Mountain Hawks Look to Continue Lacrosse Success in 2013

Junior Ryan Buttenbaum has impressed when called upon as well, finishing last season by winning 42 percent (26 of 62) with 16 groundballs. That included a 6 of 10 effort and career-high six groundballs against Manhattan. Buttenbaum won 56 percent as a freshman (15 of 27) and was an Inside Lacrosse top 100 incoming freshman

Goaltenders

Sophomore All-American and Patriot League Goalie of the Year Matt Poillon headlines a strong group between the pipes. All three returnees have started at least four collegiate games, while freshman Steve Brodeur was ranked as the 13th ranked incoming freshman goalie by Inside Lacrosse.

Poillon made a splash last season, finishing the season with a 6.75 GAA and 59.7 save percentage as one of the nation's top goalies. He finished the season with perhaps his strongest performance, tying a career high 16 saves against Maryland in the NCAA Tournament, including a number of sensational stops.

Brodeur is a highly touted player out of Strath Haven High School in Pa. while seniors Griffin Farha and Dan Carr bring experience and leadership to the group.

Outlook

The identity of the team has drastically changed over the last few years. A predominantly young squad just two years ago has become a team full of upperclassmen, particularly seniors.

"For the first time in my coaching career at Lehigh, we will have a senior heavy squad," said Cassese. "I always call upon the seniors to go above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to leadership. We have a very talented and unique senior class and I look forward to watching them step up in a variety of ways to help the younger players and the team in general find success."

Even with the large and talented group of seniors, there will be several underclassmen that will play key roles for this team both on and off the field," Cassese continued. "Overall, it is a very hard-working, driven group of young men that I very much look forward to working with this spring."

Already this preseason, the team is further along than it's ever been as the goals for the program continue to rise.

"Having so many veterans, along with consistency in our coaching staff, will allow us to become much more advanced in our schemes and hopefully will allow us to play a more fluid and high paced brand of ball this year," said Cassese.

Pieces are in place for the 2013 season to be memorable. From a number of rule changes that will make the fastest game on two feet even faster, to an exciting schedule featuring a trip to Denver and home games against UMass, Colgate and Navy (among others), the Lehigh Valley will see some of the nation's top lacrosse right in their back yards. The Mountain Hawks also face in-state rival Penn State in the Whitman's Sampler Independence Classic down the road at PPL Park in Chester, Pa.

"I'd be lying if I said that being a top 10 team in the country isn't exciting, but I do realize that it was not attained without a tremendous amount of hard work by an extraordinary amount of people who've been in or around the program," said Cassese. "Now that we have attained it, the mission is to sustain it, and forge forward for more."

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2013-02-05



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