Posted: 01/25/2012 | Last updated: January 25, 2012 at 11:13 AM
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - After advancing to the program’s first Patriot League Tournament since 2006 last season, the Lehigh men’s lacrosse team is projected to do it again as the Mountain Hawks were picked fourth in the Patriot League preseason poll announced on Wednesday. The results were unveiled during the league’s preseason media teleconference.
“We’ve been very young for four years in a row,” said Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese on the teleconference. “The core of our team is in our junior class. Our senior class is small; we have eight members of that class. We’re excited about having some veterans, but know that we’re still relatively young. For us, it’s a different year; we have some familiarity with what we’ve been doing, but we’re trying to take the next step.”
Voted on by the league’s coaches and Sports Information Directors, Lehigh racked up 44 points, behind preseason favorite Bucknell (72), Army (54) and Colgate (52). The Mountain Hawks were ahead of Navy (38), Lafayette (19) and Holy Cross (15). Peter Baum of Colgate and Tim Henderson of Army were named Preseason Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year, respectively.
Lehigh is looking to advance to its second-straight Patriot League Tournament for the first time since 2005-06. The Mountain Hawks went 3-3 in league play a season ago, defeating Navy, Lafayette and Holy Cross while hanging tough against Army (12-9), Colgate (11-8) and Bucknell (12-11).
The Mountain Hawks kick off their 2012 campaign at Saint Joseph’s on Feb. 11. Lehigh opens its home slate the following Saturday against local rival and #10/11 Villanova. The Mountain Hawks also host preseason top-20 squads Yale (13/18) and Bucknell (15/10) on Mar. 11 and Apr. 14, respectively.
Patriot League Preseason Results
1. Bucknell – 72 points (12 first-place votes)
2. Army – 54 (2)
3. Colgate – 52
4. Lehigh – 44
5. Navy – 38
6. Lafayette – 19
7. Holy Cross – 15
Preseason Offensive POY – Peter Baum, Colgate, Jr.
Preseason Defensive POY – Tim Henderson, Army, Sr.