By Shawn Wood
For The Daily Item
LEWISBURG -- When it comes to Patriot League contest between Bucknell and Lehigh, you can always expect the unexpected.
With 10 seniors on the Bison roster playing their final home game at Christy-Mathewson Memorial Stadium on Friday night, Bucknell lost 11-7 to the Mountain Hawks.
Bucknell, ranked ninth in the nation, lost its second game in its last four and second loss in their last three home games.
"We didn't take care of the ball, we didn't execute like we normally do," Bison head coach Frank Fedorjaka said. "We didn't pass and catch well, we didn't scoop well and we didn't finish well and we didn't cover up in the crease as well."
Bucknell (10-3, 4-1 PL) lost the ground ball game, 36-34 and face offs 12-9.
The win gives Lehigh (9-4, 5-0 PL), the regular season Patriot League title and they'll will host the Patriot League tournament for the first time in school history on April 26.
Bucknell jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first period on goals by Brock Ghelfi, Peter Burke and Chase Bailey.
Bailey would end the game with three goals and three assists to give him 28 goals and 36 points on the year.
Lehigh, who has now won four straight, scored the only goals of the second quarter to take one-goal lead into halftime, 4-3.
The Mountain Hawks made it 5-3 six seconds into the third quarter on a David DiMaria goal. Dan Taylor scored his second of game, four minuets later, to extend the goal streak to five straight, giving Lehigh a 6-3 lead.
Bucknell closed the gap to 6-4 on Bailey's second of the game, a low shot to the stick side of of Lehigh goalie Matt Poillon.
The goal came 26 minutes and 24 seconds after Bucknell had scored to take a 3-1 lead.
The Bison won the ensuing face-off and through some great second-efforts, kept the ball in the Lehigh offensive end for nearly five minutes.
Bucknell took 12 shots in that five-minute span but came away without scoring a goal.
"That was clearly the defining moment of the game, we knew it when it was happening as we worked so hard for it, they beat us in the defining moment of the game," Fedojraka added. "I don't know what would have happened after that had we scored, but it was a very pivotal possession."
Right after Poillon made the save on a Peter Burke shot, the final shot of the five-minute possession, he lobbed the ball down the field and scored as it skipped on the wet playing surface and went under a defenseman's stick into the net for a 7-4 lead.
It was the third time this season a goalie has scored on the Bison defense.
"It's a risk we take with our 10-man ride," senior defenseman's Mike Huffner said of the goal. "We just made a physical mistake, it was just a tough one."
Lehigh had lost its previous eight meetings at Bucknell heading into Friday's contest.
"I thought our guys were a little frantic early going," Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese said. "Bucknell has a tendency to do that to you with the way they they play. That five-minute possession by Bucknell comes back to all the training you do in the fall and through the pre-season and just being in great shape. I was glad out guys were up to the challenge."
"We just have to come out with emotion, we had a lot going on today with senior night and the Patriot League title, we just have to come back and play Bucknell lacrosse," Huffner added.