BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Six Lehigh men’s lacrosse standouts have earned Inside Lacrosse Preseason All-America honors, as announced in its 2013 Face-Off Yearbook. Junior Ty Souders garnered Second Team honors while senior David DiMaria was named to the Third Team. In addition, seniors Dante Fantoni, Mike Noone and Noah Molnar, and sophomore Matt Poillon earned Honorable Mention recognition.
The six honorees marked by far the most in the Patriot League, double the next highest league squad and equal to the honorees from defending national champion Loyola. Three from Army were named All-Americans, along with two from Colgate, two from Navy and one from Bucknell. Six of the league’s 14 preseason All-Americans come from Lehigh.
A reigning USILA Second Team All-American, Souders finished last season with a career-high 31 groundballs and 15 caused turnovers, both second on the Mountain Hawks among close defensemen. Most importantly, he spearheaded a defense which finished second in the nation, allowing only 6.82 goals per game. Lehigh gave up six goals or fewer on nine occasions, only allowing double digits four times all season.
DiMaria has led the offense in scoring each of the past two seasons, posting 52 and 47 points, respectively. Last season, he scored a career-high 24 goals to go with 23 points, earning Second Team All-Patriot League and All-Tournament Team laurels. He posted multiple points in 12 of his final 13 games, including five (three goals, two assists) in the Patriot League Championship Game at Colgate then three (two goals, one assist) in the NCAA Tournament against Maryland. Entering his senior campaign, DiMaria owns 132 career points (55 goals, 77 assists).
Fantoni is only two points behind DiMaria, posting 130 points (82 goals, 48 assists) through his first three seasons. They’ve formed a strong duo at attack, with DiMaria serving as more of the feeder and Fantoni the scorer - although they’re becoming well-rounded. Last year, DiMaria posted a career high in goals and Fantoni had a career high in assists. Fantoni has recorded 40 or more points in each of his first three seasons: 40, 47 then 43. He earned Patriot League Tournament MVP honors last season, finishing the tournament with nine points (five goals, four assists). He enters his senior campaign on a 42-game point streak dating back to freshman year.
Noone has been an integral part of one of the nation’s best defenses as he led Lehigh’s close defensemen in groundballs (40) and caused turnovers (28) a season ago. The Jenkintown, Pa. native was named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week three times in a four-week span. One highlight came in a thrilling win over Bucknell when he posted a career-high six groundballs and four caused turnovers, including a takeaway to set up Fantoni’s last-second goal. Noone was a Second Team All-League performer last year.
Spearheading one of the best defensive midfield units in the nation, Molnar finished 2012 with 21 groundballs and 21 caused turnovers (second on the team) while scoring two goals as well. He’s led a veteran unit which includes veterans Derek Bogorowski and Jimmy Cahill. It’s been called by Lacrosse Magazine “arguably the country’s best defensive midfield this side of Loyola.”
Lehigh begins preseason practice next month with the season opener set for Feb. 9 vs. Saint Joseph’s. Check back to Lehighsports.com for complete news and notes on the Mountain Hawks leading into a highly-anticipated 2013 campaign.
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