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VMI Lacrosse: Keydets’ upset bid falls short at #18 Lehigh

VMI AthleticsVMI lacrosse was in striking distance of a major upset, before falling short at #18 Lehigh, 14-11, Thursday at Ulrich Sports Complex in Bethlehem, Pa.

The Keydets (0-2) jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the opening quarter to take the Mountain Hawks, who had played #1 Virginia tight in a 12-8 loss last week, by surprise.

Ryan Perouty struck first for the Keydets at 12:57 with an unassisted goal to put VMI up, 1-0. After a man-up goal by Lehigh, the Keydets got goals from John Daniel, Perouty and Aidan Riley over the last eight minutes of the period to take the 4-1 lead at the end of one.

The Keydets led 6-5 at the half, and after a Mountain Hawks rally, tied the score at 11-11 early in the fourth quarter, before Lehigh closed on a 3-0 run to take the win.

“I am incredibly proud of our guys tonight,” said VMI head coach Jon Birsner. “They battled toe-to-toe with a very well-coached, talented, #18 team in the country.  An away game on a short week is tough to prepare for but Coach Herring and Coach O’Hara worked tirelessly to teach and implement our game plan and our guys responded well tonight.

“There’s a lot we still need to work on so we will take this extended week to prepare for another strong opponent in Mount St. Mary’s,” Birsner said. “But if we stick together and continue to work as hard as we have all year, I’m excited to watch this team continue to improve and battle each week.”

Perouty finished the game with four goals to pace the Keydets, while Daniel, Fant and Riley each scored two apiece.

VMI had a difficult time containing Lehigh attackman Andrew Pettit, who went off for eight goals to keep the score in Lehigh’s favor.

Tommy Schelling added three for the Mountain Hawks.

VMI keeper Bill Osteen notched nine saves in the loss.

VMI returns to action Saturday, Feb. 29, with a third straight road match as the Keydets travel to Emmitsburg, Md., to face Mount St. Mary’s.

Faceoff is scheduled for a 12 p.m. start.

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press