With its white uniforms saturated with mud, the men’s lacrosse team battled through sloppy conditions and sloppy play Saturday.

Clinging to a slim lead at halftime, the Bulldogs (6-2, 1-2 Ivy) came out strong in the second half to defeat Lehigh (4-6) 15-9 despite a career-high 19 saves for Mountain Hawks goaltender Tom Ellis.

Captain Mike Scaglione ’03 and attackman Seth Goldberg ’05 each came away with a hat trick in the effort, while middie Ned Britt ’04 finished the day with five points off 2 goals and 3 assists.

In his first collegiate start, rookie goalie Dave Wright ’06 played a strong game, facing 34 shots and finishing with 10 saves.

“It wasn’t a pretty game, but we won,” Wright said.

After faceoff specialist Dan Kallaugher ’06 won the first faceoff of the game, he gave the Elis a quick 1-0 lead with a shot that eluded Ellis. The Bulldogs added another goal just seconds later for a 2-0 lead, but allowed the Mountain Hawks to climb back with two scores of their own.

“We came out in the beginning and scored the first two goals really quickly, but then we stepped off a bit and they capitalized on their opportunities,” said Kallaugher, who won 17 of 26 faceoffs.

The back-and-forth play continued in the second quarter, with each team scoring three goals to bring the two teams to a 6-5 game at halftime.

The game remained close at the start of the fourth quarter, with the Bulldogs leading 9-7 before they widened their lead over the Mountain Hawks later in the fourth. In the second half, the Elis benefited from taking more shots and placing them better than they had in the first. The Bulldogs took 30 shots over the final 30 minutes, compared to just 19 in the first half.

“We had to come out and play the game at our pace,” Kallaugher said. “From the first whistle of the second half we came out and dictated the speed of the game.”

The Bulldogs got a little help from Lehigh in the fourth quarter, as the Mountain Hawks scored on their own net inadvertently twice. Scaglione and Goldberg were each credited with scores on the plays because of their proximity to the ball.

“In the fourth quarter, we just stepped up our game and were relentless on both ends of the field,” said Britt. “At the same time, we limited our turnovers in the 4th.”

The result was a large margin of victory for the Elis.

Seven players scored goals for the Elis, including Dave Schecter ’06, Pat Moylan ’03 and Scott Kenworthy ’04. A crowd of 429 huddled through the rain to see the muddy victory.

“The field was pretty nasty, and the traction was definitely not great especially around the crease area where it was real muddy,” Goldberg said. “But weather is just a factor you’ve got to play through.”

The Bulldogs play again at home Wednesday when they face Albany State at 3 p.m.

“We definitely cannot underestimate them because they’ll take advantage of the opportunities if we give them any,” Goldberg said. “If we come out early and play well we can put them away and keep them out of the game.”