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College honors: Lehigh’s Sisselberger, Cassese earn top honors from Patriot League

Tuesday, 4th May 2021

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 5/4/21
From Press Release

After a 9-1 regular season (8-0 in the Patriot League), the Lehigh men’s lacrosse team garnered a number of postseason awards on Tuesday. Junior Mike Sisselberger (Southern Lehigh) was named Patriot League Faceoff Specialist of the Year while head coach Kevin Cassese was named Coach of the Year. In addition, seven Mountain Hawks were named All-League (four named first team and three named second team).

The seven All-League honorees mark Lehigh’s most since 2013 and four first-team honorees are the most since 1995.

Sisselberger is Lehigh’s second straight Faceoff Specialist of the Year, following teammate Conor Gaffney in 2019. Sisselberger has dominated at the faceoff X in 2021, standing No. 1 nationally in faceoff percentage (80.3) and groundballs per game (13.5). His 135 groundballs this season are 17 from tying teammate Gaffney’s program record of 152 in 2019. Sisselberger also has four goals and one assist. He’s won 84-of-100 faceoffs over the last four games, and has won at least 16 faceoffs (with no more than seven losses) in all 10 games. He’s won each of the last five Patriot League Faceoff Specialist of the Week awards to up his season total to six, a new league record (breaking the previous mark held by Navy’s Joe Varello in 2017).

Cassese was named Coach of the Year for the second time in his career (also 2013) after leading the Mountain Hawks to their most Patriot League wins in program history and first undefeated regular-season league record since 2013. Among Lehigh’s victories were wins over then No. 10 Loyola, No. 7 Army West Point and No. 19 Navy. With the Mountain Hawks’ win over Lafayette on Apr. 18, Cassese became the program’s all-time leader in career victories. Lehigh went on to beat Bucknell on Apr. 24, good for Cassese’s 117th career win. The Mountain Hawks won nine straight games to begin the season (to tie the program record for win streak within a season), extending their overall win streak to 13 dating back to 2020, which stood as the No. 1 streak in the nation.

Along with Sisselberger, juniors Tommy Schelling and Anthony Tangredi, and sophomore John Sidorski were also named first team All-Patriot League honorees.

Named to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List earlier this season, Schelling leads the Mountain Hawks in assists (22) and points (45), standing 19th nationally in points per game (4.50) and 21st nationally in assists per contest (2.20). He posted five or more points in seven of the 10 regular-season games, including two seven-point efforts. Schelling was named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week following five goals and one assist at Colgate.

A preseason honorable mention All-American by Inside Lacrosse, Tangredi has helped anchor Lehigh’s defense. The team leader in caused turnovers with 13, Tangredi had seven caused turnovers in the Mountain Hawks’ 18-6 win at Bucknell, which was one shy of tying the program and NCAA record. He also had three groundballs and three caused turnovers in the 10-6 win over No. 10 Loyola, also causing turnovers against Army, Navy and Villanova. Schelling was a postseason honorable mention All-American following the pandemic-shortened 2020 season with 16 caused turnovers in six games; the 2.67 caused turnovers per contest were second nationally.

Sidorski stands fourth on the Mountain Hawks with 26 points via eight goals and 18 assists. The 18 assists were good for second on the team. Sidorski had four or more points in four contests – vs. NJIT (four assists), Bucknell (one goal, three assists), Colgate (two goals, two assists) and Army (two goals, four assists). Sidorski has also collected 13 groundballs.

Graduate student Andrew Eichelberger, senior Teddy Leggett and junior Cole Kirst were all named second team All-Patriot League.

Eichelberger’s All-League honor is the second of his career and second straight. This season, he’s tied for seventh on the team in points with 12 via 10 goals and two assists. The two-time captain is tied for fifth on the Mountain Hawks with his 10 goals. Among his highlights was a hat trick on Senior Day against Lafayette, and at least one goal in seven of the 10 contests.

Kirst was named All-Patriot League for the first time following a breakout campaign. The junior stands second on the Mountain Hawks with 24 goals and third with 30 points, while also adding 17 groundballs and three caused turnovers. Kirst began the season with seven straight multi-goal games and has had multiple points in all 10 contests. Kirst twice scored four goals – vs. Army West Point (to earn Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week honors) and at Lafayette (when he added an assist for a career-high five points. Kirst has recorded five hat tricks in 2021 after none his first two seasons.

Leggett earned All-League honors for the third time in as many seasons (no awards were presented in 2020). Also a two-time captain, Leggett stands second on the Mountain Hawks with 35 groundballs this season and second on the team with nine caused turnovers. He’s a key part of Lehigh’s faceoff game, which is No. 1 nationally. Leggett also has two assists this season. He owns 201 career groundballs, seventh in program history, including a season-high six in both the season opener and regular season finale.

The No. 9 Mountain Hawks return to action on Friday when they host either Boston University or Colgate in the Patriot League Quarterfinals. Gametime is set for 4 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.

Like Lehigh men’s lacrosse on Facebook, follow on Twitter and Instagram for continued updates on the Mountain Hawks.

2021 Men’s Lacrosse All-Patriot League and Major Awards
Offensive Player of the Year – Brendan Nichtern, Army West Point, Jr., A
Defensive Player of the Year – Marcus Hudgins, Army West Point, Jr., D
Faceoff Specialist of the Year – Mike Sisselberger (Southern Lehigh), Lehigh, Jr., FO
Goalkeeper of the Year – Spencer Rees, Navy, Sr., GK
Rookie of the Year – Peter Lehman (Council Rock North), Lafayette, Fr., A
The William Lawson Coach of the Year – Kevin Cassese, Lehigh

First Team
Brendan Nichtern, Army West Point, Jr., A
Tommy Schelling, Lehigh, Jr., A
Kevin Lindley, Loyola Maryland, Sr., A
Aidan Olmstead, Loyola Maryland, Sr., A
Bob Abshire, Army West Point, Jr., M
John Sidorski, Lehigh, So., M
Peter Swindell, Loyola Maryland, Gr., M
Patrick Skalniak, Navy, So., M
Marcus Hudgins, Army West Point, Jr., D
Anthony Tangredi, Lehigh, Jr., D
Cam Wyers, Loyola Maryland, Jr., D
Nick Franchuk, Navy, Sr., D
Mike Sisselberger (Southern Lehigh), Lehigh, Jr., FO
Ryan McNulty (Bishop Shanahan), Loyola Maryland, Gr., LSM

Matt Higgins, Loyola Maryland, Sr., SSDM
Spencer Rees, Navy, Sr., GK

Second Team
Vince D’Alto, Boston University, Jr., A
Brian Minicus, Colgate, Jr., A
Cole Kirst, Lehigh, Jr., A
Christian Daniel, Navy, Sr., A
Gunner Phillipp, Army West Point, Jr., M
Christian Quadrino, Boston University, Fr., M
Andrew Eichelberger, Lehigh, Gr., M
Evan James, Loyola Maryland, So., M
Kyle Beyer, Army West Point, Sr., D
Bryant Boswell, Bucknell, Sr., D
Chris Conlin, Holy Cross, Jr., D
Jackson Bonitz, Navy, Fr., D
Bailey Savio, Loyola Maryland, Sr., FO
Teddy Leggett, Lehigh, Sr., LSM
Tim Griffin, Navy, Sr., SSDM
Wyatt Schupler, Army West Point, Jr., GK



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