Kevin Cassese

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A U.S. Lacrosse National Hall of Fame inductee, Kevin Cassese enters his 12th season as Lehigh’s head men’s lacrosse coach in 2019.

In Cassese’s time, he has led the Mountain Hawks to back-to-back Patriot League Championships in 2012 and 2013 followed by a third straight appearance in the league title game in 2014 and a return trip to the championship game in 2018. Lehigh is the only men’s lacrosse program in the league to reach eight of the last eight Patriot League Tournaments as excitement continues to build. Heading into the 2019 season, the Mountain Hawks have been ranked in every “way-early” rankings, coming in as high as No. 8 by the Baltimore Sun.

In the past year, Cassese led the Mountain Hawks to three wins over nationally-ranked opponents and a return to the national rankings (as high as No. 12) as Lehigh advanced to the Patriot League Championship Game for the first time since 2014. Less than a month after the season, Cassese was named an inductee in the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame Class of 2018 following a stellar playing career at Duke, in Major League Lacrosse and for Team USA.

The 2018 season saw Lehigh jump back into the national spotlight, beginning with road wins at No. 12 Army West Point and No. 18/19 Hofstra in the span of 10 days. The Mountain Hawks went on to finish the season 10-7, including 5-3 in Patriot League play. Earning the No. 4 seed in the league tournament, Lehigh dominated Colgate at home (11-6) then picked up a 10-9 overtime win against No. 11/13 Navy, just days after the Midshipmen won at Syracuse. Lucas Spence scored the game-winner less than one minute into overtime as Spence (58 points: 35 goals, 23 assists) and Andrew Pettit (66 points: 46 goals, 20 assists) combined for 124 points in 2018. Pettit, defenseman Craig Chick and faceoff specialist Conor Gaffney were named first team All-Patriot League while Spence, defenseman Eddie Bouhall and long-stick midfielder Teddy Leggett earned second-team laurels. Leggett also won the Lehigh Athletics’ J. Daniel Nolan Award presented to the department’s top first-year male student-athlete. Gaffney was named the Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year while being named a third team Academic All-American by CoSIDA.

Chick continued to re-write the record books, breaking his previous school record for caused turnovers with 41. He ended the year with 118 in his career, which is already a school and Patriot League record, and top 10 in NCAA history (with Chick’s senior year left to play).