Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 10/17/09
From Press Releases
The Lehigh men’s lacrosse team opened its fall competition schedule Wednesday as the Mountain Hawks looked strong against Team England during a special game, capping the annual Community Night event.
Lehigh defeated Team England, 12-2, behind strong work at the face-off X by sophomore Will Scudder (Haverford School) and freshman Ryan Snyder (Reading, Kent School, CT, Duke’s Lacrosse Club). Freshman Dante Fantoni led the attack with three scores, while overall nine of the 12 goals were assisted on, an encouraging sign at this point in time for a young squad.
“Overall, I was pleased with our energy and execution,” Mountain Hawks coach Kevin Cassese said. “I thought we played some very unselfish lacrosse on the offensive end, as evident by the nine assisted goals.”
He continued, “I thought we were strong at the face-off square. For the most part, we were able to play winners out after we scored. This proved to be a major help to our defense and goaltenders and was a key contributing factor to holding England to two goals on the night. In general, it was a good start for a fall exhibition game and a great atmosphere at the Ulrich Sports Complex. As a team, we have plenty of work to do and a lot to improve upon. But, a good start nonetheless.”
The scrimmage versus England offered Cassese and the Lehigh coaching staff a chance to see the Mountain Hawks freshmen in action for the first time. Alex Drake scored once and assisted on three other goals, while Fantoni added one assist to go with his goal. Fellow frosh Baxter Lanius led all Lehigh defenseman with three ground balls, three loose balls caused and three turnovers caused.
Sophomore Adam Johnston, who scored 15 goals last season for the Brown and White, put together a stuffed stat line as he totaled one goal, one assist and a team-best six ground balls. Also scoring goals for Lehigh was Brian Hess and Cameron Lao Gosney with two, and Bryan Hooper, Taylor Castagna and Brian Bienemann with one apiece. Overall Lehigh scooped up 37 ground balls and unleashed 41 shots.
One area that Cassese was very pleased with was Lehigh’s execution in the X. The Mountain Hawks won 13 of 17 face-offs led by Scudder, who won six of seven, and Snyder, who finished the night four of five.
The English team received goals from Simon McGuigan and Ben Lyon with Tom Gonsay and Mark Reynolds dishing out assists. English National Team head coach Dave Elwood offered his thoughts on the entire evening:
“Manager Ravi K. Sitlani is very enthusiastic about the new relationship between Lehigh University and the English National Lacrosse team. Coach Cassese and Coach (Brendan) Callahan gave us some valuable coaching specific sessions during the day, and I think Kevin’s international experience and wealth of knowledge at the face-off position and Brendan’s goalkeeping work really helps our players to get to the level they need for next year’s World Championships. We’d like for this relationship to grow and we’d love to have Lehigh tour over in England sometime in the future.”
Earlier in the evening the Lehigh men’s lacrosse team hosted its third annual Community Night at the Ulrich Sports Complex where Mountain Hawk coaches and players put on a free skills clinic and later met with those in attendance. “It was a thrill for Lehigh University and the Lehigh Valley Lacrosse Community to have the English National Team come to Bethlehem for an exhibition game on their east coast U.S. tour,” Cassese said.
“The entire day was a blast, from the coaches clinic in the afternoon, to the youth clinic in the early evening, to the exhibition game under the lights. I give credit to Team England for scheduling the games on their tour so aggressively. Seven games in seven days against such a high level of Division I competition is no easy task for any team. I admire their work ethic and their passion for learning the game.”