May 2, 2012
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — After rolling through most of the regular season, Lehigh completed its mission by capturing victories over Army and Colgate last weekend to claim the 2012 Patriot League Men’s Lacrosse Championship.
Patriot League Men's Lacrosse Release - 5.2.12
It was a record-breaking weekend in several ways. Considering that the Lehigh defense has garnered most of the attention during the course of the regular season, perhaps the most surprising record set during the tournament was the Mountain Hawks’ 29 goals in the two games. Tournament runner-up Colgate, which has been at or near the top of the national statistics most of the season in goals per game, displayed its own firepower by tallying 28 goals over the weekend, which also would’ve broken the previous mark of 27 (Navy, 2007).
Lehigh’s Dante Fantoni totaled nine points on the weekend and was named the Tournament Most Valuable Player. He had five points on two goals and three assists in Friday’s 13-7 semifinal win over Army, and added a hat trick and four points in Sunday’s 16-14 victory over host Colgate. The Mountain Hawks tied their season high for goals against the Raiders, duplicating their effort from the weekend before in the regular-season finale against Lafayette.
Lehigh became the first team in the nation to officially punch its ticket to the NCAA Tournament. The Mountain Hawks will sit back with a weekend off and await the NCAA Selection Show Sunday at 9 p.m. on ESPNU to find out their first-round destination. Lehigh is making its first trip to the NCAA bracket.
While the biggest team storyline of the weekend was Lehigh’s tournament win, the largest individual headline revolved around Colgate junior Peter Baum. The attackman rewrote several Patriot League records during the tournament and finished with eight goals and 10 assists for 18 points just days after being one of three student-athletes from the League being named an official candidate for the Tewaaraton Award as the best player in college lacrosse. He rocketed back into the national lead with 3.93 goals and 5.73 points per game as of Monday.
Baum has a Patriot League-record 86 points on the season, blowing past the old mark of 79, while his 59 goals are second on the League’s single-season list and just four shy of the top benchmark. Baum is climbing up the League’s career records list as well, as his 122 goals place him seventh all-time.
Despite losing in the championship game, Colgate still has an opportunity to build its case for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Raiders, ranked 11th by the USILA head coaches and No. 12 in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll, host No. 6/9 Maryland Saturday at 1 p.m. in a game that will be televised regionally by Time Warner Sports. Friday’s semifinal win over Bucknell was Colgate’s school-record 12th win of the season, while the NCAA lists them No. 9 in the latest RPI report released Monday.
Colgate is one of two League teams in action Saturday. An hour later Army will play its regular-season finale at No. 10/8 Johns Hopkins at 2 p.m. on ESPNU. The Black Knights are looking to become the second League squad in three weeks to hand the Blue Jays a defeat. Navy dominated in an 8-2 victory over Johns Hopkins on April 21.
Patriot League Notebook
LEHIGH LEARNS NCAA TOURNAMENT DATE SUNDAY
Lehigh won its first Patriot League Men’s Lacrosse Tournament and earned its first trip to the NCAA Tournament after posting victories over Bucknell (14-9) and Colgate (16-14) last weekend. On Sunday the Mountain Hawks will hear about their NCAA Tournament fate when the 16-team field is announced during the Selection Show Sunday at 9 p.m. on ESPNU.
BAUM, EISENREICH, THUL MAKE TEWAARATON CUT
For the second season in a row, three Patriot League student-athletes were officially named to the list of 25 candidates for the Tewaaraton Trophy, awarded to the top player in college lacrosse. Juniors Garrett Thul of Army and Peter Baum of Colgate are on the list for the second year in a row, and they are joined by Bucknell senior Billy Eisenreich. All three were named first-team All-Patriot League at attack earlier this week by the seven head coaches. Nine Patriot Leaguers were named to the initial Tewaaraton Award Watch List at the start of the season, with a 10th added in early April. The list was whittled down to 25 official candidates last week. Army’s Jeremy Boltus was a finalist for the prestigious award last season. The honor is presented annually by the Greater Washington Sports Alliance to the top men’s and women’s college lacrosse players across all divisions. The list will be further narrowed down when 10 finalists are announced in May. The winner will be announced May 31 at the Smithsonian National Museum for the American Indian in Washington, D.C.
NOT OVER YET
The regular season officially wraps up for Patriot League teams Saturday when No. 11/12 Colgate hosts No. 6/9 Maryland at 1 p.m. on Time Warner Sports Central New York and Army visits No. 10/8 Johns Hopkins at 2 p.m. on ESPNU. Last season, the Raiders led 6-2 at the half and hung on for a 10-8 win in College Park for their first victory in the series against the Terrapins. The Black Knights will seek to avenge a 15-10 loss they suffered at the end of last season at home against Johns Hopkins.
