Top Ten Spot
March 22, 2010
EASTON, Pa. - The Lafayette men's lacrosse team captured a thrilling 16-15 victory over Bucknell on Saturday and was rewarded for its effort with a top-ten spot in both the USILA and Nike/Inside Lacrosse polls this week.
The Leopards moved into the No. 8 spot in the latest USILA coaches poll and moved up to No. 10 in Monday's Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll. The top-ten ranking is another in a season of firsts for the men's lacrosse program.
Lafayette defeated Bucknell on Saturday thanks to a Stefan Bauer goal with 2:13 remaining in the game to grab the 16-15 victory. Nine Leopards had a goal on the afternoon. Bauer, senior Brett Djaha and junior Tom Perini each paced the offense with five points on the afternoon.
Senior goalkeeper Vinny DePasquale and the Lafayette defense also made a couple of crucial stands at the end of the game. DePasquale tallied two clutch saves in the final minutes and defense held the Bison scoreless for the final 3:45 of the contest to preserve the win.
Bucknell dropped to No. 19 in this week's poll. Navy, Fairfield and Penn, three Leopard opponents from earlier this season, received votes in both polls.
Lafayette will take the week to prepare for the upcoming showdown with its third consecutive nationally-ranked opponent. Drexel, currently ranked No. 14 in the media and No. 11 in the coaches poll, travels to Easton on Sunday to take on the Leopards. Gametime is set for 1 p.m. at Rappolt Field. The game will be available live on LSN All-Access with LSN's Dan Mowdy handling the play-by-play duties.
Senior midfielder Chris Palliser scored his first career goal on Saturday afternoon. The goal came at a crucial time, as the Leopards were trailing 12-9 in the third quarter when Palliser found the back of the net off a Tom Perini assist.
Perini is currently on a 20-game scoring streak dating back to April 20, 2008, the 11th longest streak in the nation. His next point will be the 100th of his career.
Matt Mersky's goal and assist vs. Bucknell brought the senior's career-point total to 96, just four shy of 100.
DePasquale has now finished with double digit saves in five of Lafayette's first six contests. The only game the East Meadow, N.Y. native didn't tally double digit stops was Lafayette's 15-4 over Wagner, a game where he only played just over 38 minutes between the pipes.
Lafayette is one of only four teams still unbeaten in 2010 (Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia).
The Leopards have never defeated three consecutive nationally-ranked opponents.