Chat with Inside Lacrosse
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, our friends from Inside Lacrosse will stop by to take your questions about the 2012 season.
They'll also be joined by Lehigh juniors Dante Fantoni and Ryan Snyder.
Send your questions now and join Inside Lacrosse Thursday at 12:30 p.m. ET!
Matt Kinnear (12:31 PM)
Welcome to another live chat from Inside Lacrosse and ESPN. This week, we've got special guests Dante Fantoni and Ryan Snyder from Lehigh.
Matt Kinnear (12:32 PM)
The Mountain Hawks have been a special team this year, starting off 10-1 and 3-0 in the Patriot League as they get into the thick of conference play. Lehigh has a huge game this weekend against Colgate, and that's followed by another great contest vs. Bucknell. Ask away to Dante and Ryan about the season thus far and the road ahead.
Matt Kinnear (12:32 PM)
They'll be answering questions in the coming moments....
Matt Kinnear (12:38 PM)
In some Lehigh news this week, Pat Corbett was named Cascade Rookie of the Week by Inside Lacrosse for his performance against Navy. Three goals and an assist for the Canadian.
Matt Kinnear (12:38 PM)
Paul Levasque (Long Island)
Dante- You were on a HS team with guys like MIke Chanechuck, Tim Schwajle, Will Manny, Tommy Schreiber and Kenny Carpenter and several other D1 impact players. How do you think you HS team would do if you guys all still played together?
Dante Fantoni (12:41 PM)
We would definitely be a good team. We had a chemistry for four years. We had two kids up for First Team All-America and others who could be up for it. We could definitely compete with some of the top teams.
Eddy (Allentown, PA)
Great season ... what has been the difference this year for Lehigh to win the big games? What are the top goals for the team in 2012?
Ryan Snyder (12:44 PM)
Our main goal is pretty simple, to win the Patriot League Championship. As we work towards being able to do so, the key difference has definitely been leadership. In the past, we found ourselves in a lot of close games, but didn't stay composed or confident enough to do so. But this year, leadership has definitely enabled us to do so.
Dante Fantoni (12:45 PM)
Our goal is to win the Patriot League Championship. As Ryan said, leadership is a big difference. Our play in the third quarter has been huge. Last year, we were awful in the third. This year, it's our best quarter. When you start the second half off right, it'll give you a lot of momentum. If we can get a lead heading into the fourth quarter, we'll be fine.
Justin (Bethlehem, PA)
For Ryan, I noticed that your primary move is the Pinch and Pop. I am a huge fan of yours and I was wondering, would you say your move is more pinch or more pop?
Ryan Snyder (12:46 PM)
Well, you can't pop without the pinch so I guess it all starts there. Awesome question!
Ryan, who's the best goalie you've played against so far?
Ryan Snyder (12:47 PM)
The best goalie I've played against is Matt Poillon, in practice every day. After that, Griffin Ferrigan of Saint Joe's is also really good.
The Lehigh Extra Man unit is ranked best in the nation. Having played against Kyle Stiefel, he can bring the heat from up top, but talk about the dynamic of the unit as a whole and the other strengths of the players on that unit
Dante Fantoni (12:48 PM)
It's always great when you have someone like Steef (the AK 47) who can bring the high-heat on man-up. It really opens up room for all the other guys. When you have AJ and the two Canadians in there finishing everything from the inside, it doesn't hurt. Then you have a great feeder like Dave, which makes our job easier. You also have a dynamic player like Roman, who can do anything out there. Coach has been putting us in great spots to be successful, so hopefully we can keep it up.
Ryan Snyder (12:49 PM)
I have nothing but good things to say about our EMO. I'm still trying to figure out why Coach Cassese hasn't given me a shot at the top-left spot. Coach, if you're reading this, check my combine scores.
do you have any pregame rituals? Whats your pregame meal?
Dante Fantoni (12:50 PM)
First of all, shower in the same shower before every game, retape my stick, do a certain wall-ball routine and listen to the same music.
Dante Fantoni (12:50 PM)
I also usually shoot on Alex Drake outside our locker room with a rubber ball before the game. We consider him our fifth-string goalie if we ever need one.
Ryan Snyder (12:51 PM)
Before home games, we usually eat the Goosey Gander, which is most of the guys' favorite spot in Bethlehem. Pregame showers are big for me as well and I always tape my stick right before we go out for warmups.