Lehigh and Colgate both received positive news when the NCAA released its latest RPI report Monday. The Patriot League Champion Mountain Hawks are No. 6 in the rankings, while the Raiders come in at ninth. Lehigh’s RPI could put it in good position to possibly host a first-round game in the NCAA Tournament, while Colgate’s ledger for an at-large bid would gain a boost with a win Saturday over Maryland, ranked 10th in the RPI.
With the RPI ratings being what they are, recent bracketology predictions on Inside Lacrosse and LaxPower.com have speculated that Colgate could join Lehigh in the NCAA Tournament as an at-large selection. The Patriot League last sent two teams to the national tournament in 2008, when Navy was selected as an at-large team in addition to League champ Colgate. The League had two representatives in Army and Navy in 2005, while a League-high three earned NCAA bids in 2004.
RECORDS BLASTED AT PATRIOT LEAGUE TOURNAMENT
Records are made to be broken, but some were tied and others outright destroyed at the Patriot League Tournament last weekend. Lehigh scored a tournament-record 29 goals in the two games, while Colgate’s Peter Baum and Jeff Ledwick tied the single-game tournament record with five goals. Baum also broke the single-game assist record with six, tied the two-game goal record at eight and obliterated the two-game points record with 18. A full list of tournament records tied or broken last weekend is on the next page.
CASSESE, ALBERICI SCHEDULED FOR ALL-STAR GAME
The USILA/LaxWorld North-South All-Star game is slated for May 25 at Harvard, and two Patriot League head coaches are slated to serve on the sidelines. Army’s Joe Alberici will coach the North squad, while Lehigh’s Kevin Cassese is slated to mentor the South team. Cassese was also a head coach in the contest in 2009, which started the current four-year run of at least one League coach appearing on the sidelines in the game. Former Colgate head coach Jim Nagle was involved in the 2010 contest, while Lafayette’s Terry Mangan coached last year.
Since Navy’s four-year run as Patriot League champion from 2004-07, there have been five different teams to emerge from the League tournament with the hardware. Colgate snapped Navy’s streak in 2008 with a semifinal win over the Mids before beating Bucknell in the finals, and since then there have been no back-to-back League champions. Navy returned to the top in 2009, followed by Army (2010), Bucknell (2011) and Lehigh (2012).
BUCKLEY NAMED SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Army junior close defenseman Brendan Buckley was named the Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year in men’s lacrosse last week. Voting was conducted by the League’s sports information directors who could not cast a ballot for their own student-athletes. The Scholar-Athlete of the Year is the League’s most prestigious award and honors those who best represent the League’s vision and model of a scholar-athlete. Buckley has been one of the League’s top defensemen all season long and enters the week tops in the League and 10th nationally averaging 2.00 caused turnovers per game. In the classroom, Buckley has a 3.992 cumulative grade-point average while majoring in engineering management.
Patriot League Tournament Records Tied/Broken
16; Lehigh vs. Colgate (4.29.12)
29; Lehigh vs. Army (13) and Colgate (16)
11; Colgate vs. Lehigh (4.29.12)
17; Colgate vs. Bucknell (6) and Lehigh (11) *
25; Colgate vs. Lehigh (4.29.12) *
45; Colgate vs. Bucknell (20) and Lehigh (25)
84; Colgate vs. Bucknell (41) and Lehigh (43)
Face-Off Attempts, Game
33; Colgate and Lehigh (4.29.12)
Face-Off Attempts, Tournament
58; Colgate vs. Bucknell (25) and Lehigh (33)
Man-Up Goals, Tournament
6; Colgate vs. Bucknell (3) and Lehigh (3)
Man-Up Percentage, Tournament
.667; Colgate vs. Bucknell (3-4) and Lehigh (3-5)
5; Peter Baum, Colgate vs. Bucknell (4.27.12) * Jeff Ledwick, Colgate vs. Lehigh (4.29.12) *
8; Peter Baum, Colgate vs. Bucknell (5) and Lehigh (3) *
6; Peter Baum, Colgate vs. Lehigh (4.29.12)
10; Peter Baum, Colgate vs. Bucknell (4) and Lehigh (6)
9; Peter Baum, Colgate vs. Bucknell (4.27.12) Peter Baum, Colgate vs. Lehigh (4.29.12) *
18; Peter Baum, Colgate vs. Bucknell (9) and Lehigh (9)
Face-Off Attempts, Game
33; Robert Grabher, Colgate vs. Lehigh (4.29.12)
Face-Off Attempts, Tournament
57; Robert Grabher, Colgate vs. Bucknell (24) and Lehigh (33)
Man-Up Goals, Game
2; Peter Baum, Colgate vs. Bucknell (4.27.12) *
Man-Up Goals, Tournament
2; Peter Baum, Colgate *
Quickest Back-to-Back Goals (Overall and by one team)
0:05 - Colgate vs. Lehigh (4.29.12) (Second Quarter)
12:05; Ryan Collins, Colgate (Peter Baum)
12:00; Robert Grabher, Colgate (unassisted)
* - Tied record