BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh head men’s lacrosse coach Kevin Cassese announced the team’s 2011 schedule on Tuesday, highlighted by games against National Quarterfinalists North Carolina and Army, and the team’s first game against in-state rival Penn State since 2000. The Mountain Hawks close the season with six straight home games, two of which will be played in Goodman Stadium.
“The 2011 schedule is an exciting one for several reasons,” said Cassese. “We have some new opponents on the slate for this coming spring and some familiar foes as well. We are excited to bring lacrosse to Goodman Stadium for the first time in my tenure here at Lehigh. It will also be nice to finish our season with six straight home games against some big time opponents.”
The Mountain Hawks will play 15 regular season games, nine coming at home. Overall, they will face four teams ranked in the top 20 of last season’s final USILA Coaches’ Poll. Among those squads are North Carolina (4), Army (16), Villanova (17) and Yale (18). Lafayette was also ranked 19th heading into the final game of the last season before Lehigh spoiled its finale with a 10-9 overtime win.
Lehigh opens the season on Feb. 12 against Saint Joseph’s before traveling to Villanova the following Saturday to face the Wildcats. The Mountain Hawks look for their second straight win over Villanova following a dramatic 15-14 double overtime triumph in last season’s home finale.
The Patriot League opener is set for Mar. 1 under the lights at the Ulrich Sports Complex when Lehigh hosts perennial power Navy at 7 p.m. Despite a sub .500 record last season, the Midshipmen advanced to the league championship game where they narrowly fell to Army. That broke a string of six straight NCAA appearances dating 2004 to 2009.
The Mountain Hawks hit the road for five of their next six games through most of March, beginning with a showdown at Detroit Mercy on Mar. 6 before facing Ohio State two days later in Columbus. The busy stretch continues when they travel to Yale on Mar. 12. The Bulldogs are coming off a resurgent 10-4 season and a share of the Ivy League Championship.
Lehigh returns home on Mar. 19 for a matchup against Presbyterian before traveling to defending Patriot League Champion Army on Mar. 22. The Black Knights shocked No. 2 Syracuse in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last year to advance within one win of Championship Weekend.
The Mountain Hawks then travel to Holy Cross on Mar. 26 for their last regular season road game of the season, looking to improve to 21-0 all-time against the Crusaders.
Lehigh returns home on Mar. 29 to host Binghamton in the first of six straight home games. The Mountain Hawks then welcome Penn State for an Apr. 2 showdown in Goodman Stadium. Lehigh has faced the Nittany Lions 38 times in program history, but it marks the first meeting since 2000.
The Mountain Hawks host Colgate on Apr. 9 and Bucknell on Apr. 15 before facing ACC power North Carolina on Apr. 17 in Goodman Stadium. The Tar Heels finished last season with a 13-3 record, advancing to the National Quarterfinals for the third time in the last four years.
The regular season finale is set for Apr. 23 against Lafayette at the Ulrich Sports Complex. Lehigh owns an impressive 60-21-1 all-time record against the Leopards and have won nine of the last 10 meetings, including last year’s 10-9 overtime victory.
The Patriot League Semifinals will take place on Apr. 29 while the finals are slated for May 1, all hosted by the regular season champion. The Mountain Hawks are eying their first tournament berth since 2006.
The winner of the Patriot League Tournament will advance to the NCAA Tournament. The first round is scheduled for May 14 and 15 at campus sites while the quarterfinals will be the following weekend at Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y. and Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. The National Semifinals and Finals will be held at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on May 28 and May 30.
2011 Lehigh Men’s Lacrosse Schedule
Sat. Feb. 12 SAINT JOSEPH’S 1:00 PM
Sat. Feb. 19 at Villanova 2:00 PM
Tues. Mar. 1 NAVY* 7:00 PM
Sun. Mar. 6 at Detroit Mercy 2:00 PM
Tues. Mar. 8 at Ohio State 7:00 PM
Sat. Mar. 12 at Yale 1:00 PM
Sat. Mar. 19 PRESBYTERIAN 12:00 PM
Tues. Mar. 22 at Army* 7:00 PM
Sat. Mar. 26 at Holy Cross* 12:00 PM
Tues. Mar. 29 BINGHAMTON 7:00 PM
Sat. Apr. 2 PENN STATE (Goodman Stadium) 1:00 PM
Sat. Apr. 9 COLGATE* 7:00 PM
Fri. Apr. 15 BUCKNELL* 7:30 PM
Sun. Apr. 17 NORTH CAROLINA (Goodman Stadium) 12:00 PM
Sat. Apr. 23 LAFAYETTE* 7:00 PM
Fri. Apr. 29 Patriot League Semifinal TBA
Sun. May 1 Patriot League Championship TBA
Home games in Bold CAPS
*Denotes Patriot League Opponent