The Lehigh lacrosse team added 12 freshmen to the team for the upcoming spring season.
Grant Rodny and Richard Checo are two of the new Mountain Hawks on the team. Both are ranked on the Inside Lacrosse/Evoshield Power 100 Freshman Rankings, with Checo ranked at 57 and Rodny at 54.
Rodny said he is proud of the acknowledgement he’s received, but it won’t change his mindset and work ethic in preparing for the season.
“It is always great to be recognized for successes, and it means even more being from Colorado where few guys are ranked,” Rodny said. “I think the rankings describe past success. However, college lacrosse is a new playing field where everyone is athletic and talented, so I’ll have to relearn what it takes to be a great player.”
In high school, Rodny garnered many awards including MVP of the Adrenaline All-American Game, US Lacrosse and Nike All-America honors, Colorado 4A Player of the Year and first team All-State. He also set the Colorado single-season record with 81 goals his senior season.
Rodny said he learned about Lehigh early in the recruiting process, and its core values aligned with his motivations and goals for playing collegiate lacrosse.
“In the spring, we’ll play eye to eye with any team in the country with a chip on our shoulder,” Rodny said. “That is what almost every kid from a non-lacrosse hotbed wants more than anything as a player and member of a team, and that is what I look forward to most.”
Similarly, Checo said he was honored to be named to the rankings but is now focused on his first season at Lehigh.
“I want to make sure I don’t let the outside rankings make me stop working,” Checo said.
In high school, Checo, a Virginia native, was a Nike All-American and led his team to a 19-0 record his senior season, winning the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference.
Last season, Lehigh finished with an 8-7 record and a 3-5 record in conference games.
The team made it to the Patriot League semifinals, where they fell short to Boston University 13-12.
Freshman Bryce Pang said the team’s main goal this season is to improve from last year and make it past the semifinals.
“(Our goal is) just to get better and be the best version of ourselves, so when it comes to the spring, we win games and win the Patriot League Championship, and then move on to the NCAA tournament,” Pang said.
The team is awaiting the release of their season schedule, which will begin in February.