CENTER VALLEY, Pa. -- The field for the 2013 Patriot League Men's Lacrosse Tournament presented by Rockin' Refuel converges on Bethlehem, Pa., as defending champion Lehigh will host the festivities for the first time. The Mountain Hawks, who are riding a five-game win streak, are the field's hottest team entering the weekend. They'll play in the second semifinal Friday at 7:30 p.m. against No. 4 seed Colgate in a rematch of last year's championship game. Lehigh outlasted Colgate in that contest 16-14 to cap off a tournament dominated by offense.
Friday's first semifinal game features No. 2 seed Bucknell, which rebounded from a home loss to Lehigh with a 13-8 triumph at Colgate last Saturday, taking on third-seeded Army. The Black Knights enter the tournament on a two-game win streak after beating Navy and Holy Cross.
Both semifinals and the championship game, which is set for Sunday at 3 p.m., will air nationally on CBS Sports Network.
This year's four-team field has an air of familiarity to it. All four teams have qualified for the tournament each of the last three years. Army owns the longest streak, having punched its ticket to the tournament in nine straight years, while Bucknell is in its seventh consecutive tournament. Both Colgate and Lehigh have run their qualifying streaks to three straight seasons.
The winner of the 2013 Patriot League Men's Lacrosse Tournament presented by Rockin' Refuel earns an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
There are two regular-season games remaining after this weekend's tournament. Army welcomes 11th-ranked Johns Hopkins to West Point Friday, May 3 for a 7:30 p.m. face-off on CBS Sports Network. A day later Colgate heads to College Park to visit No. 3/2 Maryland.
PATRIOT LEAGUE MEN'S LACROSSE QUICK HITS
Army keeper Sam Somers enters the League Tournament with the nation's best goals-against average (6.48).
Bucknell's David Dickson broke the school's single-season record and moved up to a tie for third on the League list with 42 assists after dishing four last week against Colgate.
Lehigh's David DiMaria moved up to seventh all-time in League annals with 108 career assists after posting three last weekend versus Lafayette.
Holy Cross' season-ending win over Dartmouth Tuesday was its seventh of the season, giving it the most since 1988.
Army is the tournament's No. 3 seed for the third straight year.
The tournament is taking place at the fourth different site in as many years.
Colgate's Peter Baum (163) and Army's Garrett Thul (159) are 1-2 on the League's all-time goal scoring list.
Bucknell (tied for 13th), Lehigh (16th) and Army (19th) are all ranked in this week's USILA Coaches Poll.
Patriot League Tournament Notebook
LEHIGH HOSTS FOR FIRST TIME The four-team Patriot League Men's Lacrosse Tournament presented by Rockin' Refuel makes its Lehigh Valley debut as defending champion Lehigh serves as the host for the first time in the field's 10 year history. The Mountain Hawks wrapped up hosting duties with an 11-7 win at Bucknell on April 12, and finished off an unblemished League mark with last Saturday's 14-5 victory over Lafayette.
CBS SPORTS NETWORK BROADCASTS ALL THREE TOURNAMENT GAMES CBS Sports Network has been the television partner of the Patriot League all season long, and it will televise the three biggest men's lacrosse games of the League season with the two semifinal contests and the championship of the tournament this weekend. Dave Ryan will handle the play-by-play, Evan Washburn the analysis and Sheehan Stanwick Burch the view from the sidelines. The network has televised numerous contests throughout the season involving League teams, highlighted by critical battles between Army and Navy, Bucknell and Colgate, and Colgate and Lehigh.
THREE YEARS RUNNING It's a familiar group of four teams vying for men's lacrosse championship this season. Army, Bucknell, Colgate and Lehigh have comprised the group for the third straight year, although the seeds have shuffled a bit in each outing. The one constant is that Army has been the No. 3 seed each of the last three seasons. In 2011 Bucknell hosted, Colgate was the No. 2 seed and Lehigh the fourth seed. Last season Colgate was the top seed and host, while Lehigh was the No. 2 and Bucknell the No. 4 seeds.
