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Men’s lacrosse: Lehigh, Patriot League enjoys strong week

Wednesday, 13th February 2013

Categories Boy's/Men's, College  
 

Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/13/13
From Press Release

Following a successful 2012 season that saw two teams make the NCAA Tournament, the 2013 campaign began well for the Patriot League over the weekend with five teams in action and four picking up victories.

Bucknell and Navy were victorious Saturday, with the Mids winning handily 20-7 in Annapolis, Md., over visiting VMI. The Bison’s 9-8 win at Delaware was historic in that it was their first triumph over the Blue Hens since 1974.

Three contests originally slated for Saturday had to be postponed a day because of a blizzard that hammered portions of the Northeast and New England. Despite the schedule change, two teams picked up victories as Colgate escaped with a 14-13 overtime triumph at Bryant, and Lehigh bested Saint Joseph’s 14-1 in Bethlehem, Pa. Army played even with No. 12/13 Massachusetts for much of the first half and trailed by just two at the intermission, but lost 16-9 in Amherst, Mass.

The good news for the Black Knights is they don’t have to wait very long to get back on the field. Army returns to West Point, N.Y., for its home opener Wednesday at 3 p.m. against Manhattan.

The schedule continues with Navy hosting Detroit Friday night at 7 p.m., before five teams take the field Saturday. Both Holy Cross and Lafayette will play their 2013 openers Saturday at noon, with the Leopards visiting Georgetown in their first game under first-year head coach Jim Rogalski. Meanwhile in Worcester, Mass., the Crusaders will open against St. John’s, which advanced to the BIG EAST championship game a season ago.

Also on Saturday, Army hosts VMI at noon, Colgate heads to Vermont at 1 p.m. and Lehigh takes the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike to visit Villanova at 1 p.m.

Looking to build off Saturday’s win at Delaware, Bucknell takes to the road again to visit Mount St. Mary’s Sunday at 1 p.m.

PATRIOT LEAGUE MEN’S LACROSSE QUICK HITS

• A year after finishing with a 33-24 non-League record, the Patriot League opened the 2013 campaign with a 4-1 mark over the weekend.

• Lafayette’s Jim Rogalski will make his Leopard head coaching debut Saturday when they visit Georgetown. Rogalski came to Easton, Pa., after a two-year stint as the head coach at the University of Scranton.

• Colgate’s Peter Baum is six goals shy of tying the League all-time mark for goals at 138. Bucknell’s Justin Zackey (1991-94) holds the record.

• A League-best seven student-athletes were taken in the Major League Lacrosse Draft Jan. 11 in Philadelphia, headed up by Baum, who was the League’s first to be selected No. 1 overall. He was drafted by the Ohio Machine.

• Army’s Joe Alberici and Bucknell’s Frank Fedorjaka both enter their eighth seasons as the head coach at their institutions. They’re the longest tenured coaches in the League.

• Holy Cross opens the season Saturday when it welcomes St. John’s to Worcester, Mass. The Red Storm advanced to the BIG EAST championship game a season ago before falling to Syracuse.

Patriot League Notebook

LEHIGH CAST AS THE FAVORITE
With 69 points and nine first-place votes, Lehigh was chosen as the favorite in Patriot League men’s lacrosse in 2013 by the League’s head coaches and sports information directors. Colgate, which hosted last year’s tournament as the No. 1 seed, finished close behind in second with 65 points and the remaining five first-place ballots.

FAST START
Patriot League teams opened the season 4-1 over the weekend, with Bucknell, Colgate, Lehigh and Navy picking up victories. The first two of those schools won on the road. On the whole, the Patriot League finished last season 33-24 in non-League games, which includes a 1-2 showing in the NCAA Tournament. The League combined for .500 or better records against the America East, Colonial, ECAC, Independents, MAAC and NEC.

BAUM PART I: SEEKING A REPEAT
Colgate junior attackman Peter Baum set Patriot League single-season records with 67 goals and 97 points a season ago, and racked up a host of accolades as well. On the national front, Baum captured both the Enners Award from the USILA as the national player of the year, and garnered the prestigious Tewaaraton Award.

BAUM PART II: PRO PROSPECTS
Baum headed up a list of seven Patriot Leaguers selected in the Major League Lacrosse Draft in January. The Portland, Ore., native was drafted No. 1 overall by the Ohio Machine. Lehigh led with three selections, including Dante Fantoni (39th overall, Denver), Noah Molnar (45th overall, Rochester) and David DiMaria (46th overall, Boston). Army’s Garrett Thul (21st overall, Hamilton) and Brendan Buckley (54th overall, Boston) were drafted, as was Bucknell’s Kyle Feeney (59th overall, Charlotte).

