RADNOR, Pa. – Lehigh men’s lacrosse graduating seniors David DiMaria, Dante Fantoni, Ryan Snyder and Mike Noone all played key roles in leading the South to a 16-10 win in last Friday’s 72nd annual USILA/LaxWorld Division I-II Senior North-South Game. The four representatives marked the most from any school in the nation. DiMaria posted a game-high four points, Fantoni scored a goal, Snyder won 14 faceoffs and Noone had at least one groundball and caused turnover to lead the defense.
“It’s a great honor to come out with three other Lehigh guys and play with a bunch of great seniors from across the country,” said DiMaria. “It was a great experience. It was fun to get out here once again with these Lehigh guys. It’s definitely something that I don’t take for granted. I really appreciate the opportunity.”
The game was played at Cabrini College in Radnor, Pa. The four participants marked Lehigh’s most in school history, one-upping last year’s total of three (Adam Johnston, Cameron Lao-Gosney and Roman Lao-Gosney). Will Scudder and Jonathan Stump represented Lehigh in 2011.
“It’s unbelievable to have four here, last year we had three,” said Fantoni. “We’re growing every year, which is great to see. The program is getting better and better each year. It was great to play with them; they’re all great players who showed what they could do tonight.”
DiMaria and Fantoni played together on attack (with Villanova’s Jack Rice) in the second and fourth quarters. DiMaria didn’t waste any time getting on the scoresheet, assisting on a Rice goal just 1:02 into the second stanza. He added another assist – to Fantoni – at the 2:28 mark of the second and scored himself with 47 seconds on the clock. The Dix Hills, N.Y. native added a third assist in the fourth quarter, finding Rice who was named the game’s MVP with three goals. DiMaria led the way with four points.
Noone posted at least one caused turnover and groundball while helping hold the North off the scoreboard for a stretch of 21:47 bridging the second and third quarters. That let the South offense turn a 5-4 lead into a 13-4 advantage, erasing any doubt. The South went up 16-8 after DiMaria found Rice at 4:22 of the fourth quarter, but the North answered with the final two goals.
“They’re all good players, so it was nice to be able to get up and down,” said Noone. “The tempo was definitely increased from Patriot League play where it’s very settled. It was nice to get up and down, see what every kid has and get after each other a little bit.”
Snyder won 14-30 at the X, taking every faceoff against Hofstra’s John Antoniades. Snyder scooped six groundballs.
Lehigh wrapped up its second straight Patriot League Championship and NCAA Tournament campaign with a 12-5 record, becoming the first team in the league with back-to-back championships since Navy six years ago.
“Onward and upward, there’s no other direction we’re going,” said Snyder. “Coach Cassese has built a solid foundation… just keep building on it every year, move further into the NCAAs and hopefully keep winning Patriot League Championships. The challenge with Loyola coming into the league next year will be a good one, but that should help us prepare for the ultimate postseason. The only way is up in Bethlehem.”