Mountain Hawks Look to Continue Lacrosse Success in 2013


Lehigh will have to replace seniors Cameron and Roman Lao-Gosney at the midfield, who combined for 48 points a season ago and are now getting a shot with the U.S. National Team, each scoring a goal in the Champion Challenge against Loyola. But even more important than on-field statistics, the Mountain Hawks will have to replace their leadership as they helped set the example and transform the program into a national contender.

One person who has stepped up thus far is their line mate at midfield Brian Hess, already named a team captain in the fall. A natural leader, Hess serves as an extra coach on the field with his leadership. He ran on the first line a season ago and is expected to help anchor the midfield once again. Hess finished last season with 12 points, including his first-career hat trick in the Patriot League Championship Game against Colgate.

"Brian is developing into one of the best leaders this program has ever had," said Cassese. "He always sets a high example and others have followed suit."

Corbett could also run at the midfield after starring at that position in high school. There are a number of other candidates to fill out the three lines. A converted attackman, who's been impressing at midfield, is junior Cody Ferraro. A strong outside shooter, Ferraro posted three points a season ago but has tremendous potential as one of Inside Lacrosse's top 40 incoming attackmen coming out of high school.

Sophomore Alan Henderson will be in the mix as well following a strong freshman campaign. His ability at both ends of the field (as a defensive midfielder as well) should prove invaluable, especially with the new rules which will increase the speed of play. Henderson finished 2012 with six points via three goals and three assists, scooping eight groundballs and causing three turnovers. The versatile native of Manorville, N.Y. even took a pair of faceoffs last season.

Sophomore Kurtis Kaunas looks to see increased playing time after a solid freshman campaign which saw him score two goals and add an assist. Nicknamed "the water bug" for his quickness and elusiveness, Kaunas saw significant time on man-up and man-down last season, using his speed to his advantage.

Seniors Alex Drake and Kyle Stiefel are both squarely in the mix at midfield as well. Drake played just four games last season, but had 11 points as a sophomore along with 11 groundballs. Stiefel's highlight came against Maryland in the NCAA Tournament when he posted his first-career hat trick to reach 12 goals for the season. Owning a rocket shot of around 100 miles per hour, Stiefel is also a man-up specialist, tied for the team lead with seven extra man goals a season ago.

Two newcomers who could crack the lineup are sophomore Jack Bogorowski and freshman Ray Mastroianni. Younger brother of Derek, Jack played in three games at Johns Hopkins last season as an Inside Lacrosse Rising Senior #45 ranked recruit and #11 ranked midfielder. Meanwhile, Mastroianni is a highly-touted freshman from Martinsville, N.J. who excelled in the 2012 Champion All-American Lacrosse Showcase in Orland, Fla. He was listed among the "10 Who Impressed" at that event by Lacrosse Magazine.

Junior Matt Smith is a midfielder with big upside, who has four goals and an assist in his career. Two goals came against Manhattan last season while he also tallied vs. Holy Cross and against North Carolina his freshman season.

"We have as much depth at the midfield position as we've ever had - a good mix of upperclassmen and younger players. We have talent... We just need some guys to step up, fill specific roles, and find ways to help our team win. I am confident we can make that happen."

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