Mountain Hawks Welcome Incoming Freshman Lacrosse Class

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Lehigh head men's lacrosse coach Kevin Cassese has announced the addition of 12 student-athletes to the program. The class of 2018 enters Lehigh this fall looking to mesh with a strong returning core of players as the Mountain Hawks begin their quest for a third Patriot League Championship in the last four years.

The class features players from all over the country (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Ohio, Florida, and Texas) along with two from Canada. It also features all four positions: from goalie to defense, midfield and attack.

Nolan Apers M/A Oakville, Ontario Business
Apers enjoyed a strong high school lacrosse career for The Hill Academy, the same school as Lehigh senior Patrick Corbett. As a rising senior, Apers was ranked #18 in Inside Lacrosse's Canadian power rankings. A team captain, Apers received the "18/45" award in both 2013 and 2014 for work ethic, discipline, dedication, team-first attitude and overall contribution to the team. He garnered the Senior Strength and Conditioning Award in 2013. Apers also competed for the Burlington Chiefs in Junior A Lacrosse. He was chosen for Junior A in his first year of eligibility. Apers went on to post 22 points in 2012 as the Chiefs' Rookie of the Year, 36 points in 2013 and 44 points in 2014. Apers was selected to represent Ontario at the Canadian U-16 Championships in British Columbia, winning a silver medal. He was a starting forward for the Edge and Edge Prep Lacrosse elite showcase team, participating in Canada's Top 100 Prospects camp in 2010 and 2011. Apers was selected to the tournament's All-Star Team both years and was selected to the Gettysberg Gait Cup Tournament All-Star team in 2011. From 2002-2011, Apers competed for Oakville Hawks Lacrosse, being selected as captain by coaches and teammates from 2006-08, and was Under-19 team captain. His squad advanced to the Provincial Box Final Four in 2007 and 2011. Apers led his team to the Ontario Provincial Field Silver Medal. In the classroom, Apers was an Ontario Scholar Award and graduated The Hill Academy with honors. He earned a spot on the Dean's Honor List during his tenure at The Hill Academy and made the Honor Roll at Hamilton District Christian High School from 2009-11.

Lee Belland M Dallas, Texas Business
Four-year standout at Dallas Jesuit, Belland was a two-time All-American (as a junior and senior). He was named team captain in 2014, earned All-State recognition and was selected as an Adrenaline All-American. Belland also won Dallas Jesuit's team MVP award as well. A year prior, Belland earned All-State and All-America honors. The team's offensive team MVP, he led the way in goals with 38. Squad finished the season ranked 23rd in the nation. As a sophomore, Belland won All-District laurels and was selected as one of the top three midfielders in the sophomore class in Texas. Belland was named his team's Rookie of the Year as a freshman and was voted Team MVP in freshman football.

Matt Ernst M/FO Haverford, Pa. Business
A three-year varsity player at Episcopal Academy, Ernst won 73 percent of his faceoffs in the highly competitive Inter-Ac which featured several nationally-ranked teams and eventual Division I college players. Ernst earned several honors in his career including All-Inter-Ac, All-Delco and All-Main Line. A John H. Wynne Jr. Lacrosse Award winner, Ernst was also a Philly Showcase All-Star and Lehigh Valley rising junior All-Star. Ernst was a two-time Dukes Lacrosse Club MVP and competed in Champ Camp and Tri-States. Ernst also played ice hockey, squash and sailing. He impressed in the classroom as an honors student.

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