May 11, 2012
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. -- Two weeks after the Patriot League Tournament, champion Lehigh finally resumes its season in the NCAA Tournament.
Patriot League Men's Lacrosse NCAA Tournament Preview - First Round
The Mountain Hawks learned of their fate during the Selection Show Sunday, and found out they earned the No. 7 seed and are hosting Maryland Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at the Ulrich Sports Complex in Bethlehem, Pa.
Lehigh becomes the first Patriot League team to host an NCAA Tournament contest since Navy in 2005, when the Mids handed Delaware a 9-7 defeat in the first round.
Despite falling in the Patriot League title game to Lehigh, Colgate had an opportunity to improve its standing within the eyes of the NCAA Selection Committee. The Raiders had a top-10 RPI and had No. 6/9 Maryland on the schedule Saturday. Colgate played a back-and-forth affair with Maryland, and thanks to a five-goal, seven-point effort from junior attackman Peter Baum, the Raiders emerged with a 13-11 victory for their second triumph in as many years against the Terps.
Colgate, like Lehigh, learned its postseason fate Sunday night. Unlike last year when the Raiders were one of the first teams left out of the tournament field, this time around they were firmly in, drawing No. 6 seed Massachusetts in the first round. The Raiders head to Garber Field in Amherst, Mass., Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
Both first round games involving Colgate and Lehigh will be televised nationally on ESPNU. Joe Beninati will handle the play-by-play for both contests. Coaching legend and former Army head coach Jack Emmer will handle the analysis Saturday, while Ryan Boyle will do so Sunday.
2012 marks the fourth time multiple League teams have earned NCAA bids. The last time was 2008, when Colgate earned the automatic berth as League champion and Navy was selected as an at-large team. The Mids were 8-7 winners at North Carolina in the first round that year, while Colgate fell 8-7 in overtime at Notre Dame.
Tight games have been the habit for League teams in the NCAA Tournament in recent memory. There have been four one-goal games involving League squads in the NCAA Tournament's first round in three of the last four years starting with the Colgate and Navy contests in 2008. Army upended No. 2 seed and defending national champion Syracuse 9-8 in double overtime in 2010, while Bucknell fell 13-12 at Virginia in overtime last year.
The Patriot League received an extra boost entering this weekend as Baum was named one of the five finalists for the Tewaaraton Award, awarded annually to the top men's and women's college lacrosse players in the country. Baum's 64 goals and 93 points are Colgate and Patriot League records, while his point total is the most in Division I since 2008.
Baum has been a Tewaaraton Award candidate two straight years and is making his first appearance as a finalist. He's the second Patriot Leaguer in as many years to make the final five, joining Army's Jeremy Boltus last spring.
Patriot League Notebook
LEHIGH MAKES FIRST NCAA TRIP
What an academic year it has been for Lehigh, which punched its first ticket to the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Tournament when it won its first Patriot League Tournament title April 29 in a 16-14 shootout win over Colgate in Hamilton, N.Y. Lehigh last claimed the League crown in 1999, when it shared the regular-season title with Army. There was no tournament at that time, and the League had not yet secured an automatic bid. Lehigh is the first school to win the Patriot League Football championship, Men's Basketball Tournament and Men's Lacrosse Tournament in the same academic year.
THE ADVANTAGE OF BEING AT HOME
Lehigh earned the No. 7 seed in this year's NCAA Tournament and is hosting unseeded Maryland Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at the Ulrich Sports Complex on the Goodman Campus in Bethlehem, Pa. The Mountain Hawks and Terps are meeting for the fifth time overall but first since 1928. Lehigh went 5-1 at home this season, with its only loss at Ulrich coming to Villanova in the second game of the season. Since then the Mountain Hawks have won five straight at home, beginning with a 13-0 shutout of Manhattan a week after the loss to the Wildcats.
COLGATE EARNS FIRST AT-LARGE BERTH
In another first for a Patriot League team, Colgate is making its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament as an at-large team when the Raiders visit No. 6 seed Massachusetts Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Colgate is making its second trip overall, also having made the field as Patriot League champion in 2008. The Raiders went toe-to-toe with Notre Dame before losing 8-7 in overtime to the Fighting Irish in the first round five years ago. Colgate is the Patriot League's first at-large selection since 2008 (Navy).
ON THE ROAD? NO PROBLEM
Colgate enters the NCAA Tournament with a 13-3 record and a school record for victories. The Raiders have played the majority of their games at home, posting an 8-3 record in Hamilton, N.Y. Colgate has not lost a game on the road in five tries this season. Its last outing on the road came April 20 at Bucknell, a thrilling 11-10 victory over the Bison with Peter Baum scoring the game-winner in the final seconds.
BAUM NAMED TEWAARATON AWARD FINALIST
Colgate junior attackman Peter Baum was named one of five finalists for the Tewaaraton Award earlier this week. The Tewaaraton Trophy is awarded annually to the top men and women's college lacrosse players in the country. For the second straight season a Patriot League student-athlete has been in the final five, as Army's Jeremy Boltus was a finalist a year ago. Initially 10 from the Patriot League were on the initial Tewaaraton Watch List, which was whittled down to Baum, Bucknell's Billy Eisenreich and Army's Garrett Thul on the eve of the Patriot League Tournament. The winner will be announced May 31 at the Smithsonian National Museum for the American Indian in Washington, D.C.