BAUM PART III: REWRITING HISTORY
Baum already blasted the Patriot League Tournament and single-season record books last season, and he’s primed to set one and challenge another career mark this season. Following Sunday’s two-goal, four-point performance at Bryant, the Colgate senior is second all-time in the League with 132 goals and, while his 180 points are three shy of entering the all-time top 10.

DON’T SLEEP ON THUL
Army senior attackman Garrett Thul has put together a stellar career, and in 2013 he’s aiming to lead the Black Knights to their first League crown since his freshman season in 2010. Thul earned first-team All-League honors a season ago and was a preseason All-League selection in January. He extended the nation’s longest goal-scoring streak to 40 games Sunday against No. 12/13 UMass, and now sits seventh in League history with 123 career goals. He’s also nine behind Peter Baum for the active career lead in League annals.

INTRODUCING JIM ROGALSKI
Lafayette filled its coaching vacancy over the summer by hiring Jim Rogalski, who had amassed an 18-15 record the previous two seasons at Scranton, and guided the program to a conference championship and trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2011. Rogalski brings a wealth of experience to Lafayette, as he spent six seasons on the staff at Rutgers, and has held positions at several other institutions like Drexel, Washington & Lee and Goucher College. Rogalski makes his Lafayette debut Saturday when the Leopards visit Georgetown at noon.

APPEARING IN THE PRESEASON POLLS
Bucknell, Colgate and Lehigh all appeared in the two major national polls in the preseason. The Bison were ranked 18th in both the USILA coaches and the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media top 20s. Colgate was slated No. 10 in the coaches rankings and 11th in the media poll, while Lehigh was 10th in the media and No. 11 in the coaches voting.

WE WANT BACK IN
That’s the mantra being repeated in Annapolis, Md., as Navy looks to return to the Patriot League Tournament for the first time since 2010. It’s year two in the coaching tenure of Rick Sowell, who guided the Mids to a 6-6 mark last season, which ended with a resounding 8-2 thumping of Johns Hopkins at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

2012 A BANNER YEAR
2012 wound up being quite the year for the Patriot League, as first-time champion Lehigh made its first NCAA Tournament appearance and Colgate was a first-time at-large selection in its second trip. In addition, the Raiders won the first NCAA Tournament game in program history, 13-11, at previously-unbeaten UMass and advanced to the quarterfinals at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. Both Colgate and Lehigh appear ready to jostle for the League crown again this spring, and both have dreams of the NCAA Tournament beyond the first round.

SPECIAL EVENTS GALORE IN `13
Several special events are lined up for Patriot League teams this spring. Fresh off its League championship, Lehigh will partake in the Pioneer Face-Off Classic in Denver, Colo., Feb. 23-24. The Mountain Hawks will battle Denver on the first day, and take on Air Force the next. The Pioneers opened the season with an impressive 14-12 win over Duke, a Final Four team from a year ago.

ANOTHER EVENT FOR LEHIGH
Lehigh’s contest with Penn State, normally an annual part of the schedule, will be played this spring as part of the Whitman’s Sampler Independence Classic at PPL Park in Chester, Pa., March 9. The Mountain Hawks will square off with the Nittany Lions at 5 p.m., with the game televised on ESPNU.

PATRIOT LEAGUE GOES METROPOLITAN
Three League teams will participate in the inaugural Metropolital Lacrosse Classic doubleheader, set for Sunday, March 17 at Citi Field in Flushing, N.Y. Holy Cross and Navy will battle in a Patriot League contest at noon on ESPN3, while Colgate goes up against second-year program Michigan at 3 p.m. on ESPNU.

COLGATE-NAVY IN BALTIMORE
A highly-anticipated Patriot League showdown will be one of the highlights of the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore March 23. Colgate will take on Navy in the first game of a doubleheader, with the opening face-off scheduled for 2 p.m. Virginia will battle Johns Hopkins in the second game at 4:30 p.m.

ON TWITTER
Follow along with all of the latest news in Patriot League men’s lacrosse by finding us on Twitter – @PL_MLAX. In addition, you can follow the other Patriot League accounts at @PatriotLeague, @PL_MBB, @PL_WBB and @PatriotVideo.

NOTABLE COACHING NUMBERS
A few notable win milestones are within reach this season for several head coaches in the Patriot League. Bucknell’s Frank Fedorjaka picked up his 69th victory on the Bison sidelines Saturday when they won 9-8 at Delaware, a notable victory in itself considering it hadn’t happened since 1974. He’s now one shy of 70 for his Bucknell career, which could come Sunday when the Bison visit Mount St. Mary’s. Lehigh’s Kevin Cassesse picked up his 40th win Sunday when the Mountain Hawks handled St. Joseph’s, while Navy’s Rick Sowell took one step closer to the century mark with Saturday’s victory over VMI. He has 93 career wins, and is coaching in his 14th season.

