Lehigh men's lacrosse defeated Colgate 13-9 in the Patriot League Semifinals Friday afternoon. They are looking for their first title since 2013. (Casey McCallister/B&W Staff)

With unfinished business on his mind, Tommy Schelling leads men’s lacrosse to undefeated start

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Lehigh men’s lacrosse continues to dominate the Patriot League, going undefeated in conference play after beating Bucknell 18-12 on April 24.  The team’s success is bolstered by the performance of stand-out junior attackman, Tommy Schelling.

Schelling leads the team with 43 points this season. He was also named to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List for the second straight year. 

His accomplishments aren’t limited to the lacrosse field. As a mechanical engineering major, Schelling excels in the classroom. Head coach Kevin Cassese described Schelling as a well-rounded, elite student-athlete.

Schelling led the team’s offense against Colgate on March 28 with a season-high five goals plus an assist. He continued his stellar performance against Lafayette on April 16 with another five goals along with two assists to seal the win.

However, Schelling isn’t focused on his personal performance or achievements. Lacrosse is a team sport and always has been for Schelling. He takes pride in leading and feels honored for the opportunity to help facilitate the success of a winning program.

With the help from his older teammates Andrew Eichelberger, Matt Douglas and Teddy Leggett, Schelling learned what it means and what it takes to be a leader of a top-tier DI lacrosse program. 

According to Inside Lacrosse’s media poll, Lehigh is currently ranked No. 6 with an overall record of 9-0. The Mountain Hawks led  the Patriot League as the divisional winner. However, Schelling said they still have a lot of unfinished business to take care of this season.

“We’ve been able to win our matchups these past seven weeks, and we look forward to continuing the streak by focusing solely on that next game,” Schelling said. “Our ability to take care of business on a weekly basis has resulted in a top 10 ranking, so it’s not too nerve-wracking when you break it down like that.”  

The team’s goals for the season are to win the Patriot League Championship and make the NCAA Tournament. Because of their record, even if they don’t win the title, they could still get in with an at-large bid, but it isn’t guaranteed. 

The team recently clinched the No.1 seed for the Patriot League Tournament. Schelling said they need to continue looking at the season on a game-by-game basis and not getting too comfortable with their performance so far.

“We still have a lot more to prove, and we have not won anything yet,” Schelling said.

The combination of Schelling’s explosive skills, high lacrosse IQ and work ethic has elevated not only his own success but also the team’s success. 

“He has probably made the most gains so far in his development as an athlete,” Cassese said. “He has spent a lot of time in the weight room becoming stronger and more explosive, and that has helped to prepare him for all of the high-level athletic defensemen that he matches up with every week.”

Junior faceoff specialist Mike Sisselberger said Schelling doesn’t allow little things to faze him and always works towards the next play. Sisselberger described Schelling as a selfless leader who’s always looking to improve others.

“Tommy (Schelling) is a tremendous leader on the field in the way he lets the game come to him and doesn’t force anything that’s unnecessary in his playstyle,” Sisselberger said. “Tommy is always helpful. Whether that is with fellow starters or non-starters, he is always willing to lend a helping hand.”

Schelling said he credits his teammates for playing within the system and helping him throughout their possessions. Schelling has enjoyed putting up points with fellow attackmen Cole Kirst and Christian Mule.

The team finishes up regular-season play when they take on Villanova on May 1 at 12 p.m. 

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