play was obviously going into [Dan Taylor's] stick. He's been our leader all year. One guy was playing the both of us. We passed it back and forth. I had enough space for a shot so I let it go and was fortunate enough to have it drop."

Junior Dan Taylor continued his sensational play, posting eight points (four goals, four assists) to reach 72 on the season and 44 in his past seven games. Weber finished with his fourth career hat trick while junior Kurtis Kaunas had two goals and one assist and Patrick Corbett scored twice.

Army's John Glesener scored the first of his five goals less than a minute into the game, but Lehigh answered in a big way. The Mountain Hawks scored five of the next six, beginning with a goal from Kaunas. Weber, Kaunas, Taylor and junior Dylan O'Shaughnessy followed to make it 5-2 with 6:07 still left in the first quarter.

The Black Knights responded by scoring six of the final seven first-half goals to take an 8-6 lead at the half. Weber scored on the extra man at 7:45 of the second quarter to give Lehigh a 6-4 advantage, but Army scored the final four first-half goals.

"I've been around a lot of locker rooms before. When the mood is quiet, you have to dive into what went wrong and find ways to correct it," Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese said. "We felt that Army had played its best half of lacrosse all season. Defensively, we were a step off, but man were they a step fast on offense. Our goalie failed to show up in the first half, but showed up big in the second half."

Taylor pulled Lehigh within one at 11:32 of the third quarter then fed Corbett for a man-up goal at 7:58. Will Mazzone made it 9-8 Army at 2:38, but with time winding down in the quarter, Taylor redirected a long pass from sophomore Tripp Telesco into the back of the net to make it 9-9 with less than one second on the clock.

After falling behind 10-9, Taylor knotted the score at the 11:02 mark. More than five minutes without a goal ended when Corbett beat Army goalie Bobby Sincero low to make it 11-10. The back and forth play continued as Jimbo Moore made it 11-11 at 3:29.

The Mountain Hawks gained possession with just over three minutes remaining and fired several quality shots that went just wide. Lehigh was able to hold on for the final shot as Taylor found Weber for the game-winner.

Lehigh held Glesener scoreless over the final 30 minutes while allowing just three goals. After stopping just two-of-ten shots in the first half, junior goalie Matt Poillon responded with eight saves on eleven shots in the second.  Sincero posted four.

Army held a 34-33 edge in shots while Lehigh had a 32-24 groundball advantage. Senior Ryan Buttenbaum was strong at the faceoff X, winning 12-of-25 against the Black Knight's first team All-Patriot League performer Alex Daly.

Lehigh improved to 13-4 with the victory, within one of the school record of 14 set during the 2012 season.

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