The Brown and White complied a list of the top student-athletes in the class of 2021. (Courtesy of Lehigh Sports)

The class of 2021’s finest athletes

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With the COVID-19 era of college athletics coming to an end, the Brown and White wants to honor Lehigh’s most prominent senior athletes and their accomplishments from this unprecedented year in sports. 

Eric Cichocki, right fielder, baseball

As of May 2, Cichocki is ranked 1st in the Patriot League with a batting average of .350. After 31 games he currently has two home runs and 10 RBI’s. Cichocki will be leading the Mountain Hawks in the Patriot League Tournament with their first game on May 15. 

Mary Clougherty, guard, women’s basketball

As a captain who won the Patriot League Championship and qualified for the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2010, Clougherty played a total of 16 games with 441 minutes on the court. Cloughtery scored 191 points in the 2021 season, earning Second-Team All-League. 

Marques Wilson, guard, men’s basketball 

The senior Wilson led the Mountain Hawks in 2021 with 484 minutes of play and 230 points scored. Wilson’s 15.3 points per game was good enough for him to earn Third-Team All-Patriot League honors as well as NABC All-District honors. Wilson will be returning to Lehigh to play as a graduate student next year. 

Lenke Havas, defensive/midfield, field hockey

Reigning from Maastricht, Netherlands, Havas was named All-Patriot League for the third year in a row in 2021. Offensively, Havas tied for the most goals and points scored on the team with three goals and six points. Havas was also named Academic All-Patriot League with a 3.75 GPA.

Peter Haffner, linebacker, football

Haffner was the Mountain Hawks top tackler with 28 stops and earned Second-Team All-Patriot League honors. Haffner’s record this season for most stops in a game was 11 against Bucknell. Haffner had no fewer than eight tackles a game. 

Alex Synder, tight end, football 

Synder earned Second-Team All-Patriot League honors for his performances of six receptions for a total of 58 yard in three games. The highlight of Synder’s season was a three-catch, 36-yard effort against Bucknell. 

Conor Gaffney, faceoff specialist, men’s lacrosse

Fifth-year Gaffney is the first-ever Premier Lacrosse League collegiate draft pick in program history. Gaffney was selected by Archers Lacrosse Club with the 21st overall pick. Gaffney leads the Mountain Hawks in all-time faceoff wins and groundball leader with 669 faceoff wins and 391 ground balls, respectively. 

James Spence, goalkeeper, men’s lacrosse 

With the Mountain Hawks winning the Patriot League regular season, Spence has been crucial to the success of the team. He has played in every game this season with nearly 600 minutes of playtime. Currently, Spence only allows an average of 9.69 goals per game. Spence’s percent of goals saved is .561, good enough for fourth in the Patriot League. 

Sondra Dickey, midfielder, women’s lacrosse

Graduate student Dickey was named the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) National Co-Defensive player of the week on May 20 for her performance against Lafayette when she forced a career high six turnovers from the Leopards. Dickey has won seven weekly Patriot League awards and currently is the top player in the league for forced turnovers with an average of 2.6 per game. 

Stevo Bednarsky, midfielder, men’s soccer

Senior Stevo Bednarsky was named First-Team All-Patriot League for the second consecutive season. Bednarsky started and played in the four games the Mountain Hawks played this year. Bednarsky is the first player since Mark Forrest, ‘19, to be named to an All-League selection three times––with two first team selections and one third team selection. 

Miranda Royds, goalkeeper/mid-distance, women’s soccer and women’s track and field 

As the goalkeeper for the women’s soccer team and a middle-distance runner for the women’s track and field team, Royds excels at both sports. Royds started and played in every game played by the soccer team this season with a save percentage of .846. Royds also got the bronze medal at the Patriot League Championships on the 4x800m relay team with a split of 2:16. 

Matthew Feryo, backstroke, men’s swimming and diving 

Recording the top times for Lehigh in all the backstroke events, senior Feryo helped the team beat Lafayette in the Patriot League Challenge meet. Feryo won the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:51.36 and won the 100 backstroke with a time of 51.14.

Anna Francisco, backstroke, women’s swimming and diving 

Tallying three individual wins for the Mountain Hawks at the Patriot League Challenge meet, Francisco’s talent aided Lehigh to a dominating victory over Lafayette. Francisco recorded wins in the 100 backstroke with a time of 56.68, the 200 backstroke,with a time of 2:03.09, and the 100 IM, with a time of 59.15. 

Harry Wang, men’s tennis

Wang was one of the top performers on the men’s tennis team this year. Wang’s overall singles record was 5-3 and his doubles record was also 5-3. The senior was even awarded Patriot League Player of the week in March 2021 for his standout performance against Villanova. 

Paula Gonzalez, women’s tennis

She had one of the best records on the women’s tennis team this year with an overall singles record of 3-4 and an overall doubles record of 5-3. Gonzalez earned Patriot League Player of the week back in March for her performance against Loyola, winning 6-4 7-6. 

Jeffery Kirshenbaum, distance, men’s track and field 

Kirshenbaum, as a fifth-year graduate student, placed second in the Patriot League 10,000m race on Friday, April 30. This was Kirshenbaum’s first time on the podium in his Lehigh running career. Kirshenbaum’s time of 30:31 gave him Second-Team All-Patriot League honors. 

Riley LaRiviere, throws, men’s track and field 

LaRiviere’s talent was showcased at the track and field Patriot League Championships where he scored in all three throwing events, the first thrower in Lehigh men’s history to do so. LaRiviere placed fifth in the hammer with a throw of 55.14m, seventh in the discus with a throw of 47.02m, and eighth in the shot put with a throw of 14.50m. LaRiviere scored a total of seven points for the Mountain Hawks.

Kaja Skerlj, hurdler, women’s track and field 

The senior from Ljubljana, Slovenia, placed second in the Patriot League 400m hurdles on Saturday, May 1 with a time of 1:01.98. Skerlj’s performance was good enough for the Second-Team All-Patriot League award and her time places her second in Lehigh 400m hurdles history. 

Sabrina Lancaster, outside hitter, volleyball 

Senior captain of the volleyball team Lancaster was named Second Team All-Patriot League this year. This season Lancaster led the team with an impressive 110 kills, averaging 3.70 per set. She also recorded 63 digs with 12 total blocks. 

Jordan Wood, 285, wrestling

Qualifying for the NCAA tournament for the fourth time and winning his fourth EIWA title, Wood has been a standout wrestler for the Mountain Hawks in 2021. Wood is a three-time All-American and competed at the United States Olympic Trials last month. Wood is expected to return to Lehigh next year and wrestle for the 2021-22 season. He received Patriot League honors as well as being named to the Academic All-Patriot League with a 3.81 GPA.

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