SUCCESS BEYOND THE LEAGUE
2012 has been a banner year for the Patriot League, with two teams setting school records for victories and qualifying for the NCAA Tournament. The seven League teams combined for a 32-22 mark against teams from beyond the conference's borders, including .500-or-better showings against the ACC (2-2), America East (5-1), CAA (5-3), ECAC (3-2), MAAC (5-2), NEC (5-1) and independents (2-1). In addition, the League has combined for eight victories against top-20 teams and four against clubs in the NCAA postseason.
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 two weeks ago. 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 is at the end of this release.
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.
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 two weeks ago. 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. In the classroom, Buckley has a 3.992 cumulative grade-point average while majoring in engineering management.
Patriot League NCAA Tournament Preview
COLGATE RAIDERS (13-3, 5-1 PATRIOT) AT NO. 6 MASSACHUSETTS MINUTEMEN (15-0, 6-0 CAA)
Garber Field; Amherst, Mass. Saturday, 2:30 p.m.
Series: First Meeting TV: ESPNU (Joe Beninati, Jack Emmer)
Colgate in NCAA Tournament: 0-1 Last Appearance: 2008 Last Result: L, 8-7 (OT), at Notre Dame
COLGATE The Raiders enter the NCAA Tournament with one of the nation's most prolific scorers in junior attackman Peter Baum ... The Portland, Ore., native leads the nation in goals (4.00) and points (5.81) per game, and enters the tournament with 25 points in his last three games ... He set the Patriot League Tournament's single-game record with nine points in a semifinal win over Bucknell, then matched it in the championship loss to Lehigh ... With the Raiders needing a victory to improve their chances at an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, Baum scored five times and finished with seven points in Saturday's 13-11 win at home over Maryland ... Colgate's scoring offense is second in the nation at 13.56 goals per game, while the Raiders are converting half of their extra-man opportunities, placing them second nationally behind Lehigh ... Robert Grabher has been strong all season in the circle, winning a League-high 57 percent of his face-offs while setting the League record for ground balls in a season with 124 ... Grabher's 7.75 ground balls-per-game average is second in the country ... Colgate's offense features a plethora of weapons behind Baum, including senior midfielder Jeff Ledwick and Patriot League Rookie of the Year Ryan Walsh ... Walsh is second on the team and fifth in the League scoring 2.06 goals per game, while Ledwick is sixth in the conference averaging 2.00 ... Ledwick's nine man-up goals lead the League, helping the Raiders to the nation's second-best EMO offense.
LOOKING FORWARD If Colgate advances past No. 6 seed UMass, the Raiders will take on the winner between third-seeded Duke and Syracuse next Sunday, May 20, at PPL Park in Philadelphia ... Duke and Syracuse face off Saturday at noon in Durham, N.C.
MARYLAND TERRAPINS (9-5, 1-2 ACC) AT NO. 7 LEHIGH MOUNTAIN HAWKS (14-2, 5-1 PATRIOT)
Ulrich Sports Complex; Bethlehem, Pa. Sunday, 7:30 p.m.
Series: Maryland, 3-1 TV: ESPNU (Joe Beninati, Ryan Boyle)
Streak: Maryland, Three Wins Last Meeting: Maryland, 11-2 (1928)
Last Lehigh Win: 3-0 (1924) NCAA Tournament Series: First Meeting
Lehigh in NCAA Tournament: First Appearance
LEHIGH The Mountain Hawks moved up to No. 4 in Monday's USILA Coaches Top 20, the highest national ranking for any Patriot League team this season ... Lehigh's defense has been the story most of the season in front of the sensational goaltending of freshman Matt Poillon, who was named the Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year ... Poillon ranks second nationally with a goals-against average of 6.55, while his .595 save percentage is fourth ... Lehigh's scoring defense is the best in the Patriot League and second in the country at 6.63 goals allowed per game ... Lehigh boasts the nation's top man-up offense, converting over 53 percent of its opportunities ... The Mountain Hawks have done well taking care of the job, giving up just under 13 turnovers per game while causing over eight ... Junior Ryan Snyder earned second-team All-League laurels at the `X' by winning 51 percent of his face-offs and picking up 92 ground balls ... The offense has been balanced with six student-athletes scoring at least 22 points, led by David DiMaria (22 goals, 22 assists) and Dante Fantoni (22, 19) ... Fantoni was named the Patriot League Tournament MVP after tallying nine points over the two games, including a hat trick in the championship win over Colgate ... The Mountain Hawks set a tournament two-game record with 29 goals ... Lehigh placed a League-best eight student-athletes on the All-Patriot League team before the League tournament, including three on defense (Ty Souders, Mike Noone, Lukas Mikelinich) ... The Lao-Gosney twins have provided senior leadership from the midfield all season, and both were rewarded with All-League selections ... Roman was named to the first team while Cameron earned second-team laurels.
LOOKING FORWARD The Lehigh-Maryland winner will move on to the quarterfinals to take on either No. 2 seed Johns Hopkins or Stony Brook on Saturday, May 19 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md. ... Both Lehigh and Johns Hopkins played in Annapolis earlier this season against Navy.