OBLITERATED RECORDS IN `12 A total of 25 tournament records were either tied or broken at last year's men's lacrosse championship as the offenses dictated the pace. Colgate's Peter Baum scored nine points in both the semifinal and title games, setting the new single-game tournament mark, while his 18 total points shattered the old two-game record of 11. Lehigh's 16 goals in the championship game were the most scored by one team in a single tournament contest, while its 29 for the two games also set a new standard.
AWARD WINNERS ON DISPLAY AT THE TOURNAMENT Twenty-four of the 26 members of the All-Patriot League are competing in this year's League Tournament. Lehigh boasted the most selections with seven, while Army and Bucknell had six apiece and Colgate five. Most of the major award winners will be on display this weekend as well, including Army's John Glesener (Offensive Player of the Year) and Brendan Buckley (Defensive Player of the Year; Scholar-Athlete of the Year), Lehigh's Matt Poillon (Goalkeeper of the Year) and Bucknell's Sean Doyle (Rookie of the Year).
CLASSY FINALISTS Three student-athletes from the Patriot League have been named finalists for the Senior CLASS Award in the sport of men's lacrosse. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. Colgate's Peter Baum, Army's Brendan Buckley and Bucknell's Mike Huffner were named finalists earlier this season. The winner will be announced at the NCAA championship in late May, and will be determined by a combination of fans, coaches and media votes.
BUCKLEY NAMED SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR Army senior close defenseman Brendan Buckley secured the Patriot League's most prestigious honor when he was named the Scholar-Athlete of the Year in men's lacrosse earlier this week by the sports information directors. A native of Massapequa, N.Y., Buckley owns a 3.987 cumulative grade-point average at West Point majoring in engineering management. The accolades have poured in the last two seasons for the senior, who earned first-team Capital One Academic All-America honors last season en route to being named the Patriot League Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He earned first-team All-League honors this week and was tabbed the League's Defensive Player of the Year.
TOURNAMENT RECORDS Army will extend its own record streak with its ninth appearance in the men's lacrosse tournament this weekend, where the Black Knights own an all-time record of 4-7 and have one championship victory in 2010. Bucknell, which is making its seventh straight tournament trip, also boasts a 4-7 mark in the field and has a title victory to its credit in 2011. Colgate is 5-6 overall in the tournament and is making its third consecutive tournament appearance. The Raiders won the championship in 2008. Like Colgate, Lehigh has extended its streak of tournament appearances to three straight years and has a 2-3 mark in the bracket. The Mountain Hawks won their first tournament championship last season.
2013 PATRIOT LEAGUE MEN'S LACROSSE TOURNAMENT PRESENTED BY ROCKIN' REFUEL SEMIFINAL ROUND - FRIDAY, APRIL 26 #2 BUCKNELL BISON (11-3, 5-1) VS. #3 ARMY BLACK KNIGHTS (8-4, 4-2) Ulrich Sports Complex; Bethlehem, Pa. Friday, 4:30 p.m. Series: Army, 26-11 TV: CBS Sports Network Streak: Bucknell, 1 Last Meeting: Bucknell, 9-8 (West Point, N.Y.; 4.6.13) Last Army Win: 6-5 (2OT; Lewisburg, Pa.; 4.7.12) Last Five Games: Army, 3-2 Last PLT Meeting: Army, 9-7 (West Point, N.Y.; 4.30.10) PLT Series: Tied, 2-2 Last Bucknell PLT Win vs. Army: 10-8 (Lewisburg, Pa.; 4.24.09)
Army and Bucknell will meet for the fifth time in the Patriot League Tournament Friday. The series is 2-2 in the bracket. Army won the only previous meeting at a neutral site, a 9-8 overtime decision in the 2005 tournament in Annapolis, Md. The two first met in 1979 and have played annually since 1988 (since `91 as Patriot League members). It's the fourth time in five years they're meeting in the Patriot League Tournament (2008-10).
