BETHLEHEM, Pa. - David DiMaria and Dante Fantoni both tallied five points and Matt Poillon made 10 saves to lift top-seeded Lehigh (12-4) to an 11-5 win over No. 2 seed Bucknell (12-4) in the championship game of the 2013 Patriot League Men's Lacrosse Tournament presented by Rockin' Refuel.
DiMaria tallied 11 points for the tournament on five goals and six assists and was named its Most Valuable Player. DiMaria, Fantoni, Poillon and Ryan Buttenbaum were named to the All-Tournament team from Lehigh, while Bucknell's selections were David Dickson, Chase Bailey and Jackson Place.
Both Army and Colgate had two selections apiece on the team. Alex Daly and Will Mazzone represented the Black Knights, while Robert Grabher and Brendon McCann made the team from Colgate.
Lehigh will learn its first-round destiny in the NCAA Tournament during the selection show Sunday, May 5 at 9 p.m. on ESPNU. Bucknell will be watching as well. The Bison were ranked eighth in the NCAA's RPI last Monday, have four wins against teams in the RPI top 20 and are 7-2 away from home.
A near-capacity crowd filed into the Ulrich Sports Complex as 1,752 spectators witnessed the Mountain Hawks post a dominating first quarter before holding the Bison at bay for the remainder of the game. After a feeling out period for the first five minutes, DiMaria found Dan Taylor at 9:46 of the first quater to start the scoring.
It was the beginning of a 5-0 run for Lehigh, which saw Dante Fantoni, DiMaria and Brian Hess add goals during the spurt. Hess tallied the last goal of the run just before the horn sounded to end the first 15 minutes.
Chase Bailey broke through with Tom Black assisting at 10:32 of the second to get Bucknell on the board, but DiMaria's unassisted tally 32 seconds later put Lehigh back up by five. Peter Burke found the net at 9:06 on a Dickson dish, but Patrick Corbett scored at 2:14 to tie the quarter and send the Mountain Hawks into the intermission with a 7-2 lead.
Bucknell needed a good start to the third quarter, but Lehigh took possession first and scored just 22 seconds in when Fantoni found the back of the net unassisted. Bailey scored his second of hte game, also unassisted, at 10:43, but Bucknell could not muster consecutive goals all game.
Todd Heritage scored at 2:56 of the third to bring the Bison within 10-4, but Alex Drake found the net at 13:34 of the fourth and Lehigh played keep away for the rest of the quarter to finish off the 11-5 win.
Kyle Feeney stopped five shots in the cage and suffered the loss for Bucknell. He played over 43 minutes and was relieved at the start of the second quarter by Sam Grinberg, who made three seaves and yielded four goals in 16:39 of action. The two netminders split time the rest of the game depending on the game situation.
Bailey finished with two of the Bison's five goals, while he and Doyle each netted two points apiece.
Taylor and Fantoni both finished with hat tricks and five points. Lehigh players totaled 20 points on the day, with Taylor, Fantoni and DiMaria, the Mountain Hawks' top attack unit, accounting for 15.
Buttenbaum was 7-for-13 at the X with five groundballs. Ryan Gutowski won all nine of Bucknell's face-offs.
Lehigh finished with edges in shots (35-32), groundballs (30-25) and face-offs (10-9). Bucknell was 2-for-5 with the extra man to the Mountain Hawks' 1-for-2. Both teams cleared the ball very well, with the Bison 19-of-21 and Lehigh 17-of-19. Both teams committed 14 turnovers, with Lehigh causing 10 of Bucknell's miscues.
No. 1 Lehigh 11, No. 2 Bucknell 5
All-Tournament Team David DiMaria, Lehigh (MVP) Dante Fantoni, Lehigh Ryan Buttenbaum, Lehigh Matt Poillon, Lehigh Chase Bailey, Bucknell David Dickson, Bucknell Jackson Place, Bucknell Brendon McCann, Colgate Robert Grabher, Colgate Will Mazzone, Army Alex Daly, Army