BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The 2012 Lehigh men’s lacrosse season was one to remember. The Mountain Hawks won a school-record 14 games, captured their first-ever Patriot League Tournament Championship and qualified for their first NCAA Tournament in playing host to perennial power Maryland. Take a look back at the historic season in the form of team superlatives.
Please click here to check out a highlight video of the top goals of 2012, which includes the below candidates.
Lehigh scores numerous highlight-reel goals in NCAA Tournament vs. Maryland
Down 6-1 in the second quarter, the Mountain Hawks’ offense exploded for seven straight goals including numerous highlight-reel tallies. Among the best were a rocket shot from junior Kyle Stiefel for his first-career hat trick (all coming in the first half), junior David DiMaria tip-toeing the crease, junior Ryan Snyder scoring off the ensuing draw and senior Adam Johnston converting one of the strangest goals you will see.
Fantoni scores game-winning goal in final seconds against Bucknell
Senior Dante Fantoni capped off one of the most exciting games of the season by breaking an 8-8 tie with just 14 seconds remaining. There were three ties in the fourth quarter alone (at six, seven and eight) before Fantoni took a feed from behind the net and rocketed a shot past Kyle Feeney to give Lehigh the 9-8 victory in front of more than 2,000 strong at the Ulrich Sports Complex.
Johnston scores two highlight-reel goals vs. Yale
Up 6-5 in the third quarter against the eventual Ivy League Champions, Lehigh answered with five straight goals to erase any doubt. The final three were scored by senior Adam Johnston, who accomplished the impressive feat of a natural hat trick. Two highlight reel goals came off rebounds: one while in mid-air and the other via a behind-the-back shot.
O’Shaughnessy and Fullen score long-pole goals
Lehigh didn’t have many long-pole goals this season, but two of them were especially impressive. Beginning the third quarter against Army, freshman Dylan O’Shaughnessy scooped a groundball off the faceoff and went all the way for the goal. Meanwhile, senior Blaise Fullen netted a goal at Colgate in the Patriot League Championship Game. Freshman Alan Henderson scooped a groundball near midfield and fed Fullen, who fired one past goalie Jared Madison.
DiMaria scores to begin the fourth quarter at Penn State
Taking a 6-3 lead into the fourth quarter at Penn State, the Mountain Hawks grinded out the faceoff win as freshman Alan Henderson found David DiMaria on the right side. DiMaria did the rest, scoring just 11 seconds into the quarter, to make it a four-goal game and effectively ending Penn State’s hopes.
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Poillon: 16 saves vs. Maryland
Freshman Matt Poillon had a performance to remember in the NCAA Tournament against Maryland, making 16 saves, including six in a shutout third quarter. Poillon held the Terrapins scoreless for 22:26, allowing Lehigh to go on a 7-0 run which turned a 6-1 deficit into an 8-6 lead. The 16 saves tied a career high, set previously during the regular season at Colgate. For Poillon’s 2012 highlight reel, including numerous saves during the Maryland game, please click here.
DiMaria: seven points against Holy Cross
Junior David DiMaria was the quarterback of the Lehigh offense in 2012. His biggest performance came against Holy Cross during a key Patriot League game in March. DiMaria scored the game’s first three goals to jumpstart the offense as the Mountain Hawks went ahead, 5-0. He finished the game with four goals and three assists, having a hand in 58 percent of the team’s scoring against the Crusaders. Lehigh went on to win, 12-3, for its eighth straight win.
Donovan: five goals, one assist at Lafayette
Entering the regular season finale at Lafayette with three career goals, senior Kevin Donovan Jr. enjoyed a breakout performance against the Leopards. He scored five goals, all coming in the second half, to lead Lehigh past its archrival, 16-6. Donovan scored four straight goals in one third-quarter stretch which extendede a 9-4 Mountain Hawks’ advantage to 13-4. He also added an assist on an Adam Johnston third-quarter goal.
