Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/5/15
From Press Release
Lehigh men’s lacrosse standout Dan Taylor has been named a candidate for the prestigious Senior CLASS Award, as announced on Wednesday. Taylor is among 20 of the top NCAA men’s lacrosse student-athletes to be named a candidate. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School ®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
Lehigh has featured a Senior CLASS Award candidate for two straight seasons and three of the last five years. Both of the Mountain Hawks’ previous two candidates (Ty Souders in 2014 and Jonathan Stumpf in 2011) went on to be named finalists and first team Senior CLASS All-Americans.
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. Taylor is one of five student-athletes from the Patriot League to be recognized (Pat Frazier and Nikko Pontrello of Loyola, Sam Somers of Army and Terry McKenna of Holy Cross).
The 20 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists later in the season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one candidate who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced in conjunction with the 2015 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse National Championship in May.
Taylor has enjoyed success in the classroom, especially as his career has progressed. He earned a spot on the 2013 Patriot League Academic Honor Roll (for a spring semester GPA over 3.2) Taylor also garnered the Faculty Athletics Council Award that semester, along with the fall of 2014. Taylor began his Lehigh career in the Business school, but has since become an English major and owns a strong 3.30 GPA in his English classes. Taylor has aspirations to continue his schooling after graduation back home in Canada.
Taylor was voted as a team captain for the 2015 season by his peers. Dan emerged as a leader of the Mountain Hawks in 2014, when he not only became an All-American with his play on the field, but he was also a leader amongst his peers and a unifying factor. When Taylor was playing well, so was his team. In the five games he tallied seven or more points as a junior, the Mountain Hawks went a perfect 5-0. Taylor is a leader in the lacrosse community as someone who youngsters (both locally in the Lehigh Valley and back home in Canada) look up to.
Taylor is also part of Lehigh’s Leadership Legacies program as select leaders from across the department meet to talk about responsibilities and leadership techniques that will help their respective programs. The focus is on practical application of emotionally intelligent leadership and the navigation of team leadership challenges in partnership with their coaches.
Lehigh men’s lacrosse is very active in the local community and Taylor has helped pave the way. During the fall semester, the Mountain Hawks separated into four groups and spent Wednesday afternoons at four locations: Calypso Elementary School, Nitschmann Middle School, Lehigh Child Care Center and South Bethlehem Boys & Girls Club. Taylor and the Mountain Hawks also host an annual “Community Night” in the fall as local youngsters converge at Lehigh for a one-hour clinic with the players and coaches. Taylor and all the Lehigh student-athletes are involved with C.O.A.C.H. at Lehigh (Community Outreach by Athletes who Care about Helping), a service program to help middle and high school student-athletes and their peers make informed choices regarding their education, drug and alcohol issues and other factors. Lehigh student-athletes talk about substance abuse, time management, academic motivation and other concerns of younger students. They also participate in the “Reading Rocks” program.
The C.O.A.C.H. program handles numerous presentations to student groups in settings ranging from team meetings to school assemblies to sports banquets. The program also runs sports clinics with an educational theme, outings to Lehigh athletic events and more. One special event, which Taylor and the C.O.A.C.H. program have coordinated, is an annual Adopt-A-Family around the holidays. Each Lehigh Athletics team adopts an underprivileged family and raise money throughout the semester to purchase holiday presents for their adopted family. The event wraps up with an event when the student-athletes present the gifts to the families. Nearly $30,000 is raised annually.
On the field, Taylor has developed into one of the best players at his position. He contributed from the get-go, tallying 11 goals and six assists in Lehigh’s 2012 Patriot League Championship season. Taylor scored two of the game’s first three goals in the championship-game victory over Colgate. Taylor reached 50 points in 2013 (29 goals, 21 assists) as the Mountain Hawks won another championship. He continued to improve as a junior, finishing seventh nationally with 76 points (47 goals, 29 assists), tops on the team and Patriot League, and most among Canadian-born Division I players.
Taylor was named a first team All-Patriot League honoree and an honorable mention All-American in 2014. One highlight was a four-goal, four-assist effort in the Patriot League Semifinals against the nation’s top scoring defense (Army) as the Mountain Hawks won 12-11 to reach their third straight Patriot League Championship Game. Taylor earned Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week the last three weeks of the regular season.
The Calgary, Alberta native has continued his success in 2015, owning 24 points (11 goals, 13 assists) through four games. His six points per game currently stand third nationally. Last month, Taylor tallied a career-high 10 points (five goals, five assists) at Furman to earn Offensive Player of the Week in both the Patriot League and nation. Entering Saturday’s game vs. Bucknell, he owns 98 career goals. Taylor was named a preseason first team All-Patriot League member, preseason All-American and was recently named to the Tewaaraton Award watch list. He was selected by Denver in the MLL Collegiate Draft and is also expected to be selected high in the NLL Draft.
Taylor and the Mountain Hawks return to action on Saturday when they host Bucknell at 1 p.m.