BUCKNELL The squad boasts Patriot League Rookie of the Year Sean Doyle, the team's second-leading point scorer with 39 ... Six players earned All-League honors led by sophomore David Dickson, whose 42 assists are a school record and tied for third on the League's single-season list ... The goalscoring is deep with four players having netted at least 25 markers ... Kyle Feeney has seen the bulk of the action with an 8.30 goals-against average and a .505 save percentage ... Sam Grinberg relieved Feeney in the third quarter of the Bison's 13-8 win Saturday at Colgate and made six saves to earn the win ... Mike Huffner and Jackson Place garnered All-League laurels on defense, while Ryan Gutowski (.524, 68 GB) was named to the second team as a face-off specialist.
ARMY There is no shortage of scoring for the Black Knights, who feature Offensive Player of the Year John Glesener (29 G, 27 A) and fellow first-team All-Leaguer Garrett Thul (37 G, 5 A) ... Freshman Alex Daly has stepped up at the X and earned first-team laurels with a .566 win percentage and 58 groundballs ... The Black Knights are stout on the back line with Defensive Player of the Year Brendan Buckley (21 GB, 19 CT) and John Burk (19 GB) ... Sophomore Sam Somers is 7-4 with a .605 save percentage and an NCAA-best 6.48 goals-against average entering the weekend ... The Black Knights own the League's best clearing percentage at .888 ... Army has not advanced beyond the semifinals since winning the 2010 crown.
#4 COLGATE RAIDERS (8-5, 3-3) AT #1 LEHIGH MOUNTAIN HAWKS (10-4, 6-0) Ulrich Sports Complex; Bethlehem, Pa. Friday, 7:30 p.m. Series: Colgate, 26-12 TV: CBS Sports Network Streak: Lehigh, 2 Last Meeting: Lehigh, 13-10 (Bethlehem, Pa.; 4.6.13) Last Colgate Win: 11-10 (OT; Hamilton, N.Y.; 4.7.12) Last Five Games: Colgate, 3-2 Last PLT Meeting: Lehigh, 16-14 (Hamilton, N.Y.; 4.29.12) PLT Series: Lehigh, 1-0 Last Colgate PLT Win vs. Lehigh: None
Lehigh defeated Colgate 16-14 in the 2012 championship game in Hamilton, N.Y., in the only previous tournament meeting between the two. Colgate has won 26 of the previous 38 all-time meetings in a series that began in 1956. Like Army-Bucknell, the two have played annually since 1988 and as League members since `91. Lehigh snapped a three-game skid to Colgate at home with the 13-10 win on April 6.
COLGATE The Raiders clinched their postseason trip with a 14-10 win at Lafayette on April 13 ... Peter Baum (33 G, 13 A) and Ryan Walsh (33 G, 11 A) shoulder most of the offensive burden, although five players boast at least 10 goals and 20 points ... Jimmy Ryan (15 G, 8 A) stepped up offensively this season to earn first-team All-League laurels in the midfield ... Conor Murphy has been the starting keeper since entering the Cornell game March 2 in relief ... He's 5-4 with a .525 save percentage and an 8.85 GAA ... The Raiders have done most of their damage in the third quarter with 42 of their 134 goals ... The team won four straight midseason before dropping three of their last four entering the tournament ... Robert Grabher (96) is two groundballs shy of entering the League's single-season top 10.
LEHIGH The Mountain Hawks defeated Lafayette 14-5 on Saturday to cap off their first perfect 6-0 League campaign in program history ... Lehigh won its first tournament championship a season ago and first title since sharing it with Army in 1999, when there was no tournament ... The squad boasts seven All-League performers headed up by first-teamer and Goalkeeper of the Year Matt Poillon (9-2, .659, 5.44 GAA) ... David DiMaria and Dan Taylor share the team lead with 26 goals, while DiMaria leads with 57 points ... Six players have at least 10 goals and four have tallied 20 points or more ... Mike Noone and Ty Souders, both All-League selections, anchor the Mountain Hawk defense that has allowed just 7.64 goals per game ... Ryan Snyder earned All-League laurels for posting a .509 win percentage at the X with 71 groundballs ... His 310 career groundballs are second all-time in League history.