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‘Odd couple’ Cassese and ‘Doc’ lead Team USA today in Champion Challenge; game to be shown live on ESPN3

Sunday, 30th January 2011

Categories Boy's/Men's, Girl's/Women's, Posted 1/29/11

The U.S. Men’s National team – guided by Kevin Cassese (Lehigh coach) and assistant Brian Dougherty (Chestnut Hill College coach) – will meet NCAA runner-up Notre Dame today on National television at the Champion Challenge in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

The game (1:30 p.m., 10 p.m. ESPNU), will feature US goalie Scott Rodgers suiting up against the Fighting Irish team he took into the Division I national finals last year before losing to Duke in overtime.

Also today, the US Women’s National team – featuring four former or current Maryland team members – will meet NCAA defending champion Maryland. That game is being telecast on ESPN3 on tape delay at about midnight on ESPNU. It begins at 11 a.m.

Cassese and Dougherty (Episcopal Academy alum) played together for several years on championship teams with the Philadelphia Barrage of Major League Lacrosse. They also helped Team USA win the FIL Championship last summer in Manchester, England with a victory over defending champion Canada.

Dougherty – known affectionately to most as “Doc” – served as an assistant to Mike Murphy at Haverford College and then last year at Penn before taking his first job as a head coach. His outgoing and colorful style has made him one of the more popular and noteworthy personalities in all of lacrosse.

Some might say Cassese is a little more laid back and proper than Doc. But Cassese told Lacrosse Magazine online that Doc’s knowledge of defense is unquestioned and will make him a good head coach.

“We might appear to be the odd couple, but we’re great friends,” Cassese told Lacrosse Magazine. “It was a pleasure to play alongside him this summer, and really an inspiration.

“What people don’t know about him is, he knows his stuff. Defensive end, no one can predict what an offense is going to do better than Brian Dougherty. He can do it as a player and as a coach. We’re having fun together, and we’re trying to win together.

“He’s a winner,” Cassese added. “He’s a natural competitor. He’s going to be successful in whatever he does, whether it’s coaching lacrosse or playing checkers. This guy wants to win. Absolutely, he’ll be successful.”

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