Asa Packer (The Goosey Gander)
With all the success so far, how has the support been at the school?
Ryan Snyder (12:53 PM)
For the first time, other students have been taking interest in our games and how we're doing. Even teachers come up to me at times and congratulate me. Things we didn't see as much of before in the past.
Dr Skittles (BallSoHard University)
Hey guys, congrats on your success thus far. As an aspiring stringer and college lacrosse player, who on the team strings your sticks and what makes them your go to guys?
Ryan Snyder (12:54 PM)
In the past, it was Dan Carr but Harry Lawrence has definitely emerged as my main "stringer." He's much more reliable.
Dante Fantoni (12:54 PM)
At first when I came in, I was going to ask the twins to start stringing my sticks, but they wanted to charge five dollars a head, which scared me off a little bit. Eventually, they decided not to charge us like the good teammates that they are, so I have Cameron Lao-Gosney stringing my sticks.
Dante, how difficult is it to jump from middie to attack or vice versa?
Dante Fantoni (12:56 PM)
It wasn't that hard of a transition. The way we did it, I was inverting a lot and dodging against a short stick. When I play attack, I get a poll. It's easier to dodge and score with a short stick on me. Coach calls it a gunner; I don't play defense, I just run off the field if one of our teammates turns it over or I take a ridiculous low-angle shot that noone backs up.
How big was the Brian Hess goal last Friday? The momentum was all Navy for the first 25 minutes. It seemed to ignite Lehigh.
Ryan Snyder (12:57 PM)
The goal was definitely huge, but I think what really got the momentum going in our favor was the inspirational celebration that followed.
Ryan Snyder (12:57 PM)
Brian's been known to get pretty excited whenever he finds the back of the net (probably because it doesn't happen very often).
Dante Fantoni (12:58 PM)
Just check his stats online, which will tell the story.
To be a lax player, you have to be in such good shape. What are your guys eating habits and what do you do to stay in shape?
Ryan Snyder (12:59 PM)
Fortunately, my position doesn't necessarily call for me being in the best shape. Otherwise, I might be in a little trouble.
Dante Fantoni (1:00 PM)
In years past, I've been able to put down a couple cheeseburgers, some bowls of ice cream and some burritos before the game and be fine to play. After being injured in the fall, it caught up to me a little bit, which I got a new nickname for (which I'd rather not talk about). I still try to eat the same way, but the results just aren't the same any more. I have to work a little harder to get the beach bod that I used to have.
andrew mower (bethlehem pa)
would you attribute the success of the lehigh team thus far this season to more of the play of the defense? the offense? the coaching staff? or the team as a whole?a loyal fan-andy
Dante Fantoni (1:03 PM)
Coach Callahan brought in a new style of defense from what we used before. It's working out well this year as the #1 scoring defense in the country so far.
Ryan Snyder (1:03 PM)
It's definitely been an overall team effort, but Coach Errol Wilson has really brought a new flavor to our MDD (man down defense).
Nicole Driscoll (Lehigh)
What goes through your head when you go down for the whistle at the faceoff x?
Ryan Snyder (1:04 PM)
Please, please God do let me violate on this faceoff.
Dante, you are close friends with Will Manny...what would a potential matchup in the NCAA Tournament against UMASS be like for you?
Dante Fantoni (1:06 PM)
I think it'd be a great game, first of all. I would love to play them, hopefully later on in the tournament. UMass is a great team, great offense, defense is playing well. Willie is a great player, he's crushing it this year, a midseason All-American and possible Tewaaraton finalist. We talk a lot about different matchups against different teams. Being able to play him and see who's really the best would be unbelievable. We all know who would win that one...
Why do you think Lacrosse hasn't really gained the national attention it deserves?
Ryan Snyder (1:07 PM)
Tough question. Since it's historically been concentrated in certain areas like Maryland and Long Island, it's naturally going to be a gradual process to expand out from those hotbeds. I think in the future, it will happen more and more, though.
Dante Fantoni (1:07 PM)
... but no matter what anyone says, Long Island will always be the best.
Luke C (Wantagh,ny)
How was the switch going from highschool to college lacrosse?
Dante Fantoni (1:08 PM)
The transition was hard at first because college is a lot more fast-paced. You've got kids who are older than you, bigger, stronger and faster. For me personally, shooting on the goalies was a big adjustments. You really have to pick your spots because these goalies are the best of the best.
