Kevin Cassese and the Lehigh Mountain Hawks got off to a strong start in the 2023 class on Sunday afternoon, landing Culver (Ind.) defensemen Zach Mesa.
A South Florida native, Mesa is rated as a four-star by Inside Lacrosse.
Lehigh initially reached out to the defenseman just after midnight on September 1st and has been able to get him on campus twice since the contact period opened. Mesa also considered Air Force, Denver, Michigan, Penn, and Syracuse before pulling the trigger on the Mountain Hawks.
“I feel what really stuck out to me the most about Lehigh was the blue-collar mentality,” Mesa told Lacrosse Bucket. “Also just talking to the coaching staff I felt very valued and that I would fit right into the team’s core values and the team culture…I felt very at home. Also, of course, the amazing academics and of course the beautiful campus.“
The 5-foot-10, 193-pound pole shined this past spring with the Eagles, starting all 15 contests as a sophomore. He helped lead his team to a 13-2 record and an appearance in the GEICO High School Lacrosse Nationals, where they fell to Taft, 10-8, in the semifinals while showcasing his impressive one-on-one defensive skills, which puts him in the discussion as one of the top and most aggressive cover guys in the class. Mesa said he would describe his style of play as “hard-nosed controlled aggression” and the Mountain Hawks coaching staff sees him as an on-ball cover guy, which is a spot in which they have had a lot of success in recent years with guys like Craig Chick.
Mesa started his high school career at St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.) before taking his talents to northern Indiana to play for Culver. It’s a move that Mesa says will benefit him once he moves up to the college ranks. “I feel that Culver in many ways is great for building a proper foundation for college, which later translates into your future career and life,” Mesa said. “In the now three years that I have attended Culver my mental toughness and work ethic has seriously improved both on and off the field.”