Lehigh's Cameron and Roman Lao-Gosney: In It Together

"Since then, we've done a lot better. It wasn't just us; it was a truthful meeting, not holding anything back and just getting after each other to make each other better. That's what's happened."

The meeting certainly had its impact as the team promptly followed with one of its best practices in recent years leading into a 13-0 win against Manhattan, Lehigh's first shutout in 40 years.

"Our next practice was insane," said Cameron. "We've never had so much energy in a practice before. Every single person was talking. It was extremely positive and everybody was playing well."

Nine straight wins later, including signature victories at #4 North Carolina and #17 Penn State, and the Mountain Hawks have their eyes set on a Patriot League Championship and potential NCAA Tournament berth. With two regular season games and potential league tournament contests ahead, the program's transformation is almost complete. From being Coach Cassese's first recruits to the verge of the NCAA Tournament, the Lao-Gosneys have been a major factor in the turnaround.

"Roman and Cameron have elevated their games to the elite level of Division I lacrosse, elevated their leadership abilities to the highest levels that Lehigh has to offer and elevated their competitive spirit to that which is synonymous with champions," said Cassese. "They've set a high example and others have felt inclined to follow.

"They're two of the hardest workers that have ever come through the Lehigh Lacrosse program and that I've ever been around as a player or coach," Cassese continued. "They, in particular, made it okay for the members of our lacrosse program to do extra work on a regular basis. These guys on a daily basis were doing extra shooting after practice and getting in an extra lift. They made it cool to care about lacrosse in such a way that helped others think that was the right way to do it."

That extra effort has translated into wins, but the season is far from over. With a 10-2 record, the Mountain Hawks have put themselves into position to make the NCAA Tournament (either with the Patriot League's automatic bid or through a potential at-large berth) and do damage when they get there. But no matter what happens, the legacy they'll leave is a strong one.

"Winning a championship has been something we've wanted to do since our freshmen year," said Roman. "It seemed a long way away, so now to come full circle and be the ones near the top, it feels great. I don't want to leave Lehigh with nothing."

"I wouldn't be happier than to see them go out with a Patriot League Championship," said Cassese. "But at the end of the day, if that doesn't happen, it wouldn't make me think any less of them and wouldn't come anywhere close to tarnishing their legacy. They've left a lasting impression on Lehigh Lacrosse, Lehigh Athletics and Lehigh University. That's something that I'll always remember, whether it comes with a trophy or not."

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2012-04-13



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