Ryan Snyder (1:09 PM)
In college, as opposed to high school, every team has a faceoff specialist so every game is a challenge.
Susan (New York)
You can't predict Lacrosse but what do you guys need to do to be successful vs. Colgate this weekend?
Ryan Snyder (1:11 PM)
Colgate is a great team. They have the #1 offense in the country, so that will be a great matchup for our defense. They've scored 11 goals in transition in the last five games, so being able to control that threat will be huge.
Dante Fantoni (1:11 PM)
Peter Baum is averaging more than five points per game, he's got over 100 shots, so containing him will be big. As far as the offense, if we can get some goals on them early and get into double digits, we should be successful. But Colgate is a good team, so it'll be a big test for us.
david (lehigh valley) [via mobile]
as a 98 graduate i can say you are making all alumni proud of your ranked success ... so speak to the influence of the local players play off the bench in particular # 5 ...
Ryan Snyder (1:12 PM)
Kurt is a workhorse, he's an invaluable asset of our riding unit. Can't say enough about Ty Souders. A Midseason All-American, he deserves all the recognition he gets as a shut-down defenseman. On top of that, it's been great to see all the sport we've gotten from local youth as well.
Dante Fantoni (1:13 PM)
Kurt is a rabbit as we call him. He's great on the ride for us, especially at the end of the games with his speed running out the clock. That's a tough part of the game and I absolutely hate doing that. The way Ty's playing is huge for us. He's really stepped up and done a great job with that and is a big part of the reason why we're doing so well. Special shoutout to Matt Marker, our ball boy, for coming out every practice and showing us support... Kid's the next Steele Stanwick.
Fantoni, is there such thing as too much flow?
Dante Fantoni (1:14 PM)
I don't think so, but Cody Ferraro was definitely toeing the line last year.
Eddy (Allentown, PA)
What has been the impact of your freshman goalie this season ont he team's success?
Ryan Snyder (1:14 PM)
At this point in the season, it's safe to say if we had to choose a most valuable player, it'd definitely be him.
Dante- With a Top Rated defensive unit to back you up, do you feel that you can take shots more often? Or is this year the same as prior years for you?
Dante Fantoni (1:15 PM)
Definitely, we know if we turn the ball over, our defense will make a stop for us and get the ball back. There have been a ton of stretches this year when our defense has kept the opponent scoreless for long stretches, so we can take some shots that we might not normally have taken because we know we have a strong defense behind us. Our goal for every game is to reach double digits.
Who is your funniest teammate?
Ryan Snyder (1:16 PM)
I would have to say it's Mike Noone, or "Mikey Nugs" as we call him. The kid always has something to say and never stops making me laugh.
Ryan Snyder (1:16 PM)
I would also have to add Brian Hess, simply for the clothing he puts on his body on a daily basis.
Dante Fantoni (1:16 PM)
I would have to say it's a tie between two people. One would have to be Chris Rinaldi and Derek Bogorowski. Chris, because of his impersonation of your's truly Ryan Snyder. Couldn't be more off on his impersonation but it's funny every time. Derek can literally think of the funniest things on the spot, always getting after people. Even if it's about me, it's still hilarious.
What teams would be in your ideal Final 4 be, along with Lehigh of course!
Ryan Snyder (1:17 PM)
Anyone in the Patriot League, which in my opinion is one of the best leagues in the country this year.
Dante Fantoni (1:18 PM)
I agree with Ryan, but if one of them couldn't make it in, I would love to see Nova for a rematch.
Matt Kinnear (1:18 PM)
Ryan and Dante are about to run to class, so I'll ask one final question...
Matt Kinnear (1:19 PM)
What are your predictions this weekend against Colgate?
Ryan Snyder (1:20 PM)
I think it'll definitely be a hard-fought game as all league games are. If we stick to our game plan and execute accordingly though, I think the scoreboard should take care of itself.
Dante Fantoni (1:21 PM)
I definitely agree. We're hoping to go on a "one-game winning streak," so we're solely focused on a tough Colgate team.
Matt Kinnear (1:23 PM)
Thanks everyone for the questions, and thanks Dante and Ryan for joining in. Make sure to check out Lehigh vs. Colgate this Saturday.