Alan Henderson, '15, steals the ball while Nick Fraboni, '16, Dan Taylor, '15, Bo Lori, '18, Anthony Ramaizel, '17 and Ian Strain, '17, watch. The lacrosse team practiced offensive drills at Goodman Campus Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. (Lillie Zakin/B&W Photo)

Returning players to lead Lehigh men’s lacrosse team in important season


At the field for the first practice of the year, the score on the scoreboard read 16-7, the score of the Lehigh lacrosse team’s blowout loss that ended its season in 2014. As the players did sprints, they could look up and remember how their season ended so abruptly.

The Lehigh men’s lacrosse season ended last year with a loss to Loyola University (Maryland) in the Patriot League Championship, and the team was unable to make it into the NCAA Tournament at the end of the season.

Coach Kevin Cassese put this score up for them all to see as a reminder of that last game.

“Every time we would hit a line (running sprints) we would always be able to watch that scoreboard,” said senior midfielder Kurt Kaunas.

It was Lehigh’s third straight league championship appearance, but the first of those that it failed to win. It was also Loyola’s first season in the Patriot League. But now, Lehigh uses that loss as motivation for this season.

“We’ve been using that bitter taste we’ve had in our mouths for the last eight or so months to remind us about why we’re here and what’s at stake, and what it feels like to not accomplish what you want,” senior attackman Dan Taylor said.

But the team has been working the entire off-season to improve, both offensively and defensively, in order to get to that next level.

Cassese said that retaining a lot of key veterans from last year will help them to compete at a high level this year.

“We have some veteran pieces on the offensive end that we’re really trying to rally around, and guys that have logged a lot of minutes and have played in some really meaningful games for us,” Cassese said. “We’re trying to take a more advanced approach to our offense and maybe start from a mid-season point as opposed to a ‘first game of the year’ type of deal.”

Lehigh is getting back many of its offensive starters from 2014. Taylor led the way for that group last year with 47 goals and 29 assists. Junior attackman Reid Weber, who finished second on the team in points last year with 44, is expected to be a major component of the offense as well.

Kaunas, Lehigh’s top midfielder from last year, will also be back after scoring 20 goals and eight assists in 2014. He agreed that bringing back a lot of guys from last year will help them this season.

“It’s extremely important that a lot of our key guys are back,” he said. “It’s a lot easier to move forward and build when you have a strong core of veteran players out there.”

Defensively, the Hawks lost their defensive captain in Ty Souders, who graduated last year, but Cassese is still optimistic about the team’s talent.

“We have some talent, but we also are short on depth, so we’re really focusing on developing our depth on the defensive end and developing some chemistry,” Cassese said.

Taylor stressed the focus on chemistry and training smart this off-season, saying this was a big improvement.

“We had the guys from the program, former Navy Seals come in, and they ran us through a pretty intensive two days of leadership and teamwork, so I think we’re as close of a team as I’ve been a part of,” Taylor said.

However, the most recent storyline surrounding the team is the arrests of three players on the team, senior attackman Patrick Corbett, junior defenseman Tripp Telesco and junior midfielder Alex Eaton. As a result of their arrests, Cassese has suspended them indefinitely.

He said that there is no timetable for their return to the team, as the university needs to complete its investigation first.

“The university will make decisions based on their ability to stay in school or not, and kind of everything in between,” Cassese said. “The university is obviously the highest governing body in this situation, so I defer to them, and based on their outcome, then I would get the opportunity to weigh in with my decision.”

Despite this, the team is moving forward and preparing for the first game of the season, which is at home on Feb. 7 at noon against Marquette University.

Cassese stressed the focus on one game at a time, saying it will start by trying to go 1-0.

“That’s the biggest goal on our sheet right now is to win our season opener,” he said.

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  1. Pingback: Returning players to lead Lehigh men’s lacrosse in important season - Austin Vitelli

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