The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Men’s lacrosse ends season with close loss to Lehigh

Tommy McGee hops over an opposing player. (Photo by Rick Smith for GoLeopards)

The men’s lacrosse team (6-7 overall, 2-6 Patriot League) closed out its season on Friday with a 13-12 loss to rival Lehigh University (8-6 overall, 6-2 Patriot League).

The Leopards entered the match on a two-game win streak, including a historic victory over Boston University (9-6 overall, 5-3 Patriot League).

“I know the game didn’t end in our favor, which we were all disappointed about, but to see all of our hard work for four years pay off in the product we put out on the field the last three games made everything well worth it,” senior attacker Charlie Cunniffe said.

Cunniffe found the back of the net early in the game, a fitting finale to an impressive career. The Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, native started in every single game he played. He led the team in both goals and assists this season, with 30 and 18, respectively. He also ranked sixth in the Patriot League in assists per game, with 1.38, and seventh in points per game, with 3.69.

“My four years here have been nothing short of special,” Cunniffe said. “Plenty of ups and downs, coming in during the pandemic and being online in the fall, to losing every game our freshman year, to ultimately beating BU, the number 15 team in the country and taking down opponents like Bucknell, Drexel, Binghamton, Colgate and Holy Cross in our final years was a testament to how much our team has grown.”

The Leopards offense was in full force against Lehigh. Junior attacker Riley Sullivan bagged a hat trick, while senior attacker Peter Lehman recorded a brace. Senior midfielder John Mathes also added a pair of goals.

It was Mathes’ second goal that put the Maroon and White at a one-goal advantage with just under four minutes remaining. However, the Mountain Hawks were able to equalize the score only 29 seconds later and their momentum carried over to the winning goal at 2:58.

Days after the game, the league announced that Mathes was selected to the All-Patriot League Second Team alongside senior defender Tommy McGee.

“I feel blessed to have been a student-athlete at Lafayette,” McGee said. “Being a part of the lacrosse team here has brought me some of the best and most memorable moments of my career.”

McGee ranked fourth in the Patriot League in caused turnovers per game this season, averaging 1.85. His 24 caused turnovers were the highest total on the team.

Mathes, meanwhile, logged 28 goals and five assists. He scored three or more goals on five separate occasions this year and notched a double hat trick against Binghamton. Mathes’ eight shots per game this season ranked third in the Patriot League.

Looking at the conference standings, the Leopards placed eighth out of nine programs. They will not advance to the Patriot League Championship, as only the top six teams qualify.

“Our season was really special,” Cunniffe said. “While we didn’t win as many games as we might have thought we would have, we learned lessons that will carry on for a lifetime and we were playing our best lacrosse this program has ever seen at the end of the year. I look forward to watching the team pick up where we left off next season.”

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Eric Ponieman
Eric Ponieman, Assistant Sports Editor
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