Noone: six groundballs and four caused turnovers vs. Bucknell
Junior defenseman Mike Noone enjoyed a breakout season to help spearhead the nation’s second best scoring defense. One of his standout games came against Bucknell when he posted a career-high six groundballs and four caused turnovers, which earned him Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week for the third time in the previous four weeks. With just over three minutes remaining, Noone caused a turnover which set up Lehigh’s final possession leading into Dante Fantoni’s game-winning goal.
Snyder: 13-of-20 faceoffs at North Carolina
Arguably the MVP of the North Carolina win, junior Ryan Snyder won 13-of-20 faceoffs against a trio of Tar Heels. UNC All-American R.G. Keenan, who finished the season winning 60.3 percent, won only 3-of-12 before being replaced by Mark Staines and Frankie Kelly. Snyder also scooped 10 groundballs, his second game of 2012 with double-digit GBs.
Mikelinich: holds Tewaaraton winner Peter Baum to season lows in regular season
Sophomore Lukas Mikelinich was given the challenging task of containing All-American and eventual Tewaaraton Award winner Peter Baum of Colgate. He did just that, holding Baum to his season-low in goals (1) and points (2), this for someone who ended the season with 97 points (67 goals, 30 assists) in 18 games.
Lehigh scores seven straight goals vs. Maryland in the NCAA Tournament
Down 6-1 in the second quarter against Maryland, the Mountain Hawks needed a spark. They got just that from junior Kyle Stiefel, who scored three of Lehigh’s four first-half goals. Lehigh went on to score seven straight goals, including four in the first 3:37 of the second half, to take an 8-6 lead. The Mountain Hawks ended up scoring their seven goals in just 7:46 of game action bridging the end of the first and beginning of the second halves.
Mountain Hawks shut out Colgate in the first quarter of Title Game, score first five goals
Lehigh quickly took control of the Patriot League Championship Game at Colgate by scoring the first five goals while holding one of the nation’s top offenses scoreless for the first 17:30. The Raiders eventually rallied to pull as close as one, but the Mountain Hawks would never relinquish the lead on the way to their first Patriot League Tournament Title.
The Lehigh defense shuts out a potent North Carolina offense for 27:50
Down 5-3 in the second quarter against #4 North Carolina, the Lehigh defense took control, shutting out a potent Tar Heel attack for the next 27:50. That allowed the offense to score five straight goals, taking an 8-5 lead on its way to the thrilling 9-8 victory.
Lehigh scores eight unanswered for runaway victory at Navy
The Mountain Hawks found themselves trailing Navy, 4-1 late in the second quarter, but like they did all season, continued to fight back. Lehigh did so with a vengeance, scoring eight straight to end the game while shutting out the Midshipmen for the final 40:02. It marked the Mountain Hawks’ first-ever win at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and the first time they’ve ever defeated Navy twice in a row.
Lehigh dominates Manhattan for program’s first shutout in 40 years
Following a tough 17-7 loss to Villanova, Lehigh responded in a big way. The Mountain Hawks followed by shutting out Manhattan, 13-0, for their first shutout since 1962. Lehigh held the Jaspers to only eight shots (four on goal) in a dominant team effort. This came against the same Manhattan team that went on to notable victories against Providence, Binghamton and Detroit, among others.
Mountain Hawks win school-record 14 games and five Patriot League games
Lehigh won a school-record 14 games, breaking the previous mark of 12 set in 1994. The Mountain Hawks tied the record with their 16-6 win at Lafayette in the regular season finale before breaking it against Army in the Patriot League Semifinals. Lehigh’s five league victories also set a new school mark.
Lehigh posts school-record nine-game winning streak
Following their home-opening loss against Villanova, the Mountain Hawks responded with nine straight wins - a new school record. The streak began with their shutout of Manhattan and ran through the win at Navy before ending in overtime at Colgate. As part of the streak, Lehigh allowed single-digit goals in all nine games, including five games with four goals or fewer.
Lehigh wins first Patriot League Tournament Title, makes first NCAA Tournament appearance
With their 16-14 win over Colgate in the Patriot League Championship Game, the 2012 Mountain Hawks became the first team in school history to win the Patriot League Tournament and in doing so, advance to its first-ever NCAA Tournament. The 1994 squad did win the Patriot League Championship, but that was before the league tournament and automatic berth to the NCAAs.