PATRIOT LEAGUE ON CBS SPORTS NETWORK…
At least nine contests involving Patriot League teams will air on national television on CBS Sports Network in 2013, including all three games of the Patriot League Tournament in late April. The first contest on the slate is Sunday, March 31, when Army heads to Hamilton, N.Y., to take on Colgate at noon. It will kick off a streak of six consecutive weeks in which at least one game involving a League team will air on CBS Sports Network. In addition, the network will televise the Patriot League Tournament in its entirety April 26/28 from the site of the highest seed.

…AND ON ESPN
Several Patriot League teams will also garner air time on the ESPN family of networks this season. Lehigh’s battle with Penn State Saturday, March 9 at PPL Park in Chester, Pa., will be the first appearance for the League on ESPN, as ESPNU will carry the contest. Eight days later, the Holy Cross-Navy and Colgate-Michigan showdowns at the Metropolitan Lacrosse Classic will be on ESPN3 and ESPNU, respectively.

Patriot League Weekly Awards (2.11.13)

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
JIMMY RYAN, COLGATE Jr., M, Stony Brook, N.Y.
Ryan scored four times, but none more important that his final tally, which came 1:51 into overtime to lift the Raiders to a 14-13 victory at defending NEC champion and preseason favorite Bryant. Ryan set career highs with his four goals and five points. Colgate, ranked 10th by the USILA coaches and 11th in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll entering the weekend, scored the first goal in each quarter of the game plus overtime, with Ryan accounting for three of those.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
PAT KIERNAN, NAVY Jr., LSM, Ridgewood, N.J.
Kiernan finished with six groundballs and two caused turnovers in Navy’s 20-7 thumping of VMI Saturday. He led a defense that held VMI to just one goal for the first 30 minutes, and marked the Keydets’ top returning scorer from 2012 in senior Russell East, holding him scoreless while on the job. Navy’s defense held the Keydets without a goal for the first 14 minutes of the game, and then over 23 minutes that stretched across the first, second and third quarters.

GOALKEEPER OF THE WEEK
MATT POILLON, LEHIGH So., GK, Mount Sinai, N.Y.
The defending Goalkeeper of the Year started off 2013 where ’12 left off, with eight saves and just one goal surrendered in No. 11/10 Lehigh’s 14-1 walloping of Saint Joseph’s Sunday in Bethlehem, Pa. Poillon made five stops in the first half to help stake the Mountain Hawks to a 5-0 lead. He played 54:41 of the contest before being spelled by freshman Steve Brodeur.

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
THOMAS FLIBOTTE, BUCKNELL Fr., M, Cohasset, Mass.
Flibotte scored a pair of goals in his collegiate debut, including what stood up as the game-winner with 3:30 remaining in the fourth quarter to stake the 18th-ranked Bison to a 9-8 victory at Delaware, snapping a 21-game losing streak to the Blue Hens that dated back to 1974. His first goal came late in the second quarter to halt a 3-0 Delaware run and give Bucknell a 6-3 advantage at halftime. Both of Flibotte’s goals were unassisted.

HONORABLE MENTIONS
JOHN GLESENER, ARMY So., A, Camillus, N.Y.
Scored a hat trick and finished with five points in Sunday’s 16-9 loss at No. 12/13 Massachusetts.

KYLE FEENEY, BUCKNELL Sr., GK, Greenwich, Conn.
Stopped 11 shots and finished with a .579 save percentage in Bucknell’s 9-8 win over the Blue Hens.

TODD HERITAGE, BUCKNELL Jr., A, Cheshire, Conn.
Opened the season with a hat trick in Bucknell’s 9-8 win at Delaware Saturday afternoon. Scored two goals 53 seconds apart during the Bison’s 5-0 run to start the game.

DAVID DiMARIA, LEHIGH Sr., A, Dix Hills, N.Y.
Netted a career-high six goals, and was one shy of his career-best with seven points in Lehigh’s win over St. Joseph’s. Recorded a hat trick in each half.

RYAN SNYDER, LEHIGH Sr., FOS, Reading, Pa.
Won 14-of-17 face-offs (.824) and logged one goal with seven ground balls in Lehigh’s victory Saturday.

TY SOUDERS, LEHIGH Jr., D, Macungie, Pa.
Recorded two caused turnovers and one groundball in Lehigh’s 14-1 win over Saint Joseph’s Sunday. Anchored Lehigh’s defense that caused 10 of the Hawks’ 18 turnovers, and held them scoreless over the game’s final 26:33.

SAM JONES, NAVY Jr., A, Annapolis, Md.
Netted his seventh career hat trick with three unassisted first-half tallies in Navy’s 20-7 win over VMI.

SEAN REILLY, NAVY Fr., FOS, Summit, N.J.
Won 13-of-18 at the face-off X (.722) and accounted for all but four of the Mids’ face-off victories against the Keydets.

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