Fantoni extends point streak to 42 games heading into 2013
Junior Dante Fantoni posted at least one point in all 14 games played, extending his point streak to 42 dating all the way back to freshman year. Rob Pannell of Cornell owns a 54-game streak to lead the nation. Fantoni stood seventh nationally at the conclusion of the season, but will enter 2013 with the fourth longest active streak (only behind Rob Pannell, who is expected to return to Cornell, Logan Schuss of Ohio State and Peter Baum of Colgate).
The Lehigh men’s lacrosse team scored four of the first five second-half goals to break a 5-5 tie, on the way to one of its biggest wins in school history as the Mountain Hawks downed the #4 North Carolina Tar Heels, 9-8. Junior Ryan Snyder won 13-of-20 faceoffs while three Mountain Hawks scored two goals apiece and freshman Matt Poillon made eight saves between the pipes.
Lehigh erased a five-goal deficit with seven straight goals bridging the second and third quarters, but Maryland wouldn’t go away as Joe Cummings scored with six seconds remaining to hand the Mountain Hawks a crushing 10-9 defeat, in an NCAA First Round game. Maryland maintained possession for the game’s final 4:41 leading into the last-second score. The game came in front of an Ulrich Sports Complex record 2,278 fans and a nationally-televised audience on ESPNU and ESPN3.com. Lehigh ended its record-breaking season at 14-3 while the Terrapins improved to 10-5.
The eighth-ranked and second-seeded Lehigh men’s lacrosse team put together one of its strongest offensive outbursts of the season, tying a season-high 16 goals to beat the #10 Colgate Raiders, 16-14 and win its first-ever Patriot League Tournament Championship. The Mountain Hawks jumped out to a 5-0 lead then held off a Raiders’ charge to earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Junior Dante Fantoni earned Tournament MVP honors after posting nine points over the two games (five goals, four assists).
Junior Dante Fantoni rifled a shot past Kyle Feeney with just 14 seconds remaining to give the #11 Lehigh men’s lacrosse team a thrilling 9-8 win over #18 Bucknell in front of a (then) facility-record 2,096 fans (before it was broken a game later vs. Maryland). The Mountain Hawks continually fought back from deficits until Fantoni’s goal put Lehigh up for good. Fantoni and senior Roman Lao-Gosney led the way, each posting a team-high two goals and an assist.
The #11 Lehigh men’s lacrosse team continued to roll as the Mountain Hawks took down the Army Black Knights, 7-6, in their Patriot League opener. Freshman goaltender Matt Poillon shined once again, recording 13 saves, including nine in the first half to keep Lehigh in the contest.
Lehigh ended up beating three NCAA Tournament teams last season, beginning with its huge 9-8 win over North Carolina. (For a more detailed recap, please see above).
The Lehigh men’s lacrosse team used a 5-0 second-half run to turn a one-goal lead into a six-goal advantage, on its way to a big 11-7 win over #15 Yale. The Mountain Hawks’ defense continued to shine, holding the Bulldogs scoreless for a 21:29 stretch while senior Adam Johnston scored a natural hat trick to erase any doubt. The win pulls Lehigh to 6-1 on the season, marking its best start since 1969. Lehigh also defeated Yale for the first time since 1918.
After falling behind 2-0, Lehigh bounced back in a big way, scoring nine of the final 12 goals to down #17 Penn State, 9-5 on Tuesday night. Junior Dante Fantoni got the scoring started with two of Lehigh’s first three goals while also adding two second-half assists to help the Mountain Hawks pull away. The defense allowed just three goals over the final 55:24 to solidify Lehigh’s seventh straight victory, its longest winning streak since 1969.
The Mountain Hawks avenged their regular season loss at Colgate by beating the Raiders, 16-14, to win their first-ever Patriot League Tournament Title. (For a more detailed recap, please see above).